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Olive Kitteridge - (S01E01)


Math teacher Olive Kitteridge attempts to help Kevin, a smart but timid student whose mother is suffering from depression. Her son Christopher isn't happy though. Henry goes on a hunting trip that concludes with a tragedy.

Episode Title: Pharmacy
Airs: -- at 09:00 pm
  • Kristi Turnquist

    Adapted from a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Elizabeth Strout, Olive Kitteridge is an extraordinary character study, featuring a brilliant performance by Frances McDormand.

    The Oregonian Full Review
  • Melissa Maerz

    We're taught that good drama relies on characters changing over time. Here, McDormand proves that a character's refusal to change can be just as compelling, and she hints at that stubbornness in exquisitely subtle fashion.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Tom Long

    Near flawless in execution while filled with rarely seen intelligence and complexity, the HBO miniseries Olive Kitteridge plumbs the depths of the seemingly mundane and finds cruelty, resentment, dogged insecurity and finally, if not hope, then some level of honesty about life’s attraction.

    The Detroit News Full Review
  • Robert Rorke

    With her pitiless, clear-eyed gaze, McDormand is a marvel as Olive, capturing not only the character’s indomitable spirit but her fears as Olive’s world begins to crumble.... The film, directed by Lisa Chodolenko, recalls those ’70s films like “A Woman Under the Influence” and “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” that weren’t afraid to take the full measure of a woman’s life.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Mary McNamara

    [A] lovely, ruthless, masterfully restrained two-night, four-hour contemplation of love, marriage, parenthood, mental illness and identity.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Matt Zoller Seitz

    The program works so well as curdled Americana, you might not be inclined to peel back the other layers, much less delve into what’s happening at a storytelling level (which is even more impressive); but that’s a part of what makes Olive Kitteridge so pleasurable: its unobtrusive ambition.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Gail Pennington

    HBO’s deeply involving and completely draining miniseries.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Ed Bark

    McDormand's portrayal of Olive Kitteridge is even more accomplished, in turns aggravating and affecting while always seeming just right. Jenkins is likewise superb.... This is a nuanced, slowly simmering look at bent and spindled lives molded by previous bent and spindled lives. The bright spots are there, but never glowing. Self-realization is the payoff.

    Uncle Barky Full Review
  • Matthew Gilbert

    Like the extraordinary Elizabeth Strout novel-in-stories that it’s based on, HBO’s Olive Kitteridge accumulates with steady, earned drama into a searing portrait of quiet desperation. It’s sad, unsentimental, and lovely.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Robert Bianco

    A quietly captivating miniseries about a seldom-quiet woman.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Libby Hill

    There are many things that Olive Kitteridge gets right, but none so significant as how brilliantly it simultaneously captures the deep, pervasive stillness and the close, suffocating entanglement of small-town living.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • David Wiegand

    Olive Kitteridge explores Tolstoy’s notion that every family is unhappy in its own way, making the particular unhappiness of the Kitteridges universal through a magical combination of great direction, writing and performances. You’ll not soon forget Olive Kitteridge, the woman or the mini-series.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Verne Gay

    McDormand will win an Emmy for this. Already, there's no contest.... Cholodenko's direction is masterful, and so is the bleakly funny script by Jane Anderson, but they clearly have a vision that is both part of--and separate from--the source material.

    Newsday Full Review
  • Chuck Bowen

    It's an honest tearjerker that treats its characters with respect, according them a great sense of wounded, tattered dignity.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • David Rooney

    Unhurried but amply rewarding, Olive Kitteridge is an all-around class act and a credit to everyone concerned.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Joanne Ostrow

    These four transporting hours tell a touching, funny, heartbreaking story that underscores how complex life is, how fragile human interactions are.

    Denver Post Full Review
  • Diane Garrett

    The production is exceedingly well put together and boasts a fine cast that also includes Ann Dowd (pivotal figure in HBO's melancholy post-Rapture series “The Leftovers”) and “Breaking Bad” co-star Jesse Plemons. McDormand is nothing less than extraordinary in the title role.

