Television

Candy premieres May 9 on Hulu (Starring Jessica Biel)

CANDY

  • By RICH ANDREW
  • Photo Courtesy of HULU

In a five-night event, show creators Robin Veith and Nick Antosca have delivered a thrilling mini-series based on true events that exposes how one housewife turns desperate. Tackling the titular role is the endearing Jessica Biel (Limetown), who plays Candy Montgomery, the neighborhood role model teeming with so much southern charm that everyone wants to be her. She has the big house, the happy husband, two adorable kids, her supportive church circle, and yet still she feels unfulfilled. Bored of her perfect life, Candy soon sets her hungry eyes on Alan Gore, the strapping husband of her best friend Betty, played by the brilliant Melanie Lynskey (Yellowjackets). Stolen glances lead to casual flirtations until Candy finds herself meticulously plotting every moment of their seedy affair. For the first time in a long while, she feels alive again. And she almost gets away with it until the night that Betty is found in her home brutally murdered by an axe. Without any evidence of a forced entry to hang the killing on some crazy drifter, the police have no choice but to suspect Betty’s family and friends. With riveting performances by fellow castmates Pablo Schreiber (Halo), Timothy Simons (Don’t Worry Darling), Raúl Esparza (Retreat), Sharon Conley (Kingdom Business), Liz McGeever (Ordinary Joe), and Russell Thomas (The Oval), Candy promises some killer fun.

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The Essex Serpent premieres May 13 on Apple TV+ (Starring Claire Danes)

THE ESSEX SERPENT

  • By KENNE HOFFMAN
  • Photo Courtesy of APPLE TV+

If you’ve already binged all the current period dramas such as The Gilded Age, Season Two of Bridgerton, and the most recent seasons of Outlander and Sanditon and are impatiently waiting for Downton Abbey: A New Era, you are in luck! On May 13, Apple TV+ will drop the first two of six episodes of The Essex Serpent, based on Sarah Perry’s 2016 award-winning novel of the same name. This show is set to become the next big period drama with which to be totally obsessed. Set in the east of England in the 19th century, it promises windswept Essex landscapes plus plenty of Victorian superstitions.

Set in 1893, the story follows newly widowed Cora Seaborne (Claire Danes, Little Women, Romeo + Juliet), relishing her recent freedom from an abusive marriage, who becomes intrigued by a local superstition about a mythical creature known as the “Essex Serpent.” Seeking out the mythical sea dragon, she soon clashes with the local vicar, Will Ransome (Tom Hiddleston, Thor, Loki), who is determined to lay the superstition to rest. The novel sold over 359,000 copies and won the 2016 British Book Awards Book of the Year.

Danes and Hiddleston are joined in the series by Deepica Stephen and David Streames along with Frank Dillane (The Girlfriend Experience, Fear the Walking Dead), Harry Potter star Clémency Poésy, and Haley Squires (Adult Material).

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Barry season 3 on HBO and streaming on HBO Max (Starring Bill Hader)

Barry

  • By AC Remler
  • Photo Courtesy of HBO

After a long COVID-related hiatus, Barry returned on April 24 on HBO! Our favorite former marine-turned-assassin-turned-actor wannabe, will once again contemplate life and stage with the misanthropic rage only a cold-blooded killer could muster.

The premise of this dark comedy is that Barry (Bill Hader) is sent by his handler Monroe Fuches (Stephen Root) to kill an aspiring actor. But after following his “mark” into an acting class, Barry finds himself bitten by the thespian bug and bonds with the theater community and acting coach Gene Cousineau (Henry Winkler).

The first two seasons explore how Barry becomes enchanted with the acting world and tries to reinvent himself and cut ties with Fuches. But things get complicated at the end of season 2. First, Barry massacres a ton of Chechen mobsters. He also kills Cousineau’s girlfriend, Det. Janice Moss, for which Fuches frames Cousineau. When Cousineau is ultimately exonerated and released from prison, Fuches rats out Barry as Moss’ killer—and we’re left wondering how Cousineau will react to his star pupil offing the love of his life. We do know one thing: Barry is about to go full-on Rambo on Fuches for revenge.

In season 3, our favorite thespian will be joined again by his actor girlfriend Sally played by Sarah Goldberg, as well as Winkler and Root. And thankfully, Anthony Carrigan returns as the series scene stealer NoHo Hank.

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The Girl from Plainville streaming now on Hulu (Starring Elle Fanning)

THE GIRL FROM PLAINVILLE

  • By NINA SVENTITSKY
  • Photo Courtesy of HULU

Picture this. A manipulative teenage girl wraps an impressionable boy who is crushing on her around her little finger. He’s so smitten and vulnerable, he listens to her every word and follows her every command, as she cheers him on to take his own life. It sounds like a smarmy over-the-top B movie, but this one is based on real life. In 2014, a teenager with anxiety issues committed suicide, urged on through texts and phone calls by his then girlfriend Michelle Carter. While Carter was then convicted in this “texting suicide” case, she spent only 11 months in prison and was released. The case was of national interest because it established criminal culpability for serious crimes committed by people as influencers vs. physically doing the deed. The cast is stellar — Elle Fanning as Carter, Colton Ryan as the doomed Conrad Roy III, and Chloe Sevigny as his mother. Fanning has grown into a very talented actress, capable of impressive emotional depth. Her Michelle is full of self-importance, insinuating herself into a family drama that is not her own. She can play characters both ridiculous (The Great) and vulnerable. Sevigny is one of her generation’s great actors (Boys Don’t Cry, Big Love). Hulu’s The Girl from Plainville shows us the fragility of teenage emotions, and what social loneliness can ignite. Highly recommended for story and performances (mature themes).

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