‘Mare of Easttown’ showrunner Craig Zobel on the series’ dark tone and a possible encore

Michele K. Short/HBO

The Kate Winslet murder mystery drama Mare of Easttown wraps up Sunday night on HBO, and showrunner Craig Zobel talked with ABC Audio about the miniseries’ popularity, and the possibility of more episodes.

The series deals with some heavy topics, including death and assault and kidnapping, but Zobel insists he wasn’t worried that people would be turned off by something so dark — because they tried hard to make sure it wasn’t a downer.

“I felt like we were in a pretty good place. So I genuinely wasn’t that worried,” he explains. “My main thing was I just didn’t want it to come off too serious, really, was more of what I was worried about.  Because people are always kind of leaning on humor in real life.  And I felt like that would maybe also make it feel just more natural.”

The series has earned a lot of praise, which doesn’t surprise Zobel, given how murder mysteries have always been a hit with audiences.

“I think if you think back to kind of the heyday of like the former golden age of TV…if you even go back to some of the first mass produced books that came out like the Sherlock Holmes mysteries and stuff.  I feel like mystery is like there’s something uniquely satisfying about them,” he says.

The show’s first season has left viewers asking for more, and Zobel says the ball is in their court.

“It is designed as like one story.  It isn’t designed for there to be to be more,” he says.  “There’s probably a way.  [But] if people were excited enough about it, I think that it might influence people.  Just have to figure out more people in town to die.”

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