It’s easy to see where the superlative reviews of this five-part series are coming from… and where they are going. The fear of another impending nuclear disaster on the monstrous scale of Chernobyl, or to take the analogy to a damning extreme, we are living in a world waiting to do a Chernobyl on civilization.
HBO’s “Chernobyl” is a timely warning, and in many parts, devastating in the details of the damage and destruction that destroyed nearly a million lives in Russia.
From the beginning of the series, as the clouds of calamity kick in almost immediately, we see director Johan Renck and his writer Craig Mazin piling up their desks with reams of research. The Chernobyl disaster renders itself to innumerable discussions and exposes. And for the writer and director to plod and wade through it all without serving up an over-detailed, unhurried drama that builds up slowly, but not so slowly as to let audiences’ interests flag, is something of a miraculous achievement.