The Underground Railroad: full season.
June 7, 2021 3:46 AM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Amazon Prime says: "From Academy Award winner Barry Jenkins and based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Colson Whitehead, 'The Underground Railroad' is a new series that chronicles Cora Randall’s desperate bid for freedom in the Antebellum South. After escaping a Georgia plantation for the rumored Underground Railroad, Cora discovers no mere metaphor, but an actual railroad beneath the Southern soil." I've just watched the full ten episodes of this over a period of about two weeks. I found it very gripping, full of great casting and first-rate performances. The later episodes are stronger than the early ones in my view, but maybe that just reflects my increasing investment in the show as it went on. What did other MeFites make of it?
posted by Paul Slade (6 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm glad this is finally getting a post here. I agree this is a show to watch an episode at a time. We really loved this show. I would caution to look past the hook of having the underground railroad be an actual underground railroad. It's treated as the metaphor it is later in the season. But really, take it slow. You don't want to rush into the end on this one.

Not to be missed, show creator Barry Jenkins concurrently made a nearly hour long work of history and art called The Gaze.
posted by Catblack at 8:40 AM on June 7, 2021 [3 favorites]

I adore Barry Jenkins and perhaps I am not the audience for this show but I couldn't get through the first episode. Making a show that portrays enslavement is extremely challenging and I didn't see how this transcended tropes of violence and racial subjugation. Perhaps it does, but I couldn't make it to that point.
posted by latkes at 9:31 AM on June 8, 2021

I felt the same way after the first episode, which does lean quite heavily on plantation cliches. I'm glad I persevered, though, because that opener turned out to be far from typical of the series as a whole. There's a thread of magic realism running through the remaining ones that sets them apart from any other slave narrative I've seen.
posted by Paul Slade at 11:02 AM on June 8, 2021 [3 favorites]

I'm finding this very slow going, sometimes I need 2 days between episides. But very good.
posted by joeyh at 7:49 PM on June 16, 2021

I found the book tremendous but also extremely hard to read. My tolerance for difficult subjects on screen is waaaay lower than a book. I’ve heard great things about this and would love to see (some of) it brought to life… but I’m not sure I can handle it.
posted by obfuscation at 2:14 PM on June 21, 2021

Just started this, and after 2 episodes having very mixed feelings. Basically, it's really well done technically (casting, acting, etc.) in terms of portraying the absolute depravity and horror (and banality) of slavery; it's mean and nasty and ugly.

But after 2 episodes, there's been only a smidgen and hint of some sort of alternate history plot, but the other 95% is utter brutality. I'm not sure I'm down for "95% horror, with 5% plot twist".

Is there a narrative payoff that makes the ugliness worth it?
posted by soylent00FF00 at 5:34 PM on July 27, 2021

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