#Series Review: Netflix’s The Damnation

One of the perks of having the mother of all colds is that you can immerse yourself with a series if you are lucky to find something you really like. I was lucky for finding this beauty on Netflix.

The series was recently added to Netflix, however, when looking for information on the cast I saw that it has been cancelled after one season in the US so we may not see a season two. This really comes as a surprise to me because I thought that the series is really good.

The series tackles lives of American farmers in Iowa in 1930s. In that, farmers are on the strike because the food prices are fixed and they are unable to pay their loans. Thus, banks are threatening with foreclosures and auctions. However, a fighter for farmer’s rights Seth Davenport (Killian Scott) is leading farmers and not letting them give up. His brother Creeley Turner (Logan Marshall Green) however is a strike breaker who is trying to break the strike and is a man working for banks and rich investors who want to industrialize the region.

The beauty of the series is that it does not engage in a typical anti-corporate framing. It shows both sides in their diversity and acknowledges individual ethics. Thus, it shows that farmers who produce food are selfish for forcing a milk farmer to stay in the strike when he is pouring milk to the ground while they sit on their corn and other food waiting for prices to rise to sell them. On the other hand, it shows a bad banker who orchestrates everything and is truly an evil guy, but it also shows a banker who asks why exactly is this destruction being done. It also shows a corporate man who dislikes his good name being dragged through mud, because he comes from the family of philanthropists and art lovers. I was not convinced he was an entirely good man based on what was shown but never mind; he is not portrayed as ultra evil either.

What is particularly remarkable in this series is the criticism of the media as institutions but not so much of journalists. Thus, we see the editor not publishing stories on farmer’s strikes to make sure the town stays against them because people did not know why there was no food in town. The editor is clearly controlled but also corrupted because he accepts money in one episode not to report on farmers. However, journalist is portrayed as a good guy fearing for his job but later joining the cause and trying to help, as well as writing a novel about the whole struggle.

Even more remarkable is a portrayal of strong women who contributed to the fight. Thus, Seth’s wife Amelia (Sarah Jones) writes under male pseudonym about the fight and also about the position of women in the revolution. There is also a female serial killer trying to revenge her husband’s death, and we also see strong farmer’s wife who copes with losing her husband killed by a strike breaker and her son falsely accused of killing a guy who was trying to break the strike.

I really enjoyed the series and could not let it go until I saw all 10 episodes in less than two days. I will be really sad if there will be no continuation.

Thank you for reading.

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