Tuesday, February 26, 2013
We don't exactly know why HBO is keeping this one such a secret, but you should be getting ready to watch the superb English miniseries Parade's End which begins tonight. Starring the elegent and exceptional Benedict Cumberbatch -- PBS' recent present-day Sherlock Holmes and the villain in the upcoming J.J. Abrams' Star Trek Into Darkness feature and many other production -- Parade's End will be interesting to anybody who's been devouring Downton Abbey, to be sure, and anyone else who thrives on intelligent drama done played to perfection with that refined British stiff upper lip. Also starring with Cumberbatch are Rebecca Hall and Adelaide Clemens, both very talented and adding so much to Parade's End.
Parade's End airs beginning tonight -- Tuesday, 2/26 -- at 9pm -- and plays for the next three nights, and that appears to be it, for at least a while on actual TV, though it looks like it will be available On Demand and on HBO Go.
We don't even need to go into the plot here, but rest assured that the provenance of Parade's End is solid. It's based on the novels of Ford Madox Ford, which may mean something to you but if it doesn't that's okay, too. If you'd like to know a little more before you dip your toe in, click here and take a look at this detailed synopsis from HBO, but really...it's not necessary. You'll be just fine tuning in tonight and having a go. Think World War I, think aristocracy, think infidelity...
Parade's End aired first on BBC Two back in August of last year, causing a run on Ford's original novels and garnering unanimous critical acclaim and impressive audience ratings. There seems to be a divergence of opinion on Parade's End over here with critics; some, like Robert Bianco from USA Today think it's a duller version of Downton Abbey, while others, like Time's James Poniewozik, rather likes its deliberate tone. We think this one should get your attention if for no other reason than Cumberbatch, and that should be sufficient.
Tune in tonight on HBO beginning at 9pm for two hours (Parts 1 & 2), tomorrow Wednesday at 9pm for Parts 3 & 4, and finally on Thursday at 9pm for the only one hour of Part 5.