The first season of the EPIX series “Graves” is filled with entertainment and reflection for viewers. Nick Nolte stars as former President Graves and Sela Ward is his wife Margaret. Their two grown children (Helene Yorke and Chris Lowell) have returned home to live with their parents while sorting out their own lives. They are the epitome of a dysfunctional family.
Series creator Joshua Michael Stern told members of the media, “We went to a lot of pains to make sure that this character pretty much skews both sides of the aisle, and through the whole series, you’ll see that.”
Yorke acknowledged, “This is a family show, a show about a family. I think for Chris and I, certainly it was about these people that live in this public life, what is expected of them, how they’re meant to be seen. We see that on a daily basis now with what’s currently going on in our country. These kids paraded out to represent their parents in some way and how they’re meant to be poised. But what happens when they go home? How do they make their own identities? How do they reconcile this public image of who they are versus who they want to be, who they hope to be, how they hope to shape their own destinies?”
Yorke’s character is going through a divorce and Lowell’s character is fresh out of the Army. They are having a hard time reconciling their lives with the image the public has seen.
Skylar Astin comes in as Isaiah Miller, the new assistant to the president. His job is definitely harder than he imagined. This wide-eyed innocent and idealistic man changes drastically over the first season. He sees that his idol is not the man he thought he was.
Through the first season, Margaret Graves is considering running for Senate. Ward acknowledged, “I think for Margaret, for me, one of the great things about playing a role like this for women, in general, is this thing … that women really subjugate their passions, their secret desires, their unlived lives for their children, their family, their husband, behind the scenes, and Margaret is getting to live her unlived life, her second spring, and I think that will resonate with a lot of women because we’re all living to our 80s on the average, mid-80s, and you really have to look at your life and go, ‘We’re getting an entire second adulthood, and what are you going to do with that?’”
This is a good series to binge watch. It is entertaining in many ways and the cast is outstanding. There is a bonus feature dedicated to the cast. Ward confided that she didn’t want to do another TV series, but the writing and storyline of the show were too good for her to pass up. There is another bonus feature about making the first season, which was filmed on location in New Mexico.
Real life politicians make appearances throughout the series. This adds a bit of realism to this offbeat story. Nolte’s President Graves is a no-nonsense gruff man. The f -word is bantered around by all the characters in practically every other sentence. Drug use and smoking, as well as some nudity, are part of the stories, so this is definitely a series for adults.