“Mr. Mercedes” premieres tonight, August 9 after a long and heavy rotation of promotion. The buzz is good and we are here to concur. After viewing the first three episodes, provided by AT&T Audience Network, we know it’s something you’ll want to talk about with friends and family.
Based on Stephen King’s best-selling novel of the same name, it was written and adapted by David E. Kelley for television. Jack Bender directed multiple episodes and the duo serve as executive producers, along with King. The author described the book as his first “hard-boiled detective tale”, and it fits the bill.
It stars Brendan Gleeson (“Harry Potter”) as retired Detective Bill Hodges, who is haunted by the inability to solve the crime that took the lives of 16 people, while injuring at least triple that number. Harry Treadaway places the title character, whose real name is Brady Hartsfield. Watch the official trailer introducing important plot points, while leaving enough room for you to be surprised as each episode unfolds.
After stealing a Mercedes, the troubled young man plowed into a group of people lined up in the middle of the night to attend a jobs fair. His daily life consists of working at a computer/electronics store for a boss who regularly berates and belittles him, then going home to his alcoholic/agoraphobic mother Deborah, played by Kelly Lynch, who has a “special” relationship with her son.
Bill Hodges is boozing his way through a post-retirement depression, with only his neighbor Ida Silver, played by Holland Taylor, to bring some light to his sad situation. We learn that Hodges was forced into retirement after his attitude and behavior became too much for the department where he put in more than 30 years of service.
“Mr. Mercedes” indulges in back stories that flesh out the main characters, as Brady decides to torment Hodges, daring him to return to the hunt. Hodges’ ex-partner Peter Dixon is ready to give up on him, tired of warning him to cut out the drinking and the obsession with the case. Check out the video below from this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, introducing major players, including the exec producer.
Hodges discovers someone, in a most unexpected way, who is willing to take the journey with him. That would be Janey Patterson (Mary Louise-Parker), sister of the woman who owned the Mercedes, who committed suicide after a letter-writing campaign by Brady. He succeeded in convincing her that she shared his guilt for the mass killing by allegedly leaving the keys in the ignition of the car.
Brady attempts to play the same game with Hodges and the two tangle in a war of words, deeds, crimes and psychological terror. There is collateral damage, as you’d expect and a ramp-up of consequences for pursuing all leads. It’s got the feel of “Mr. Robot”, USA’s hacker/political thriller, mixed with R-rated crime procedurals.
“Mr. Mercedes” premieres Wednesday August 9, beginning at 8 p.m. ET/PT on AT&T Audience Network, through Directv, AT&T U-verse and on Directv Now. Episodes will stream concurrent with the series’ debut on television.
AT&T AUDIENCE Network is available on DIRECTV Ch. 239 or U-verse TV Ch. 1114 and via live streaming on the DIRECTV and U-verse apps and DIRECTV NOW.
Image credit: AT&T/Directv, used with permission. Videos: SyFy Wire YouTube Channel and AT&T Audience Network.