Rambling TV: Waco
As Emmy FYC season ramps up, I wanted to talk about a mini series that I hope doesn't get forgotten come Emmy time this summer. Paramount Network's Waco. What caught my eye initially with this mini series was one of my favorite actors, Michael Shannon. I was only six when the Waco standoff happened. And I realize after watching this how little I actually knew about what went down there.
Shannon plays FBI negotiator Gary Noesner with Taylor Kitsch playing cult leader David Koresh. The rest of the cast is rounded out with Rory Culkin, Shea Wigham, Paul Sparks, Andrea Riseborough, Julia Garner, Melissa Benoist and John Leguizamo. A talented bunch all around.
Who surprised me the most? You probably guessed it...Taylor Kitsch. This guy is awful in 98% of the things he stars in but after being pretty damn good in season two of True Detective he blew it out of the park here. He was charming and scary at the same time. He really captured what I knew of Koresh. Shannon is brilliant as always, with Sparks, Culkin, and Garner also giving some of the best work I've seen on TV this year.
At six episodes, it's not a long series you need to dedicate a lot of time to. This was the perfect amount of time to tell the story. It doesn't take a bias approach either. I imagine it wouldn't be too difficult to paint the FBI/ATF agents as saints for those not familiar with what happened, but they don't. They show the good and the bad on both sides. Because it's such a short series, there's not a lot, if any filler. Everything had its purpose.
I hope this isn't forgotten come Emmy time. There's two more mini series that came out this year that I'm going to talk about in the coming weeks that will likely get voter's attention before this one, but I'll hold out hope.
Did you see Waco? What did you think?