Other People’s Tears Are Only Water – | Review Score – 2/5
Ghosts at the Feast – | Review Score – 2.5/5
If Wishes Were Horses – | Review Score – 3/5
In Another Life – | Review Score – 3/5
If I Didn’t Laugh, You’d Cry – | Review Score – 2.5/5
All These Women – | Review Score – 2.5/5
Lanterman-Petris-Short – | Review Score – 2/5
The Untold Story
Brick by Brick It Also Falls
Last Exit… Oakland
Some shows deserve a sequel. Oftentimes a story ends on a big cliffhanger or a conclusive note that’s so pitch-perfect that we’re desperate to find out what happens next. Truth Be Told though is not one of those shows. In fact, truth be told, the first season wasn’t even good enough to warrant a follow-up.
The indifferent shrug the first bred from its tepid storyline makes the decision to renew this for a follow-up all the more baffling. And having watched all 10 episodes now, Truth Be Told does nothing to change this reviewer’s opinion. In fact, Season 2 is a mess.
The story here picks up some time after the Warren Cave case. Poppy Parnell is still doing her podcasts but stumbles upon a new case involving her best friend Micah. When her husband, Joshua, is found dead with a boy called Drew, gun in hand, big question marks are raised around what happened.
As the episodes progress, more of Micah’s shady past is revealed, including her ties with Shelter and her surprising link to several key figures in this case, Rose and Holt Redding. Only, all of this is accompanied by a bunch of subplots that, at best, pad the runtime out and at its worst, feel like annoying distractions.
There’s a racist cop sub-plot in here that goes absolutely nowhere, several of Poppy’s family members have personal issues that are hastily dropped and even a missing girl that is forgotten about for 3 or 4 episodes only to suddenly be resolved without much aplomb. Oh, and that’s before mentioning a resurgence of the issues involving Warren that come back to haunt Poppy.
Yet, all of this would be forgivable if the case Poppy is involved in was actually interesting. But it’s not. There’s very little for us to cling onto across the episodes, with the story meandering through a whole bunch of pointless subplot dribble before actually progressing the case forward. And even worse, it’s not until episode 9 where a big revelation is made that could have been a massive twist.
But yet, even the show itself doesn’t seem too concerned with that, brushing aside most of the “why” surrounding the motives and doing nothing to help audiences piece together the mystery. To be fair, there’s one instance of foreshadowing here surrounding who the killer is but that’s it. Across 10 helpings of 48 minutes. Which, I may add, is two episodes more than the first season.
Writing is the most important part of any show and even Octavia Spencer looks fed up with what she has to work with. She puts in a pretty good performance but at times she too feels like she’s wasted in this production. That’s not to say the show doesn’t have good acting, because it does, but there’s absolutely no chemistry between Poppy and Micah Keith, played by Kate Hudson. At times, it seems like they’re complete strangers, which is baffling given the flashbacks showing how closely tied the pair are.
At its best, Truth Be Told’s second season is barely passable. But passable is not enough in this golden age of TV. It’s admirable that Apple have put faith in this show and are keen to appease die-hard fans but one must question whether it’s actually been worth the effort. After sitting through these 10 episodes, the reaction from this reviewer is, unequivocally, no.