MARE OF EASTTOWN – Review by Susan Granger

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New season = new series to stream. Kate Winslet stars as an exhauted detective in this compelling seven-episode HBO mystery set in a small, working-class town in Delaware County, Pennsylvania.

Life isn’t easy for Mare Sheehan (Winslet), who is desperately trying to solve a perplexing murder case revolving a teenage girl found sprawled in a creek deep in the woods. Townspeople are wondering whether this grim discovery has anything to do with another young girl-gone-missing a year ago.

Creator/writer/producer Brad Ingelsby, a native of Berwyn, Pennsylvania, set out to tell a story about his hometown: “Easttown is a mixture of a number of different Pennsylvania towns. I wanted the show to be about a certain place in the world, a certain group of people. These people have been born here, raised here and now they’re raising their children here.”

Which means everyone knows everyone and far too much about their personal business.

Still dubbed “Lady Hawk,” Mare is a legendary former high-school basketball star-turned-police sergeant. She lives with her mother (Jean Smart), teenage daughter, Siobbhan (Angourie Rice), and young grandson, Drew (Izzy King).

Mare’s son Kevin/Drew’s father previously committed suicide, and Drew’s estranged, heroin-addicted mother is fighting for custody.

To Mare’s dismay, her ex-husband, Frank Sheehan (David Denman), and his fiancée occupy the house directly to the rear of hers with adjoining backyards: “Of all the houses he could move into, he had to buy the one right behind mine!”

Then there’s Erin McMenamin (Cailee Spaeny), whose corpse is found in the creek. And who is the mysterious neighborhood prowler, peeping in windows?

Mare resents the arrival of County Detective Colin Zabel (Evan Peters), who’s been called into assist. But she seems to find solace with Richard Ryan (Guy Pearce), a creative-writing professor, and her best-friend, Lori Ross (Julianne Nicholson), whose marriage isn’t what it seems.

On the Granger Gauge of 1 to 10, “Mare of Easttown” is an intriguing 8. Planned as a limited, one-season HBO series, who knows if there will be a second season?

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.