This week on The Large Morning Show in the Afternoon, I reviewed the new Netflix series, “Waco.”
But it’s not a Netflix Original series. Produced and released initially by Paramount Network, “Waco” came to Netflix this spring and received TONS of attention due to its larger platform. This is what happens when a well-made and tautly produced television series goes from near obscurity to a worldwide phenomenon. It’s like pulling something out of the back aisle of the department store and placing it up front by the registers.
Starring Taylor Kitsch and Michael Shannon, this show recounts the bittersweet tragedy of the Branch of Davidians, led by David Koresh, back in 1993 in Waco, Texas. Koresh was the devout leader of a group of people embedded to each other in ways both spiritual and also more humanistic ways. But when the FBI gets a tip that they are storing guns and explosives on their confines, an investigation leads to a standoff that lasted over 50 days.
Kitsch, well known for his role on “Friday Night Lights” and “Lone Survivor,” plays Koresh, while Shannon plays the negotiator who tries to deescalate a deadly situation while his superiors want immediate results. Shea Whigham, known about 20 roles but more notably “Boardwalk Empire,” is the FBI agent who wants to push inside and just take Koresh and company down with force.
A hallmark moment in our nation’s history for the use of force versus the more compassionate method of conversation to prevent mass death. As a viewer, you feel the nervous unstable adrenaline sneaking up on you as the hours (and days) slip by. This is one of those situations where any clear-thinking human knew what needed to be done, but when placed in the poisonous hands of bureaucracy and government control, things can go bad real quick.
And they did. A scene in the final episode is about as harrowing as it gets.
Trevor “Limey” Phillips had watched and recommended it a few weeks prior, but I had seen the constant menu option pop up on my home television. There it was, just about daily, telling me to hit play.
At six episodes, the show doesn’t pack much filler and has a breakneck pace that holds your attention. The acting is stellar across the board, especially Paul Sparks as Koresh’s top “advisor.” Speaking of the HBO series, there’s a true “Boardwalk Empire” reunion here. You have Shannon, Whigham, Sparks, and probably a few more tucked away in the background.
The callers provided more shows and movies, but this one received the most dialogue. I believe it’s a show that can be consumed by just about anyone, no matter the ideology.
You can listen to the full segment right here.