Monster – | Review Score – 3/5
Black People in the Neighbourhood – | Review Score – 3/5
Even Salt Looks Like Sugar – | Review Score – 3.5/5
No Cross, No Crown – | Review Score – 2.5/5
Graveyard Love – | Review Score – 3/5
Not Buried, Planted – | Review Score – 3/5
Live Thru This – | Review Score – 3/5
All That Was Lost – | Review Score – 3.5/5
In recent years there’s been an influx of options in the true crime genre, fast becoming an ever-growing, popular choice among fans. Apple TV+’s venture into this territory certainly looked interesting on paper and seeing a convicted killer potentially innocent and serving a life sentence in prison sets the stage for an intriguing series to follow. Unfortunately, despite its strong premise the drama fails to reach its potential, delivering a somewhat predictable story full of plot holes and under-developed characters. Given the multiple talented actors working on this one, it’s a shame then that this fails to rise to the occasion.
The story revolves around former journalist Poppy Parnell who is now recording successful true crime podcasts. Twenty years ago, she became famous for writing a series of articles surrounding the murder of famous author Chuck Buhram and helped convict his young neighbour Warren Cave. However, we start the season with a discovery that one of the victim’s twin daughters may have given a false testimony. The story then follows Poppy investigating the case, revisiting the different members involved to get to the bottom of the truth once and for all.
With a slew of other true crime options out there, Truth Be Told has all the ingredients to be a decent drama, given its premise and big names added to the cast. Despite all this, the show falls flat and never feel very tense or thrilling throughout its 8 episodes. The first few episodes are enough to bring you into the story however, setting the scene well and introducing us to all the different players in the series. While the story remains interesting enough to watch, the under-developed character arcs and sub-plots are what hurt the show the most.
Flashbacks can sometimes feel like fillers but given the thin shred of narrative many of the characters have to work with here, these really could have done with being added for Warren’s trial. For example, we are never told how the false testimony came to light and what happened exactly during the trial twenty years ago. These little moments may have added some depth to the show and helped added some much-needed depth to the characters.
The highlight of Truth Be Told though comes from the actors’ performances. Aaron Paul’s portrayal of the convict thrown in jail as a teenager was very convincing and powerful. Lizzy Caplan is another who stands out here, managing to portray both twins with finesse and offering up a believable contrast between Lanie and Josie.
Twins are often depicted as having a special connection with each other and that much is absolutely true in Truth Be Told. When separated, these twins claim to know when the other is in pain or in danger. While this is explored a little here, giving the drama an interesting edge, unfortunately as with most of its characters and sub plots, the show doesn’t build on this enough. The series also tackles other themes too, including racism, class and the aryan brotherhood and this is interwoven through the narrative throughout the show but it’s not enough to hide the flaws with this one.
Overall though, Truth Be Told really had the potential to be regarded as one of the better true crime series out there. It has an intriguing story and a great cast but unfortunately it fails to use its full potential, resulting in an easily forgettable drama. It’s not the worst show out there but the lack of consistency when it comes to pace and character development really hurts the show’s longevity. Anyone looking for an easy to watch crime thriller may find some enjoyment here but this is unlikely be a very memorable choice you’ll return to anytime soon.
Verdict - 5/10