When it comes to stories of war, the focus has generally been on the horror on the battlefield, but in the new Cinemax series, the story is about what happens when soldiers return home. During and after the Vietnam war, the soldiers returning home were often treated with disdain and discomfort by the American people. It was very different then and thankfully for the most part this is a lesson learned, but a lesson nonetheless that we can never forget.
In Quarry: The Complete First Season out now on Blu-ray and DVD is a unique and interesting series that continues to usher in a new era of original programming for Cinemax. The series begins with a very sensationalized opening sequence and then continues to tell the story of Mac Conway (Logan Marshall-Green). Mac is a Marine who has just come back from the front lines of the Vietnam War. He’s trying to put the pieces of his life back together by moving to Memphis, Tennessee.
The reality of this, like so many stories of people trying to overcome diversity, economic hardship and generally trying to put their lives back together, is that it’s not as easy as anyone might think. Mac isn’t a bad guy, he’s flawed but not bad. Mac teams up with his buddy Arthur (Jamie Hector) who has also just returned from the war. Both of them quickly become suspects in a My Lai-esque massacre, they are quickly cleared but just their association has made them social outcasts.
Both Mac and Arthur can’t find jobs and one night Mac is approached by a man who is only known as The Broker (Peter Mulligan). He offers Mac a wad of cash to turn into a contract killer, which Mac declines. It’s not long before Mac of course relents, it’s really more about his dire job prospects then his wanting to be contract killer, I mean a man’s gotta eat right?
The series to me, is very interesting especially in the historical elements that focus on our veterans. Mac’s contract killer journey isn’t as exciting or compelling as our real life veteran’s struggles, however Logan Marshall-Green really does an amazing job in bringing out the character’s inner struggle. In his previous roles, Marshall-Green wasn’t allowed to really sink his teeth into his roles but here he’s really given a chance to shine. The series really sits on his shoulders and he’s up to the task.
While the first season of Quarry is clearly still finding its way, I still think it was very compelling. The series reliance on artsy framing and shots does more to detract from the overall narrative than it does add to it. The style seems a little film school-esque for me, but I do appreciate the series taking chances. I’m really excited to see where the show goes from here, I think as it progresses it will get even better in the years ahead.
Quarry: The Complete First Season arrives on Blu-ray in an excellent transfer thanks to the folks at HBO. The fine detail is excellent especially in the close up scenes. The high definition really adds a lot of the emotional heft of the show and really helps bring forth Logan Marshall-Green’s performance. The color scheme of the set is done in muted beige and brown which doesn’t allow much in the way of pops of color. However, the show really does use the Southern location really well, which adds a lot to the series.
Special features included on the Blu-ray include:
Inside Quarry – Featured on each disc, this supplement is a compilation of three different mini featurettes which relate back to the three episodes on each disc.
Car Chase Picture in Picture – This is a look at how one very specific scene on the series was shot.
Behind the Scenes – This is a quick look and a compilation of three featurettes looking at different aspects of Quarry, the look, music and a general look.
There are deleted scenes on each disc as well as various audio commentary tracks as well.
There are also different musical scenes that were pulled from various episodes and a look at the Quan Thang Inquiry Scenes.
Overall, while the series is a touch over the top, it has so much potential. I’m really excited to see where it goes from here. Logan Marshall-Green does a great job in the lead and there are so many interesting topics to explore over the course of the upcoming seasons.It’s worth checking out.
Quarry: The Complete First Season is out now on Blu-ray!