While Mildred Pierce has its fill of touching moments and is strong thematically, as a narrative, it is pretty much a wash. The main plot points–Mildred opening more and more restaurants and Veda’s blossoming musical career–could have been heavily condensed to 3 parts max, which would also cut down on the inordinate time spent on the same thing over and over again.
The drama between Mildred and Veda boils down to the same cycle repeating itself–bitchiness, anger, and conciliation–with the slight variations due to a progression of time. This happens around twice each part, and you can see it coming a mile away each time. Once it happened the first time, that was all that needed to be seen. There were different forms of manipulation, lies, and bitchiness, but it was all the same in the end up until the very ending when Veda drives off in the taxi.
The events that happen are very surreal. Veda can be the worst person in the world and be horrible from childhood, while Mildred sits idly by and hugs her. Monty can be horrible and Mildred will forgive him. And what are the consequences? Oh, Mildred remarries Bert and it’s a happy ending.