Chernobyl: The Incredible HBO Miniseries About a Real Life Tragedy

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Mario Petkovski

So GAME OF THRONES had ended, causing quite a riot among fans, and NFL preseason schedule ain’t really enough to keep you entertained through the summer. What about watching an amazing HBO miniseries that is being a success worldwide and will also teach you some history?

The mini-series CHERNOBYL came through a small door and won the hearts of the audience overnight. Since its release on May 6th, people went crazy about it, making it one of the most popular series today. CHERNOBYL became the highest rated series of all time with an IMDb rating of 9.5 surpassing BREAKING BAD and GAME OF THRONES. But everyone is wondering: Why it is so popular?

Well for starters it showed the true story of one of the biggest disasters in human history, the explosion of the nuclear reactor, whose consequences were not completely known by the majority of people worldwide. That quiet morning on April 26th, 1986, the Northern Ukrainian city of Pripyat, became hell on Earth for the people who lived there. The explosion of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant was so immense that radiation traveled over 400km. The greed for power, slow evacuation of the city, and the wrong orders were the main reasons why the disaster took these proportions.

The death toll was listed as 31 people by the Soviet Union, hiding the true numbers of this tragedy. Greenpeace estimated that over 200.000 people died, either in the following weeks or in the following years, due to the radiation that spread around Ukraine and nearby areas.

Maybe that is why this mini-series with 5 episodes became suddenly massively popular. By watching it you will get a glimpse of what really happened during that period and why the Soviet Union tried to hide evidence from the public. Chernobyl is thought to be a turning point for the URSS and one of the reasons of its downfall and disintegration.

This series is brought by HBO in coproduction with the British network Sky and directed by Johan Renick. CHERNOBYL does not include any special effect, CGI, or big money investments in episodes, and it still came up to the highest rated series of all time.

It seems like the 5 episodes are enough to capture the real story behind the most horrific accident ever seen, but they could have expanded comfortably by going to 8 or 10 episodes. Maybe they did not have the budget to go there or they did not expect such a success. Many of the actions were only brought up in small detail, which is why the whole incident is told in 5 episodes.

Johan Renic successfully captured all the emotions and human sacrifice that happened that period. After the incident, Pripyat will be inhabitable for thousands of years. This incident puts a dark spot in the history of humankind, and it serves as a valuable lesson that enables humanity to evolve.

The series is beautifully made, capturing information that was unknown to the public for many years. We can only imagine the research that the production team had to go through in order to make it.

The actors also make CHERNOBYL alive with their top-notch acting. The lead role has Jared Harris as Valery Legasov, who is probably the hero of that time just because he put in so much effort, even ending his life in the end after seeing the aftermath of all this incident.

The Chernobyl incident could have been even worse, making half of Europe a highly radioactive zone, but thankfully they prevented that from happening. Harris is joined by Stellan Skarsgard playing Boris Scherbina of the Council of Ministries, and Emily Watson as Ulana Khomnyuk, a nuclear physicist.

The storytelling is amazing, going back and forward in time and painting the picture perfectly. The perfectly written script, which is obviously in English, makes for the perfect recipe for success.

Since CHERNOBYL aired on HBO it became a massive hit among people. Even though the Pripyat area opened its doors for visitors almost a decade ago, it seems like now the ghost city has been brought back to life by all the people that visit Pripyat just because of the show. All the abandoned schools, playfields, football fields, and hospitals can give you goosebumps. However, some people go over the limit, taking selfies and doing inappropriate things while visiting the area.

Even the director of the series kindly asked tourists to remember that tragic accident occurred there and that they should have more respect for the people that suffered. The series, however, was filmed in the capital city of Lithuania, Vilnius, due to the resemblance of some of its neighborhoods which still conservate Soviet characteristics.

If you still not seen this great mini-series, you should definitely go and watch it because it is something to remember. This series will go down in history as an all-time great, making it harder for others to match it.