Duration: 60-81 min (per episode)
Quarry: Season 1 (Blu-ray) – Series Review
A quarry is a place, typically a large, deep pit, from which stone or some other materials have been extracted. It can also be used as a verb in which case it means to extract stones or other materials from a quarry. Neither of these describe the full extent that is the Cinemax original series. Nearly all of the main characters have quite some stones. So there’s that. Also it’s the nickname of the main antihero. The series is based on the novels by Max Allan Collins.
Mac Conway (Logan Marshall-Green) and Arthur Solomon (Jamie Hector) are Marines returning from their second tour in Vietnam and they aren’t really welcomed home into open arms. Seeing as in Vietnam children were given guns, sent to the frontline and this surprised most of their enemies as they have conflicting thoughts about shooting kids or getting shot themselves. So those who didn’t pull the trigger got killed and those who did shoot got marginalized upon returning. So Mac and Arthur have the odds stacked against them and they have to make sure they and their families have food in their bellies and roofs over their heads. So they go look for a job. Which as far as kiddy killers go, doesn’t go over too well. When they do eventually get jobs, they quickly realize the transition between killing and fixing cars is quite a stretch. So when someone comes a long and offers Mac a large stack of cash to do something he’s good at, killing people, you’d think he’d jump at the opportunity. This doesn’t happen however and he continues his everyday job. Soon it’s revealed that his brother in arms Arthur got the same deal only a day later from ‘The Broker’ (Peter Mullan). He did buy into the offer and that’s where things go awry and Mac is pulled into a maelstrom of death, torment and pain.
The series is set in Memphis during the 70’s and setting wise, it all just fits. If you are a real historian, there might be some discrepancies, but as far as the general feel of the series goes and the cars, the music and the scenery, it all just fits. This makes it so you are drawn into it. The writing is solid and there’s little drama that feels or looks like over the top drama. There’s enough gravity to the situation to keep things tense enough and stop you from falling asleep. Things aren’t always black and white and the writers find a perfect middleground and cover the grey areas that make the series really interesting. There are some really gritty scenes, Quarry practically starts with a scene that has you going ‘what the fuck’ at the first 15 seconds of the series. Mac wakes up on a beach with a guy staggering away from him, Mac shoots him in the back. That’s not even the worst of it, it is however also one of the last scenes in the series, which makes it come full circle. The series does have its moments of poignancy. Joni, Mac’s wife, (Jodi Balfour) deserves some special mention for playing the role of the supporting wife that needs no knight in shining armour to get what she needs.
This first season is eight episodes long, and you might think that’s rather short, but every episode is at least an hour long and the season finale is eighty minutes long. So Quarry isn’t something you just sit down to and watch in short bursts. It comes on three Blu-ray Discs and apart from the series, you’ll also be treated to ‘Inside Quarry’, a behind the scenes documentary, ‘additional scenes’, ‘deleted scenes’ and audio commentaries. So there isn’t a whole lot of extra’s but the episodes themselves carry the weight necessary to make it worth watching Quarry.
When it comes to gritty yet decently acted about marines returning from the battlefield with ptsd, trying to reinvent himself so they fit into a world that feels out of their control and being shoved in a boat on shit creek with no paddles, Quarry has you covered. Don’t think that you’ll be getting lots of happiness from this series, so if that’s what you are looking for, or even a true blue happy ending, then you best search somewhere else. The series does however makes it so everything is all tied up by the last episode, so there won’t be cliff hangers for you to ponder over and answers to wait on until the next season, which is a good thing because there are no plans currently for a continuation.