Friday, October 5, 2007

Five Days

Miniseries. Let the phrase sink in for a second. You probably think of crappy westerns, drawn out biopics, or on the other end of the spectrum, something like Roots. After catching the first part of one today, I have renewed faith in the genre.

HBO's Five Days is the all-too-realistic story of a mother, Leanne (Christine Tremarco) in the UK who literally vanishes from view while her young children wait in the car. The kids, ages 7 and 5 take off in search of her with the family's new dog tow. The series follows not only the shocked and grieving family members, (including the woman's bratty daughter from a previous marriage), the local press secretary, the police, a kidnapper, and an up and coming journalist.

The five episode series covers five days in the disappearance of the young woman and her children, jumping from day 1 to 3 and then 28.

I am hooked after the first installment because of the show's subtley and truly innovative format in the wake of so many formulaic crime dramas. David Oyelowo plays Matt, Leanne's husband, with more complexity and compassion than I've seen on TV, even HBO in a long time. Watching him stare silently into the eyes of that police officer set the tone for the rest of the series; intensity, fear, vulnerability. It was truly phenomenal.

Five Days will run every Tuesday night at 8 Eastern, and anytime you want On Demand.

For more information, check out this great review from The New York Times.