Television today provides audiences with empathy on demand. Conversely, as research professor/clinical social worker and bestselling author Dr. Brene Brown defines it, shame is our fear of disconnection. Great storytelling demonstrates that vulnerability is not a weakness, but a strength. In real life, people will do just about anything to avoid facing difficult emotions and uncomfortable conversations. The opening shots of Mare of Easttown play out as achingly honest as a Bruce Springsteen song – an oil refinery at dawn, a ramshackle home under a leafless tree, a graveyard, rotting white picket fences and redbrick row-houses that stretch to the horizon, chimneys with no fires burning. Generational trauma is at the center of everything in Mare of Easttown – including, as it turns out, the central murder mystery that propels the show forward – but for no one is that truer than for Mare Sheehan.