Escape at Dannemora: All Episodes
December 19, 2018 1:19 PM - Season 1 (Full Season) - Subscribe

A Showtime miniseries based on the 2015 prison break at Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York. Directed by Ben Stiller.
posted by prize bull octorok (11 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Made sense to me to make a full-episode post for this even though only 5 of 7 episodes have aired. I'm pretty impressed so far, the logistics of the escape are laid out really well and Patricia Arquette is absolutely fantastic.
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:21 PM on December 19, 2018

All the actors are great. Arquette is amazing. In a lot of ways the show feels like her story.
posted by xammerboy at 10:10 PM on December 20, 2018 [1 favorite]

I watched the first episode last night after signing up for a seven day Showtime trial. Really good so far. I can't wait to watch the rest.

It's kind of weird for me because I drive through that area every summer, occasionally taking a route that takes me right past the prison. The opening shot of the wind farm was very familiar.
posted by bondcliff at 7:03 AM on December 21, 2018

I had to stop halfway through the last episode and try to sort out my reactions. Having seen the history of all three main characters in the previous episode, and then Matt's disintegration-- at least as portrayed here-- I almost feel as if the takeaway is that prison was good for those two guys? And I hate the American penal system.

This series keeps reminding me of In Cold Blood. Two criminals, one seemingly farther gone, morally, than the other although it is weird to place killers like that in a hierarchy. And then the sense that no matter how bad they were, the machinations of the state around their punishment were perverse and demoralizing. But here you have this added dimension of squalor within the prison system. You're left to sympathize with whom? Maybe Sweat, a tiny bit, as he stands by the road and watches the windmills? Maybe Sweat's victim, for the five minutes you see him? Maybe the actual Dannemora prisoners who took part in the production and are interviewed on camera? Help me out here?
posted by BibiRose at 7:21 AM on December 31, 2018

Patricia Arquette is fantastic in this. It's way better than I thought it was going to be.
posted by Catblack at 8:27 AM on January 3, 2019 [1 favorite]

Just to say this series was one of the best TV things I've seen in a few years.
posted by sylvanshine at 4:33 PM on January 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

Eric Lange, who I don't know but he was the CIA guy in Narcos, appears to be an amazing character actor. I don't even recognize him in the show against his Wikipedia pic. I don't really understand why he and his wife had the accents and speaking mannerisms they did; are they "valid" regional accents? The two characters worked for me as being push and pull factors at the same time (empathy vs. annoyance), but I don't know if the style of those characters hews to how people in that part of the US might be. For me the success of the show rests in part on whether those two characters have external validity, if you will, and I don't know...
posted by sylvanshine at 5:15 PM on January 7, 2019

I almost feel as if the takeaway is that prison was good for those two guys? And I hate the American penal system.

I had the same feeling, but I appreciated that the viewer could come away with a lot of mixed emotions about all of it. There isn't too much judgment in the show itself, but it can be experienced both as "just" a story and as a complex commentary at the same time, and those two ways of watching bounced off each other in a very "synergistic" way for me, so I never found it "slow" at all.
posted by sylvanshine at 5:38 PM on January 7, 2019 [2 favorites]

I don't really understand why he and his wife had the accents and speaking mannerisms they did; are they "valid" regional accents?

I'm sure someone who is from that region probably cringed at the accents, the way I might when I hear a bad Boston accent, but yes, there's a pretty strong accent up there. I am not at all an expert on regional accents, but to my ear it's more like a Wisconsin than a New England accent. It's a pretty rural area; If you look on a map the prison is about as big as the town itself. I think the actors also tried to come across as uneducated and not very bright.
posted by bondcliff at 6:00 PM on January 7, 2019 [2 favorites]

If anyone is interested (or even if no one is) the DVD is available now.
posted by DanSachs at 2:50 PM on May 2, 2019

Just finished watching, the whole series was excellent. Just so good. I'm blown away by Patricia Arquette's performance. How incredibly unlikable and mean she was. Her voice, her expressions....the best. Eric Lange was amazing too. Really great. Look up Lyle Mitchell interviews on Youtube to see how he nailed the performance.

It was amazing to see Matt's slow disintegration upon escaping. Hard to believe he could become even more unlikable but he managed.

How about that camera work during Sweat's test run!? It was fucking incredible. That long, slow peel from one end of the underground passage to the other, including going up and down ladders, and in and out of the pipe. Sometimes his view, sometimes the viewer's. The sound effects, the lighting on his face, his breathing, that feeling of urgency and tension. It was SO GOOD. It was either done in one take or edited to look that way. Just amazing.
posted by the webmistress at 8:48 PM on May 11, 2019 [1 favorite]

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