So, I just finished watching Kit Harrington’s (A.K.A – Jon Snow) new series Gunpowder on HBO. It wasn’t horrible, but it also fell short of the expectations the previews made me have for the show. Way short.
First off, let me say that a lot of the reason I was less than impressed with Gunpowder, probably had more to do with me than the actual show. So, a lot of the reason the show may have fell short of the expectations I had for it, may be my own doing.
1) Going into watching the series, I had no idea that it was a three part mini-series. I assumed that it was going to be a series that would run at least a few seasons. Thinking this way kept me watching the show, even though it seemed to be starting out very slow, and honestly, boring at times. If you remember, Game Of Thrones didn’t start out all that fast either. 2) I had no idea that Gunpowder was actually a true story. Guy Fawkes was a real life person. The events portrayed in the series were true events. Guy Fawkes, Robert Catesby, and other co-conspirators actually did plan to blow up England’s Parliament, along with England’s king and ruler at the time, King James I. Fawkes, Catesby, and others believed that they were being persecuted by England for simply practicing their religion. A religion that England was against. England was so against it, that practicing Catholics were frequently tortured, hanged, or sometimes worse, simply for practicing their religion. After William Catesby (Kit Harrington) watched two of his family members tortured and killed in a public execution, he had enough. He decided that he was going to fight back against the King and the system that was openly killing practicing Catholics for their religious beliefs. Catesby and others, including Fawkes, come together to plot the ultimate revenge against England. They’re going to blow their whole sh*t up! The King and all of his peoples. (hence the name of the series – Gunpowder) After gathering enough co-conspirators, a huge supply of gunpowder, and some nails, the conspirators are ready to take action. The plot is foiled by the King’s personal FBI sort of organization. They are really good at what they do, mostly by capturing Catholics and torturing them until they get some information out of them. Sounds like a good story right? It could’ve been, except for the fact that Catesby, Fawkes, and the others never really came close to accomplishing their goal before their plot was foiled. Catesby ended up dying in a less than climaxing shoot-out against a heavily numbered England guard. And Fawkes and the others were hanged for treason.
The story itself wasn’t all that bad…….if I had known the history of the event. (Completely my fault for not knowing) Knowing the history of the event, probably would’ve gave me a different perspective on what was going to happen. In my mind, I was thinking that Catesby was going to get revenge on the King, the King’s guard, and everyone else that played a part in the torturing of many Catholics. Even Spain, who was the protector of the Catholic faith, ended up betraying the Catholics in England. BUT, in a three-part-mini-series, that sometime seemed to be dragging along with long drawn out conversations about nothing, Gunpowder managed to make a great story a lot less interesting. I take that back, the story itself was interesting, but the show was missing something. I just can’t put my finger on what that thing was. Guy Fawkes, who is the name most affiliated with the history of this event, was pretty much a mystery. Throughout the series, we never really learned much about him. The series was based around Kit Harrington’s character, Robert Catesby. The good news is that the characters were played very well. Especially Catesby, the King, and a few of the King’s guard. Overall, Gunpowder wasn’t horrible. But like I said, it fell short of the expectations I had for the show. I think I went into it expecting a lot more drama and action. If I had to give Gunpowder a grade, it would be a C+. Good acting, good storyline, but overall lacked……something. Definitely worth checking out though.