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Mare Sheehan is known in the small city of Easttown, Pennsylvania, for two things: her high school basketball legacy and her current profession as the local police detective.
You could say that her life hasn’t turned out as expected, but it would still be an understatement.
She’s divorced but still in close contact with her ex-husband (he lives in the house behind hers). She has custody of her 4-year-old grandson, Drew, since Mare’s son took his own life years before. She’s trying to get her lesbian daughter, Siobhan, to apply to good colleges and make a bright future for herself. Her mother lives with her, helping to take care of Drew. Oh, and her ex-husband is now engaged to a woman that her entire family loves. They might even prefer her over Mare.
There’s a lot going on in Mare’s world. And it doesn’t help that everyone comes to her for everything, as if they can’t handle their own problems.
But that’s the life you sign up for as detective, right? Not much time to yourself. A slight drinking problem. A jaded worldview.
Still, Mare perseveres.
But a new wrinkle has just ruffled her already chaotic life. Due to pressure on the local police force, she’s been asked to reopen a case that has haunted her for the past year: a close friend’s young daughter went missing and no one knows what happened.
Mare has already exhausted all her options, doing the best detective work she knows how, and her emotional supply. But finding this young girl seems to be the only way to bring a sense of peace to her own life and to a community that has grown accustomed to disappointment and hardship.
HBO’s latest series, Mare of Easttown, takes a gritty, real-life look at a small community in middle-of-nowhere Pennsylvania.
This series is laden with drama, hardship and gruesome crime, and you feel a darkness and sorrow while you watch it. And it’s not just the crime that makes it so. Most people in this tiny town don’t care for the lives they’ve created, and you can feel that sense of entrapment as each character is unraveled.
And then there’s also the buckets of profanity, the sprinkling of sex scenes and LGBTQA characters, the horrific murders and heavy consumption of alcohol.
None of that takes away from the amazing performances from the actors here, like Kate Winslet or Jean Smart. But you do stop and wonder if you really want to feel so depressed while watching something fictional.
Take your pick. But I’d much prefer to visit any other place than Easttown.
Mare Sheehan prepares to attend a ceremony to receive an award while her ex-husband throws an engagement party for himself and his new fiancée. Later, Mare is asked to reopen a case of a young girl who went missing one year ago. Teen mom, Erin, is catfished by her ex-boyfriend’s girlfriend, Brianna, who proceeds to beat and threaten her. Later, Erin lies dead in a river.
From afar, we can tell that Erin’s corpse is topless but can’t really see anything, except for a gash on her forehead as the camera pans to her face. Two teen girls get into a fist fight.
Mare searches for a young girl who has been missing for more than a year; Mare believes her to be “at the bottom of the Delaware river.” Mare searches for a man who, we hear, was caught outside ogling a young girl as she changed in her bedroom.
Mare meets an author named Richard at the bar and the two of them have sex (we see movements and hear noises; we see Mare’s bra for a second and watch Richard put his shirt back on). Two girls kiss one another. A teen boy makes a crude comment about receiving oral sex.
Mare arrests a man for robbery who is known in town to have drug problems that have ruined his life. Mare drinks hard liquor and beer often, and others consume hard liquor, shots, wine and champagne. Mare vapes frequently. Teens drink at a party and talk about smoking marijuana. A few bottles of unlabeled pills sit atop a table.
God’s name is misused a few times, paired with “d—n,” while Jesus’ name is misused five times. The f-word is heard over 30 times and the s-word 10 times. Other profanities include a few utterances each of “b–ch,” “d–n,” “h—,” “a–,” “b-lls” and “douche.”
Kristin Smith joined the Plugged In team in 2017. Formerly a Spanish and English teacher, Kristin loves reading literature and eating authentic Mexican tacos. She and her husband, Eddy, love raising their children Judah and Selah. Kristin also has a deep affection for coffee, music, her dog (Cali) and cat (Aslan).
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