John Steinbeck’s East of Eden is given one last opportunity to work itself into the fabric of society with the release of this mini-series on DVD. The mini-series is based on Steinbeck's book, which traces three generations of the Trask family from the Civil War to WWI. The Emmy-winning 1980s mini-series stars Jane Seymour, Timothy Bottom, Bruce Boxleitner, Lloyd Bridges, Warren Oates, Soon-Tek Oh, and Anne Baxter.
I used a sick day to lie in bed with my laptop and watch the entire eight hours, start to finish. Since I've never read the book or watched this before, I can truly say this is an original review.
Jane Seymour plays Cathy/Kate, a woman who is entrancing, yet sickeningly, evil. This character gives us quite a bit to think about, especially if we are parents. You will notice that Cathy learns about evil as a little girl. As she grows older, she learns that bestowing evil on others gives her power over them.
The character of Cathy/Kate is one of the most hideous women I've ever witnessed on screen, and I believe she proves that physical beauty is unable to manifest itself when the heart is filled with such ugliness. I found this quotation, and it summarizes the motivation for such evil in Cathy’s life: "Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it; and this I know, my lords, that where laws end, tyranny begins." (William Pitt the Elder, in a House of Lords speech in 1770)
Learning and using such power is one aspect of the mini-series that stood out for me. There was also a sub-theme involving the act of bestowing favoritism toward one child over another. Although I don’t believe this behavior originates from the same hellish place, nevertheless it was equally as damaging to the children of Cyrus — Adam and Charles — and again in Adam’s children, Aron and Cal. We watch as the pain, suffering, anguish, and anger manifest itself throughout their lives because of such an indulgent act as favoritism.