Powerful and Compelling Historical Drama, not for Kids!
The Pillars of the Earth, both the book and miniseries are intense but enjoyable and well written. The story is engaging, the characters believable and the plot complex and many layered. The phenominal acting performances of Ian McShane, Rufus Sewell, Eddie Redmayne, Hayley Atwell, and Matthew Mcfadan are all worthy of praise. Most of the protagonists are good loving people who put others above themselves and I don't think this gets enough credit for positive role models and messages. The themes are ultimately about loss, struggle, perseverance, and love. There is considerable graphic violence and sexual material, including an intense rape scene, but nothing that is overly gratuitous or unnecessary to the story. There is also some occasional intense language but it is period appropriate and not pervasive. Kids under 18 would do well to find a medieval piece with less sex, nudity, and bloodletting. For those 18 and above who are looking for a deep and complex medieval epic and fantastic characters, I would highly recommend the series or the book. Better yet, get both! It's worth it. I absolutely love this series and cannot praise it enough.