Barry Jenkins Caroline Framke USA show conductor Barry Jenkins Caroline Framke USA

Barry Jenkins’ ‘The Underground Railroad’ Is a Sprawling, Overwhelming American Epic: TV Review

Caroline Framke Chief TV CriticEvery single frame of “The Underground Railroad” is haunted.Ghosts of horrors past, present and future linger at the story’s edges, flicker in and out with eerie ease.

People alive, dead and somewhere in between stare into the camera with quiet, solemn clarity. Whispers fade into the background, sharing terrible secrets as urgent prayer.

In adapting Colson Whitehead’s novel to the television screen, Barry Jenkins has molded something harrowing, emotional and almost too big to take in all at once.The entirety of “The Underground Railroad” — 10 episodes altogether, most running at least a full hour — will be available upon its May 14 premiere on Amazon Prime, but that is a mistake.

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