|IMDB Rating:||7.8/10||Released Date:||09 Mar 2016|
Summary: Underground centers on a group of slaves planning a daring 600-mile escape from a Georgia plantation. Along the way, they are aided by a secret abolitionist couple running a station on the Underground Railroad as they attempt to evade the people charged with bringing them back, dead or alive.
“Underground” tries to navigate a delicate line, exploring slavery – and attempts to escape it – with many of the trappings of a primetime soap, touching upon the lives of slaves, their cruel overseers and some whites sympathetic to the cause. The result is so-so as both history and drama, a series with moments of power, but also occasional lapses into Civil War-era cliches. Progressing along a serialized path, the WGN drama contains enough suspense to pull viewers through four previewed episodes, without yet demonstrating whether it can stay on track through a 10-episode run. The title references the Underground Railroad, the network that helped Southern slaves flee to the North, set here in the late 1850s, a few years before the Civil War. Most of the action unfolds through the inhabitants of one plantation, with some extended tentacles into key players surrounding them. WGN appears to be following its own rather vaguely drawn map development-wise, in terms of thematic cohesion among the various dramas that the Tribune-backed service has ordered. On the plus side, with A&E’s “Roots” remake due this spring, the cumulative effect of the two projects will shine a renewed light on this chapter in American history. But in terms of fulfilling those dramatic possibilities, “Underground,” at least, still has a long way to go.