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Mayor Of Kingstown Season 1 Blu-ray Review

‘Mayor Of Kingstown’ is lesser Taylor Sheridan.

Prolific writer/showrunner Taylor Sheridan is riding high right now with the mega hit ‘Yellowstone’ and one of the year’s best series with ‘1883.’ Last year saw the debut of another new Sheridan series with the Paramount+ crime-drama ‘Mayor Of Kingstown.’ Unfortunately, ‘Mayor’ isn’t one of his finer efforts.

Kingstown, Michigan is a company town that is home to numerous prisons. Incarceration is big business in this town and Mike and Mitch McLusky are powerful “broker” brothers who work with prisoners on the inside and criminals on the outside to keep the peace in fragile situations with shady deals. After a big twist in the pilot episode (no spoilers here) proves to be a catalyst for the series, Mike (an ex-con himself) is at a crossroads in his life. Will he continue being a broker? Will he find a new line of work? Those are the big questions for his character in the 10 episode debut season. Elsewhere in the season, there are key plots involving a ruthless mobster in jail (Milo), Mike and Mitch’s brother Kyle (a police officer) and his own family, Kyle’s partner Ian, a sex worker (Iris) who lands in hot water, gang leaders (Bunny, P-Dog and Duke), murders, FBI agents, a prison guard named Sam, the Mclusky matriarch Mariam who is a college Professor and a volunteer teacher for female prison inmates and a prison riot. 

Despite being an intense drama about some very heavy duty subjects (corruption, racism, the prison system and toxic masculinity), ‘Mayor Of Kingstown’ seems less concerned with its themes and ideas and more focused on ratcheting up the drama and violence. This is a punishingly bleak series (see the treatment of the character of Iris) that isn’t remotely subtle in any way. Whether Sheridan is beating you over the head with bear symbolism or showing characters operating in gray areas ad nauseum, ‘Mayor’ feels overly telegraphed. It’s clear from the start this is a powder keg type scenario, but the show never lets up as it gets darker and darker to an exhausting degree. For those seeking dark adult dramas, this may be up your alley, but others like myself may be left wanting something more complex and layered (both tonally and storytelling wise).

The cast is top notch. Jeremy Renner in fine form here as the ever stressed Mike. Kyle Chandler classes up the series in a brief stint. Dianne Wiest and Aidan Gillen (of ‘Game of Thrones’ fame) also turn in fine performances.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: Widescreen 1080p. Grade: B+

Audio Track: Dolby TrueHD 5.1. Grade: B+

Extras:
* ‘Behind The Story’- 10 behind-the-scenes featurettes for each episode. Episode clips, set footage and interviews are included.
* 3 character profiles for Mike, Mitch and Mariam McLusky. Interviews are included.
* Favorite scenes of Nishi Munshi, Aidan Gillen, Hugh Dillon, Emma Laird and Tobi Bamtefa.
* ‘Inside Mayor Of Kingstown’- A 1 minute promo overview of the series.
* ‘Perdition: Making Mayor Of Kingstown’- A 35 minute featurette about how the show came about, the show’s themes, the production and cast, and more.
* ‘Zero Sum Game: The Finale’- A look at the making of the finale.

September 23, 2022 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , ,

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