MARE OF EASTTOWN is a new HBO Max mini-series. The crime-thriller stars a brilliant Kate Winslet and a stellar supporting cast. Both the actors and the story in this series work perfectly. Read our full Mare of Easttown series review here!

MARE OF EASTTOWN is a new HBO Max crime series. The thriller plot about murdered or disappeared girls in a small town stars Kate Winslet in the title role. This is a character-driven story which is always a huge plus in my book. Especially with a cast like the one this crime-thriller offers.

We’ve watched the first five episodes and are very impatient about having to wait for the last two episodes until they air. The season has seven episodes in total and each is just around the 1-hour mark in runtime. Every episode tends to end on a cliffhanger. Also, episode 5 has a huge reveal, so we got to watch that as well.

Continue reading our spoiler-free Mare of Easttown series review below. You’ll definitely want to watch this series on HBO Max when it’s released.

Kate Winslet is Mare of Easttown

Kate Winslet plays the all-important title role as Mare Sheehan, which she nails. As always! Mare Sheenan is always tired, quite depressed, but in denial about it, and has a very shabby (not chic!) wardrobe. Actually, I wear most of what she does, but usually only at home when I’m relaxing. Or on very off days!

Mare Sheenan is Detective Sheenan in a small town where her dad had the very same job when he was alive. Also, she’s a star in this small town, after a big basketball win 25 years ago. Welcome to small-town life where everybody knows everyone’s business and nobody forgets anything.

For this reason alone, it quickly becomes a very dramatic event when a teenage girl (who is also a young mother) is found murdered. Especially since another young woman also disappeared a year earlier and still hasn’t been found. Also, the disappeared girl is the daughter of someone from Mare’s high school basketball team. 

And then there are Mare’s own issues at home. She lives with her daughter, mother, and grandson. Her teenage daughter is portrayed with so much heart by Australian actor Angourie Rice (Black Mirror), while mom is played by Jean Smart (Netflix’s Dirty John).

Kate Winslet and Jean Smart are brilliant together and I cannot get enough of their scenes together. They are constantly cursing each other out and can’t stand one another – and yet, they continuously choose to live together. Also, both look extremely worn out as the result of many very tough years!

Mare of Easttown Review – HBO Series

An American Broadchurch

When describing Mare of Easttown with more words than the usual “local girl in a small town is murdered”-plot, it can quickly end up sounding like a straight-up drama. That isn’t really the case though. Sure, there are many minor issues among characters, but that’s to show just how quickly things can escalate in a small town.

In that sense, Mare of Easttown reminded me a whole lot of the extremely successful British series Broadchurch that starred Olivia Colman (Them that Follow) and David Tennant (Criminal: UK). Hopefully, we’ll get more seasons of Mare of Easttown just as was the case with Broadchurch.

Alongside Kate Winslet, we also have Evan Peters (American Horror Story) as her new assistant detective from the county police department. He isn’t exactly welcome since Mare prefers to work alone – and in her own set ways. He’s there to help with both the new murder case and the older missing girl case.

Detective Colin Zabel (Evan Peters) is a young and eager worker, who clearly admires Mare (Kate Winslet) and wants to make a difference. After a quite dreadful beginning, the two quickly find a way to make the most of their forced working relationship.

In other supporting roles we have Guy Pearce (The Seventh Day), Julianne Nicholson (the Stephen King HBO series The Outsider), and David Denman (Brightburn).

Also, I want to highlight the young Cailee Spaeny who plays a key character. We’ve been seeing Cailee Spaeny quite a lot in movies such as Bad Times at the El Royale, Pacific Rim: Uprising, and most recently The Craft: Legacy. Also, she was in the FX/Hulu sci-fi series Devs.

Watch Mare of Easttown on HBO Max

All seven episodes of Mare of Easttown are directed by Craig Zobel who previously directed quite a few genre movies. Craig Zobel directed the thriller Compliance (2012), which is actually based on a real story, and the crazy and wild movie The Hunt (2020). Also, he’s directed episodes of series such as Westworld and The Leftovers.

You might like: Our review of Craig Zobel’s very bloody The Hunt here >

The script for this new HBO series was written by Brad Ingelsby. He’s already made quite a name for himself by writing movies – often action flicks but also character-driven dramas. This is the first TV series for Ingelsby, but he has done a brilliant job, so hopefully, it won’t be the last.

If you enjoy crime and thriller genres and prefer storylines with character-driven plots, then you’ll love Mare of Easttown. Just prepare for the fact that the episodes often end on a cliffhanger and you’ll only get one episode per week. Then again, it’s probably for the best, since you’d just end up binge-watching it otherwise.

Mare of Easttown (seven 60-minute episodes) will premiere on HBO Max on April 18, 2021. 


Creator: Brad Ingelsby
Director: Craig Zobel
Stars: Kate Winslet, Guy Pearce, Jean Smart, Julianne Nicholson, Evan Peters, Angourie Rice, Cailee Spaeny, David Denman, John Douglas Thompson, Patrick Murney, James McArdle, Sosie Bacon, Joe Tippett, Neal Huff


A detective in a small Pennsylvania town investigates a local murder while trying to keep her life from falling apart.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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