True crime podcasts are some of the most popular out there today. People love the combo of a mystery and something based on reality. Here comes a series with the same feel to it. Combine that with the acting talent of Aaron Paul, Octavia Spencer, Lizzy Caplan, Elizabeth Perkins, Michael Beach, Annabella Sciorra, and Mekhi Phifer and you have a winning formula.
Being a convicted killer, Warren Cave (Aaron Paul – from television’s Breaking Bad) does not have many people in his corner. One person he does have fighting for him is his mother, Melanie (Elizabeth Perkins – from television’s Weeds), but that is problematic because she has terminal cancer. The number of people thinking he might be actually innocent of the crime he was found guilty of doubles when true crime podcaster and a woman partially responsible for his being in jail, Poppy Scoville- Parnell (Octavia Spencer – Fruitvale Station, Dolittle), actually begins to doubt what she once held to be the truth. Warren has always held to the claim that he was framed. Now Poppy thinks he might have been telling the truth all along.
After initially investigating the crime and believing that Warren was the killer, Poppy now has doubts. They weigh heavy upon her. Despite the pressure it puts on her marriage and her reputation, she decides to look at the case once again. Poppy begins to look into the case, which happened long ago, involving the murder of a husband and father, Chuck Burhman (Nic Bishop – from television’s Dominion). His twin girls, Lanie and Josie (Lizzy Caplan – from television’s Masters of Sex), are now adults and estranged. His wife, Erin (Annabella Sciorra – Jungle Fever, The Hand That Rocks the Cradle), drinks too much so is not very helpful. Those things plus the fact that so many years have passed will make this investigation difficult. Really difficult to get to the truth.
The acting, with all the known entities here, is surprisingly patchy over the eight episodes of season one. Even from Octavia Spencer and Lizzy Caplan. Caplan has the tough job of portraying identical twins, but her overacting is laughable at times. Even the usually steady as a rock, Octavia Spencer, seems unsure of how to bring Poppy to life. As such, the character wavers from one type of woman to another throughout. The only one who really does a good job is Aaron Paul.
Even though the acting is patchy the story/mystery is strong enough to make up for the flaws. It is one of those in which you are never quite sure what is going to happen next and what is the truth. Engaging. In a kind of pulp fiction type novel you would read on the beach kind of way. Enough so that I would give season two a go.