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    • I think HBO's 5-part miniseries "Chernobyl" is an absolute masterpiece. I found every second of all five episodes completely riveting. The series is historical storytelling at its finest, recounting the 1986 nuclear meltdown, with the finest cast, CG, fact-checking, and soundtrack.

      IMHO it deserves to be IMDB's top rated TV show, and I hope it stays at the top for a while.

      Who's watched it? What did you like and what didn't you?

    • I finished watching it yesterday and was in complete awe. The bravery and sacrifice of men and women to fix the error, the unraveling of the mystery of how it came to be. It's a master class in story telling and extremely well made. I listened to the podcast, where they interview the showrunner/writer and he goes very in depth about the history and what dramatic choices they had to make that differed from what actually happened. If you haven't checked the podcast out yet, do yourself a favor and give it a go. Truly breathtaking what sacrifices were made because of someone's hubris. Just for funsies, I'll be watching The Hot Zone next, which has potential. Haven't read what anyone had to say about it, but figure I'd rather go in with my own fresh take.

    • I have recorded it and will watch over the weekend. looking forward to it !

    • I watched it and greatly enjoyed it - so my spouse bought me "Midnight in Chernobyl" by Adam Higgenbotham. What an amazing and terrifying story - I couldn't put it down and read it all in just two days.

      His book offers far more detail of the events, and is even far more frightening than the movie on HBO.

      There were 16 more RBMK reactors in the Soviet Union, all of them with the same safety flaw, that the Scram AZ5 button might accidentally trigger the reactor to explode and melt down, like Reactor IV did, in Chernobyl.

      Also, reactor IV shared a common, open, un doored or gated, or secured cement passageway with reactors I, II, and III at Chernobyl, which meant there were some serious concerns whether they might be brought into the same situation - what if they had tried to use the Scram buttons on reactors I, II, or III ?

      I never realized how the catastrophe at Chernobyl led so directly to the fall of the Soviet Union - Premiere Gorbachev's words, not mine.

      The incredible bravery of the Ukranian/Russian Soviet citizenry in dealing with and finally solving the mess at Chernobyl is amazing, distressing, heart breaking and very sad - I wonder if they had any idea that their heroic efforts were due to the state they held in such high regard.

      I agree the HBO miniseries is superb - great cast, great story telling, and informative about how the people actullay led their lives in the Soviet Union.

      The sets of the towns didn't really stand out as fancy or lavish in the video, but by Soviet standards, the towns were very nice, indeed, exceptional to the folks who actually lived in them....compared to most Soviet citizens lodgings.

    • That’s a really fascinating insight: that Chernobyl had a part in the fall of the Soviet Union. It’s not something that ever occurred to me but makes so much sense after watching this show.

      It’s honestly the best 5 episodes of TV I’ve ever seen. I was riveted immediately and knew it was good right away. That’s hard to say for a lot of other good shows.

    • Yes, an incredible piece of storytelling. I grew up in 80s communist Yugoslavia (which was not Soviet Union but firmly in Eastern-European sphere), and sets, art direction, costumes, even colour grading, it's so freaking on point, it's amazing. Dresses, eyeglasses, hairdos, cars, apartments, hospitals... That's *exactly* how 'high communism' looked like.

    • Yeah, I found this miniseries enlightening because it focused heavily on the Soviet agenda and propaganda surrounding both what led up to the accident and the aftermath. I thought I knew a lot about Chernobyl, but I knew nothing about this. The screenplay's focus Soviet politics was eye-opening, and something that would be difficult to illustrate in a documentary.

    • There is a lot of detail in the sets and make up that flies by pretty fast that is not obvious at the first viewing. I thought the make up of the radiated workers was superbly done, but the town and buildings seemed a bit drab at first. I didn’t realize this was a Soviet paradise to many of the people who worked there.

      But after I read Midnight in Chernobyl, I noticed a lot more like the decorative stone/ceramic wall murals or decorations in several buildings and the swimming, pool I think, which demonstrated things not typical in most Soviet towns or smaller cities.

      I never connected the disaster at Chernobyl to the demise of the USSR either 25 years ago, but the extent of the tragedy that occurred, and the others in the 16 other RBMK reactors that could have, do help explain the events that followed more clearly.

      I will have to watch the series again to see what I missed the first time

    • I think I need to read Midnight in Chernobyl then watch the miniseries again.

      They filmed the plant scenes at the Ignalina plant in Lithuania, which is the sister plant to Chernobyl. It's interesting that it wasn't fully shutdown until 2009, and only because the EU made Lithuania do this when they entered the union. A little concerning... but at least it made for a pretty pristine set 😉

    • Thanks for the heads up and review. Will definitely have to check this out... hopefully they'll release a DVD version for us rural, broadband-deficient folks.

    • DSL not even available in my area... satellite only and it’s treated like a cell phone data plan. Capped and expensive per Gig. 25G cap per month is about $120 and that’s maxed at about 12Mbps

    • Sorry! In that case all you can hope for is Verizon 4G works in your area. It actually has quite decently useful quality around here, for every need possible. Next down, LTE but that would kind of suck.

      I see sometimes people become inventive when the need needs to be met..

    • Just finished episode 3 and wow -- it is so well done -- the grey and drab contrasted with the horror of the burns is startling. And the science Vs politics is also amazing.

    • I just finished watching it. It was great drama, but I had this nagging feeling that it might be leaning a little too heavily on Western stereotypes of the USSR. I suppose that some simplification is necessary to tell a complicated story in a limited time. Still, according to Masha Gessen, they did a marvelous job of capturing the physical details while getting some of the bigger truths wrong:

      I would still recommend the series, but more as a thriller than a documentary.