Y'all like Texas accents? Guns? Colorful pictures of the Depression-era south? Watching people go to jail, then break out of jail, then go back to jail, then break out a few more times?
Then you'll love the two-night, simulcast-across-three-cable-networks television event that is Bonnie and Clyde, the slightly fictionalized tale of two of America's most infamous outlaws.
We may sound like we're joking (because, let's be honest, when are we not?), but in truth this mini-series, airing tonight on Lifetime, A&E, and the History Channel all at the same time, is pretty entertaining. Sure, it ain't perfect, but it makes for a fun couple of hours and you won't be able to quit talkin' like a 1930's Texas outlaw for at least a couple hours afterwards. To get you ready for two nights of bank robbin' and jailbreakin', we've got five reasons this ain't a show to be missed.
1. The Actors: Even if you don't recognize Bonnie's Holliday Grainger (what is that name and can we steal it for our future 1950's-movie-star children?) from The Borgias, there are plenty other names to blow your wig* over – Emile Hirsch, Dale Dickey, Holly Hunter, William Hurt, David Jensen, Elizabeth Reaser (Twilight, anyone?), and Modern Family's Sarah Hyland.
(*The internet tells us that "blow your wig" is 30's slang for "become very excited.")
2. (Evil) Girl Power: This version of the story plays Bonnie (Holliday Grainger) as the sultry brains behind all the operations. When Clyde wants to stop robbing and get out of the outlaw game, Bonnie convinces him otherwise. She paints imaginary tales of Clyde's manipulation on the witness stand, and uses her sexuality to get what she wants from a variety of people. When a newspaper prints only Clyde's name instead of hers, she shows up at the reporter's (Elizabeth Reaser) house to make sure that changes. Some reviews called the show sexist and misogynistic, but there's something to be said for a female lead to not only be in charge, but to be so delightfully not a good person. She's out for herself and the fame and fortune she's always dreamed of, and it's kind of mesmerizing to watch.
Star Holliday Grainger weighed in on the generally awful nature of her iconic character: "Bonnie is such an intriguing, intense character, that it's like, you kind of don't get that often as a girl, you know, to get to be sexy and a badass, and have an interesting emotional backbone, and have these aspirations. And I didn't like Bonnie when I read the script. I finished the script and I was just like, she's a selfish, fame-hungry, kind of bitch, and that just made me want to play her even more."
Sarah Hyland's Blanche (Clyde's sister-in-law), however, has the annoying habit of calling her husband "Daddy." Frankly, that could have been done without.
3. The Action: Gun fights! Car chases! Dancing! Fire! Near death experiences! This mini-series has it all!
4. Cool Dream Sequences: In this, as we said fictionalized portrayal of Bonnie and Clyde, Clyde's got some sort of psychic "second sense" that led him to a vision of Bonnie even when he was just a child. It also leads to some pretty cool vision-type-things in which Clyde believes he's seeing the future. Sometimes it's Bonnie dancing on a stage, sometimes it's Clyde full of bullet holes. It's a cool way to break up the otherwise fairly straightforward story.
5. Emile Hirsch playing the saxophone in his underwear? Enough said? Maybe? No? Ok, how about some pretty impressive production and costume design? The show is very pretty. We're rather jealous of Bonnie's outfits. Though you could say that the Depression has never been quite so beautiful and rich-looking, which doesn't make a lot of sense. It's ok. Once they introduced Clyde the Psychic, they pretty much threw accuracy out the window.
All in all, Bonnie and Clyde's not going to blow your mind, but it is pretty good. It's definitely fixin' to make for two entertaining evenings. You could maybe accompany it with a drinking game involving a drink anytime anybody ends up in jail, or whenever Bonnie says something creepy, like, "See how his head bounced, Clyde? Just like a rubber ball."
Bonnie and Clyde airs tonight at 9 p.m. (and Monday at 9 p.m.), on Lifetime, A&E, and the History Channel.