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One of the best reviewed new shows of 2020 is now available to watch in Ireland

By Rory Cashin

November 18, 2020 at 3:18pm

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100% on Rotten Tomatoes is not to be sniffed at!

From the three-time Oscar-nominated producer of Whiplash, Get Out, and BlacKkKlansman.

Starring and created by four-time Oscar-nominated actor and writer Ethan Hawke.

With pedigree like that behind it, it should come as no surprise that The Good Lord Bird would be well received, but it is rare that a TV show seems to be met with universal positive acclaim.

Before we get too much further into the plaudits, we're guessing you'll want to know what the show is actually about.

Ethan Hawke stars as abolitionist John Brown in this series based on the much-loved novel, and he is paired "Onion", an fictional enslaved boy who becomes a member of Brown's family of abolitionist soldiers and finds himself in the middle of the infamous 1859 raid at Harpers Ferry, an inciting incident of the Civil War.

If that all sounds a bit "heavy", then don't worry, because since the show premiered in the States in October, the reviews have been overflowing with ways of describing the unexpected levels of humour and entertainment found within:

New York Magazine - "The Good Lord Bird speaks to the present as well as the past. This is one of the most thoughtful and surprising series of an already impressive year: a historical epic of real vision."

Collider - "The Good Lord Bird does an excellent job of balancing its serious subject matter with an almost breezy folktale tone. Each episode contains both profoundly emotional moments and beats that will make you laugh out loud. Also, it never veers into exploitation, which is a common pitfall in films that deal with American slavery."

The Boston Globe - "The Good Lord Bird isn’t like many of the wrong-headed white saviour stories I’ve seen; Hawke’s complex performance helps avoid some of those tropes (which are mentioned in Onion’s narration right at the top of the series), and the emphasis on Onion’s story as an orphan finding his power helps even more."

IndieWire - "Rather than inflate or canonise John Brown, The Good Lord Bird embraces his humanity (even when it leans more toward explosive entertainment than strict historiography). And what entertainment it is. With a rollicking pilot from director Albert Hughes (Menace II Society, From Hell), the limited series is bursting with lively music, well-staged shootouts, and a wicked sense of humour. Holding it all together is Hawke."

All seven episodes of The Good Lord Bird are available to watch on NOW TV right now.

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