Holliday Grainger plays Bonnie Parker in the 'Bonnie & Clyde' miniseries

The Bonnie & Clyde four-hour miniseries, starring Emile Hirsch and Holliday Grainger in the title roles, premiered its first two hours Sunday night on Lifetime, A&E and the History Channel.

Bonnie & Clyde Premieres

Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow’s love story and criminal activities in the Depression-era 1930s raised them to enduring infamy. Their personas were further cemented into American pop culture in the 1967 film starring Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty. The 2013 made-for-TV miniseries was made to deliver the story to a new generation.

With the tagline, “He held the gun. She called the shots,” the latest take on the bank-robbing, police-murdering couple makes Bonnie the ringleader. A wannabe actress, desperate for fame joins up with her ex-con beau to make some money while getting their names splashed across the headlines. While the miniseries begins with the pair's meet cute and moves through their short-lived but high-profile criminal careers, it's destined to end with their bloody demise.

Critics React To 'Bonnie & Clyde' Miniseries

After part-1 aired on Sunday, the jury of critics is divided on whether or not the A&E Networks-produced Bonnie & Clyde does either the history or the surrounding myth any justice. While some believe that, despite it’s shortcomings, the series provides sufficient entertainment – others have found that it’s falls disappointingly short of the mark.

“What potential viewers must decide is exactly what level of desecration they're willing to see visited upon a beloved classic,” wrote the decidedly less forgiving Erin McCann in the UK Guardian. “Is your good sense often overruled by displays of beautiful costumes and a good old-fashioned car chase? Then yes, this is the remake for you. But if you're a fan of the 1967 film, stay away. And if you have even a passing familiarity with the real-life story of Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker … stay far, far away.”

A&E Networks has received massive ratings in the past for miniseries they’ve aired on The History Channel – Hatfield’s & McCoys and The Bible. By airing Bonnie & Clyde on three networks, this latest effort certainly seems to want an even greater ratings boon.

Bonnie & Clyde’s final two hours air Monday on A&E, Lifetime and History at 9/8c. Also starring in the historical miniseries are Holly Hunter, William Hurt, Sarah Hyland and Elizabeth Reaser.

– Chelsea Regan

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