S4 E17 Mare of Easttown: A Small-town Nightmare beyond the Murder

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In this episode, our hosts Juan, Diaodiao and Ina, joined by our guest Alex Lawyer, dive into HBO’s new limited series, “Mare of Easttown.” We dissect character arcs and plot points to dig deeper into the real story: the story of a blue-collar mostly-white community that’s plagued by the opioid crisis.

What we discussed

  • 2:27 First impressions, potential spoiler warning
  • 05:30 What makes this show a good thriller? Entertaining plot points, can spur in-depth discussions around social issues, and framing the thriller within familial and community relationships
  • 8:57 The show is actually a career-oriented show that focuses on Mare, her role as detective and the glue that brings the town together
  • 14:09 The deeper social issue: how the opioid crisis impacted Easttown
  • 15:43 Society’s reaction/policies to the opioid crisis, progressing from “war on drugs” to seeing it as a public health issue
  • 22:25 “Hillbilly Elegy”, “Tight Rope”, and social darwinism
  • 27:58 Opioid crisis in China
  • 32:54 There’s no real “big bad” in this show
  • 34:42 Easttown as an example of a swing town/county and the lack of politics in the show
  • 39:12 What’s the verdict? (spoiler alert, we discuss the ending of the show)

Our Editor

Zhang Quan
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Read More

  • Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope, by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

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