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Who do you like better? The Hatfields or The McCoys?

June 4, 2012

Have you watched the three-part mini series, Hatfields & McCoys on the History Channel?  If you haven’t, try to catch it on re-runs.  It’s well worth it.

While my husband and I were watching it the other night, I made a comment to him.

“God, those McCoys are just such jackasses!”

Cut me a break for the language; the kids were in bed.

“WHAT?!” my husband replied, while looking at me with an incredulous look on his face.

“Yes.  They’re such hotheads and sneaky weasels.  Don’t tell me you think the McCoys are better?!”

“The Hatfields are the reason the whole thing started.  They’re deserters and murderers!  You like them?”

And so began our mini family feud over the Hatfields & McCoys.

I do think that both families are over the top idiots, but in my opinion, the Hatfields are the tiniest bit more likable by a small margin. When I say that, I’m looking at the families as a whole.  Devil Anse Hatfield (played by Kevin Costner in the History Channel series), is no hero in my book.  I don’t have a soft spot in my heart for deserters.  But he and the rest of his family come off more level-headed to me than the McCoy family.

When I see the McCoys, I see a family full of hotheads without much love for each other.  To me, Randall McCoy (played by Bill Paxton) is a cold simpleton who can’t let go of a grudge.  While everyone in this series is a moonshine or whiskey drunkard, the McCoys seem always drunk and in large number.  The McCoy boys simply don’t think first before acting.  They immediately turn to murder by repeated stabbing all from a verbal altercation.

I’m not saying any of the other murders between these families are excusable.  But shooting someone with a gun, while heinous, is more removed than stabbing.  It takes a dark, dark soul to stab someone again and again and again.

The Hatfields have their fair share of drunks, too, don’t get me wrong.  The Hatfield uncles are a despicable group of idiot loudmouths who are driven by hatred.  But somewhere in the Hatfield family, there is at least a little bit of love.  Love between Devil Anse and his wife; love for their children, between their children.  I don’t know.  I guess they seem the warmer of the two families if I had to choose.

I was surprised by my husband’s vehemence that he felt the McCoys were the better family, though.  It made me wonder, is it really up to the viewer?  If you’ve watched the series, I’d love to hear your take.

Vote in the poll below and let us know which family (if any) you like better.  Use the comments to tell us why.  Is there a better family in the Hatfields & McCoys feud?  You decide!!

8 Comments leave one →
  1. ashleyinnc permalink
    June 4, 2012 9:29 AM

    I can’t vote since I haven’t seen the series, but if I could vote I would vote for the song and the preview because that seriously rocks.

  2. June 4, 2012 6:25 PM

    I agree. The trailer was fantastic!!

  3. SueDK permalink
    June 5, 2012 1:41 PM

    I wish the history channel had been just a bit truer to the actual facts – one glaring issue was the birth of Johnse and Roseanna’s baby – in reality when Roseanna returned home and went to her aunt’s – she contracted the measles and miscarried the baby. There were other points…but this one was major for me because it played through a fair bit of the series. Otherwise – i really enjoyed it – as brutal as it was – and I sure couldn’t imagine having lived in those times!

  4. Ben permalink
    June 13, 2012 12:09 AM

    My wife and I have the same disagreement!
    How can you say you saw more love within the Hatfield family when Devil was going to kill his son for getting Uncle Jim killed?!

    • June 13, 2012 7:05 AM

      He was never going to go through with it. He even told his wife, “I always thought I was going to have to be the one to kill Uncle Jim one of these days,” remember? Devils Anse was no saint, not by far. But, in my opinion, the Hatfields were warmer toward each other and seemed more like a normal crazy family than the cold McCoys. How I see it.

      But I’m glad to hear from you and know that it’s not just our household in disagreement! Thanks for the comment!

      • john silva permalink
        June 19, 2012 6:39 AM

        I agree the Hatfields in the beginning seem to be the ones trying to prevent confrontation and the Mccoys especially Randall and his seemingly scumbag cousin lawyer seem to be the agitators. Randall McCoy seemed to be the one with the continuing resentment after the war, while both Devil Hatfield and Randall McCoy saved each others lives and were good friends, it’s hard to judge upon Devils desertion after he almost gave his own life so the rest of his troops could escape including Randall. You also see several other situations that arise that seem to favor the Hatfields in the beginning like when Randall sues over the pig and his sons kill Bill Staton the guy who spoke his mind and convinced the jury that the pig belonged to Floyd Hatfield and then Devils brother the Judge lets them go in the name of Peace.

        Another big factor for me was looking at some of the characters in the McCoy gang like “Bad Bill” who I really didnt care for all that much, yes he was a badass but he really was just a savage in my mind and only looked out for himself and carelessly murdered just for his own gratification and without any dignity or honor, As he really didn’t have a motive to dislike the Hatfields besides his own lust for blood and power. Another shady character was Perry Cline who I have read was really the instigator of some of the later scuffles between the two families and purposely stirred the pot to make Randall and others hate the Hatfields, and his jealousy over Roseanna almost got Johnse killed only to be saved at the last minute.

        But in the end it really was a great movie and very entertaining to say the least. I really don’t know how accurate the series truly is , but in the movie at least I agree that the Hatfields seemed to be overall more likable and a tad less vindictive and instigated a little lesser. But I’m told in real life both family’s were actually pretty heavily intertwined and many crossed sides and married each other. And nowadays both family’s signed a formal peace declaration and joined each other for a Reunion of sorts.

      • June 19, 2012 7:07 AM

        Great recap, John. I loved at the end, how they mentioned how the Hatfields and McCoys hated each other and wanted nothing to do with each other. Yet, now, they’re forever intertwined. One name cannot be spoken without the other. Irony at its best!

  5. Nicholas X. Correia permalink
    April 2, 2014 8:26 PM

    Just watched it on Netflix. I like Kevin Cosner’s role of Devil Anse. Why? Because he smokes a frekin pipe!!! Other than that, I like the Hatfields but then again there are moments where the McCoys are my favored clan. There are good eggs and bad apples in each family…hard to decide. I can’t judge on a whole.

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