The show tells the story of Mare, a detective who lives in the same small rundown Pennsylvanian town she went to high school in 25 years earlier. Mare lives with her mother (who she can’t stand), a teenager who I think is her daughter, and her grandson. Usually people as young as Mare are not grandparents unless you’re in the ghetto, but it’s a sign of how far working class white America has fallen that the same dysfunctional patterns we saw in in the inner-city in the 1980s are now commonplace in working class white America.
It’s almost like white America is splitting into two races. The working class that lives in both the South and rundown towns in the Rust Belt, and the elites who live in New York, LA, Silicon Valley etc. This was very much the theme of Charles Murray’s book Coming Apart.
Fortunately, a member of the white upper class (a national book award winning novelist) landed a gig teaching creative writing in Mare’s town and picks her up in a bar. They have sex at his place and he wants to see Mare again but perhaps fearing rejection, Mare is unsure if she wants to continue the relationship.
Meanwhile the show paints a dark image of teenaged life in these Rust Belt towns. Mare’s kid is hardly the only unwed teenaged parent in the neighborhood and we meet a young girl who must deal not only with her father going ballistic that he has to pay for his unwanted grandchild, but the girlfriend of her baby’s daddy plotting against her.
The show is so good that I hate watching just one episode a week. Nice thing about HBO is that you can stream episodes anytime so I may need to wait for several of them to accumulate so I can have a big marathon.