HBO's Chernobyl was never going to be light, breezy TV show, but there's no way to prepare for what it does to you. The five-part miniseries is an unmissable television event, but it is one that will harrow you, a horror story in the guise of a historical docudrama. Each second is riddled with nauseous anxiety. Knowing how this story ends does not in any way lessen the terror of watching it unfold in real time. On April 26, 1986, a nuclear reactor exploded at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant outside of Pripyat in what was then the Soviet Union. The resultant fire in the reactor's graphite moderator led to massive amounts of radiation carrying across the local radius through smoke. The incident is regarded by many as the most catastrophic nuclear accident in history. So why does Chernobyl chill to the bone? There are several contributing factors - recency, realism, hindsight, hubris.