I didn’t see one character that I care about during this pilot. It is not a compelling story. And the characters fall flat in it. I am not sure why I would want to know more about this cast of characters.
The focus is the Virginian family The Rhodes. Robert Sumner’s family is completely ignored to the point he may be an orphan. The eldest son/heir John who frees his slaves is not believable for a couple reasons. I don’t think anyone actually did that pre or during the war. Even President Jefferson did not free his own kids. John should have been focused on his promising military career and he was worried about the political whims of Virginia and the morality of slavery? Eldest daughter Kate who seems to be conducting business and making deals all the while she has absolutely no grasp or expertise on the accounts of the family. Lorelei who seems to be entrenched in the South while married to a Yankee. And the two drunken wild-things in Garland and Estella. No Mother because history has no room for older women. And the Father who is a non-issue by the end of the pilot. Who amongst this clan should I care for?
Also as a West Point graduate; I do not like having the traditions of my alma mater trampled on for dramatic effect. My school produces many American History majors who could have pointed out this folly. Were any consulted? Did they not care? Because I do and it an insult to me. I would have been a consultant for free. I would think I am in your prime demographic and you have insulted me in a very short amount of time. Hard to do but you managed it.
Virginia is an interesting backdrop for this story. Not just because many soldiers, sailors and marines in the Civil War came from Virginia. Also because the war served as a spectator event in Virginia. Many battles happened in Virginia and civilians regularly came out to watch from the sidelines. The brutality of Virginians and their mindset was ingrained in this pilot. Not sure why that would appeal to the modern viewer.
Many people today respect the sacrifice of American servicemembers. But they abhor the brutality of war. The Civil War was a particularly brutal example of warfare.
There is nothing unique about this story. It seems like a really bad and inaccurate remake of the mini-series North and South from the 1980s. Complete waste of money and time.