written by JoseQApril 30,2020
Review: Waco on Netflix


It seems Netflix was right all along. Or maybe it's a function of the times we're living in. Either way, a lot of people are watching Waco on Netflix (Currently #7 on their Top 10), but did you know this show aired two years ago? I didn't. And probably wouldn't have been as interested if I had to wait a week between episodes. The all-episodes-at-once release model that Netflix pioneered feeds the binge model many of us have adopted during quarantine. It also helps shows that flew under the radar years ago become noticed. I'm glad it did because "Waco" is a really good show.

TLDR Review

Watch Waco if any of these statements are true for you:

  • I love shows based on true stories.
  • Good acting excites me.
  • Since sorority letter, I'll drink any Michael Shannon you can serve.
  • The government is a'ight, but many it's a mofo.
  • I will watch anything with Macaulay Culkin or any of his relatives!
  • Full Review

    Most of the above is true for me, but the main reason I decided to give this show a try was Michael Shannon. I've been a fan of his since before the sorority letter reading (very NSFW!). What I didn't expect was excellent performances from just about everyone involved, starting with the virtually unrecognizable Taylor Kirsch.

    You may remember him as an up and coming star in the excellent Friday Night Light's TV show. He sort of disappeared after the John Carter box office flop, and he powerfully came into this show determined to leave a mark. The 2018 release on the Paramount Network didn't help him (yeah, I didn't know that was a thing either), but I'm guessing the Netflix release will put him back on the map.

    Taylor is hardly the only star to bring in an excellent performance. Michael Shannon and Shea Whigham bring their Boardwalk Empire rivalries to a more confrontational level. They're both consistently strong performers and this show is no exception. Another star I knew I recognized from somewhere was Melissa Benoist from Supergirl fame. Though it is a somewhat secondary role, she held her own as one of the mothers in the show; much like Julia Garner who has found much to be proud of from another Netflix show, Ozark. Paul Sparks, also from Boardwalk Empire fame, does an excellent job as well. Hell, there's a bunch of other stars and recognizable faces in this show! If the cast alone isn't enough to entice you, perhaps the story will.

    If you were following the news in the early 90s, you already know how this ends. That said, there's two sides to every story and this version seems to side heavily on the story told by Gary Noesner, the chief negotiator and one of the davidian survivors (I'll avoid the spoiler of who survives). It does paint parts of the government in a bellicose light, and perhaps in need of something to prove (evil). It is hard and virtually impossible to prove the arguments from either side, so be aware that this isn't a neutral opinion piece. But even though you know where it's all headed, the characters definitely keep you immersed and while the ending is Titanic-like in its predictability, it still managed to give me a sense of shock and disbelief.

    I always like it when a show keeps me thinking for days after I'm done. This is one of those shows. Waco is worth watching. If not for its historical relevance of government intervention, then just for the good acting and storytelling. It's impossible not to notice this was originally made for TV with its set of crescendos leading to now removed commercial breaks, but it still plays quite well in its six episode mini-series format.

    tags:  Netflix   Review 

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