    The Wrap Full Review
  • Willa Paskin

    Like its heroine, Olive Kitteridge, the four-hour miniseries airing this Sunday and Monday on HBO, is quietly indomitable, more admirable than easily loveable, more likely to get under your skin than send a shock through your system.

    Slate Full Review
  • Matt Roush

    Director Lisa Cholodenko (The Kids Are All Right) and Emmy-winning writer Jane Anderson (The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom) take their time, over four engrossing episodic hours, to create a full, believable world around Olive.... McDormand is wondrous, matched by a splendid supporting cast.

    TV Guide Magazine Full Review
  • Dorothy Rabinowitz

    All of which adds up to drama--which includes a fine turn by Bill Murray--of a notably high order.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Hank Stuever

    It’s a gloriously thoughtful wallow in the subtle and sometimes even insecure ways that families and friends relate to one another.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Emily Nussbaum

    [A] soaring, inventive miniseries.

    The New Yorker Full Review
  • Brian Tallerico

    Few films have tapped into the seemingly conflicting emotions that exist in the human soul at exactly the same moment as HBO’s stellar Olive Kitteridge, a delicate, beautiful mini-series starring Frances McDormand, Richard Jenkins, Rosemarie DeWitt, Peter Mullan, Bill Murray and more. Full Review
  • Bruce Miller

    Writer Jane Anderson, cherry-picked four chapters and crafted them into a telling character study that covers 25 years of story.

    Sioux City Journal Full Review
  • Sara Smith

    Frances McDormand delivers another one of her consistent, airbrush-free performances in HBO’s four-part miniseries, an adaptation of Strout’s book that focuses more tightly on its title character and ends up drawing to a simpler, more raw-edged conclusion.

    Kansas City Star Full Review
  • Ellen Gray

    Frances McDormand takes the difficult title character from Elizabeth Strout's Pulitzer-winning collection of short stories out for a slightly different spin, but the result is less a challenge to Strout's vision than a broadening of it.

    Philadelphia Daily News Full Review
  • Rob Owen

    It takes some time to sink into the story--Olive (Frances McDormand, “Fargo”) herself is cold and aloof--but by Monday’s second part of the miniseries as viewers see the characters age through a 25-year period, there’s a relatability that starts to sink in as viewers come to recognize the damage one generation can inflict on the next.

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Full Review
  • Peter Debruge

    The feature format is better suited to heroes with clearly defined goals and a fixed timeframe in which to achieve them, whereas Olive Kitteridge has more existential concerns on its mind. That may lead to viewer attrition, as auds tune in for the first hour but may not be necessarily hooked to the end, though each successive episode takes those who remain deeper into the family’s private world.

    Variety Full Review
  • Maureen Ryan

    McDormand is clearly and rightfully the star of the show, but Bill Murray and Richard Jenkins provide additional reasons to tune in; both bring a warmth and dry wit to a drama whose domestic scenes occasionally veer from awkward to (intentionally) taxing.

    The Huffington Post Full Review
  • Alessandra Stanley

    This HBO adaptation of her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same title is so respectful and gracefully done that big inventions and small omissions don’t stand out or disappoint.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Lori Rackl

    To McDormand’s credit, she lets us see through enough cracks in Olive’s gruff façade to reveal a vulnerable woman let down by life by ultimately unwilling to give up on it.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Chuck Barney

    Marin-based screenwriter Jane Anderson and director Lisa Cholodenko keep the timeline but ditch some of the stories, while proceeding in a leisurely fashion that allows us to really get to know the key characters.

    San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times Full Review
  • Alan Sepinwall

    As great as both McDormand and Jenkins are in the lead roles (both are early Emmy frontrunners), their story ultimately feels too repetitive--the miniseries plays as a collection of anecdotes designed to make the same point over and over and over again--to justify the running time.

    Hitfix Full Review
  • David Hinckley

    Somehow, it’s hard to appreciate the insights because the whole thing just feels so gosh-darned depressing.

    New York Daily News Full Review

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