On Friday, Amazon unveiled The Underground Railroad, but is it a journey worth jumping aboard?
For those who aren’t aware, this is an adaptation of Colton Whitehead’s novel of the same name, which tells the story of Cora (Thuso Mbedu), a slave at the Randall Plantation in Georgia. Throughout the first episode, we see the hard and brutal of life under the rule of Terence Randall (Benjamin Walker). After so much horror, Cora and fellow worker Caesar (Aaron Pierre) take a journey towards freedom on the Underground Railroad.
Across the ten episodes that make up this series, we see Cora at different locations, some of which aren’t as hard as the opening hour. But don’t be fooled, Cora and Caesar are on the run and are being chased by Ridgeway (Joel Edgerton), a skilled hunter who has only failed to not catch Cora’s mother Mabel, and a devoted child companion – a black boy called Homer (Chase Dillon).
The series doesn’t hold back in its depiction of the horrors faced by slaves, but Barry Jenkins and his team deliver something extraordinary. It’s a harrowing watch and there are moments of pure terror, but Cora’s story is so gripping that you can’t turn away.
The casting is sublime in this series, with Thuso Mbedu compelling in the lead role. But in all honesty, there isn’t a bad performance among the whole cast.
With all episodes dropping at once, you might be tempted to binge it all in one sitting, but this would honestly be detrimental to the viewing experience. With lots of visually stunning shots and emotional punches with every scene, this is a series to pace yourself with.
The Underground Railroad is a tough ride to take, but in doing so you will be treated to one of the best TV shows of the year.
The Underground Railroad is streaming now on Amazon Prime.