Although HBO’s Chernobyl won a few big Emmy awards, it will indeed remain a limited series, according to its creator, Craig Mazin.
There’s a good chance you’ve heard of Chernobyl, the five-part HBO miniseries about Russia’s Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Not only was everyone talking about it for part of 2019, but it recently won some big Emmy awards. The biggest general win was for Outstanding Limited Series. Johan Renck won for Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special. Also, creator and writer Craig Mazin won for Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special. Key acting nominations in the limited category included Jared Harris (Outstanding Lead Actor), Stellan Skarsgård (Outstanding Supporting Actor) and Emily Watson (Outstanding Supporting Actress)
While some aspects of the series are fictional (for example, Watson plays a composite character), the show has received praise for being realistic enough, and simply for being compelling. That all aside, Craig Mazin has reasserted that Chernobyl will remain a limited series, with no Breaking Bad-like spin-offs. As Mazin explained:
"“We will not be doing that. We told a story of a place in time and we did it pretty darn well, and it’s time to start thinking about other places and other times.”"
In an age of remakes and “re-imaginings,” some people will be relieved that some shows and films are content with remaining one-offs. In fact, Chernobyl will likely have more of a lasting impact if its legacy isn’t stretched out thin to some groan-inducing conclusion. Still, for those interested enough, Russia is said to still be creating its own series about the disaster, possibly linking the event to a CIA agent.
It’s not clear if the Russian series is in direct response to HBO’s Chernobyl or not. It’s debatable. A Russian news article suggests the series was started either before or during HBO’s was put in production (if you don’t speak Russian, try the Google translate function). In this day and age, where people sometimes take TV series and movies too seriously, it will be interesting to see what a clash of perspectives might do for international relations.
What are your thoughts on Chernobyl, Mazin’s comments and the prospective Russian series? Let us know in the comments!