Fifteen Excellent New TV Shows From 2022 That You Might've Missed
Your summer catch-up list includes affectionate Hollywood docos, true-crime thrillers, TV shows based on movies and plenty of top-notch comedies.
December 19, 2022
Gone are the days when watching a new television series meant sitting down at a set time to glue your eyes to the small screen, or programming your VCR to record said show for later. If you can remember back then, then you'll know that gone are the days where viewing everything you want to felt somewhat achievable, too. Thanks to the ever-growing array of streaming platforms, we're now utterly spoiled for choice, with new choices dropping all the time — and constantly demanding your attention.
Sadly, we just can't watch every TV show ever made when they first arrive. Realistically, we can't all view every series ever anyway — but we can catch up with the greats. That's one of the handy things about summer holidays: the flow of newcomers does slow down, even if only for a few weeks, and plenty of the year's standouts beckon.
When it comes to excellent episodic fare, 2022 was no slouch. Ace new shows hit with frequency over the past 12 months, so much so that you likely missed some. With that in mind, we've rounded up 15 stellar 2022 arrivals that mightn't have made their way to your streaming queues yet, but should as soon as you have the time — and, if you've already seen them, definitely deserve a rewatch.
THE LAST MOVIE STARS
Filmmakers adoring filmmakers is basically its own on-screen genre. Six-part documentary limited series The Last Movie Stars gives that idea a different spin: actors loving actors. Here, Ethan Hawke turns director, not for the first time — see: films Blaze, Seymour: An Introduction, The Hottest State and Chelsea Walls — to show his affection for the inimitable Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. Unsurprisingly, he has a wealth of company, some chatting through their fondness for two Hollywood talents like no other and some contributing by giving voice to interview transcripts. For a memoir that didn't eventuate, Newman and Woodward compiled chats by a who's who of showbusiness during their careers; however, they also had the tapes destroyed. Cue George Clooney voicing Newman's chats, Laura Linney doing Woodward's, and everyone from Oscar Isaac, Sam Rockwell and Mark Ruffalo to Rose Byrne and Zoe Kazan also subbing in for other famous names.
That's where The Last Movie Stars' audio comes from, echoing with insightful discussions given the emotion they deserve. Hawke also includes new zoom chats with his players, as well as with Martin Scorsese, his daughter and Stranger Things star Maya and more, but his engrossing and probing series is head over heels for pairing those recreated interviews with archival footage. Staring at Newman and Woodward is easy, as is celebrating them and their relationship. This isn't just a case of deserved worship, though, but shows its subjects as real people rather than just stars — all while exploring Hollywood at the time, stepping through their careers and contemporaries, and overflowing with clear-eyed warmth. Hawke doesn't avoid tricky traits or truths, and this in-depth doco is all the more enlightening and compassionate for it. Whether you already treasure Newman and Woodward or you've always wanted to know more about the two legends, this is a movie buff's pure and utter dream.
The Last Movie Stars streams via Binge.
Only Murders in the Building isn't the only new comic murder-mystery series worth streaming from the past year or so. Joining it is The Afterparty, which also sports a killer cast — this time Sam Richardson (Detroiters), Ben Schwartz (Space Force), Zoe Chao (Love Life), Ilana Glazer (Broad City), Ike Barinholtz (The Mindy Project), Dave Franco (If Beale Street Could Talk) and Tiffany Haddish (The Card Counter) — and a savvy spin on an oft-used gimmick. Rather than skewering true-crime podcasting, this quickly addictive comedy from writer/director Christopher Miller (The Lego Movie) toys with the reality that every tale differs depending on the perspective. Whodunnits always hinge upon that fact, and Miller has also clearly seen iconic Japanese film Rashomon. And, considering that its big murder takes place after a school function, there's a touch of Big Little Lies at play, too. With his directing partner Phil Lord, Miller has made a career out of getting smart and funny with familiar parts, however, and that doesn't change here.
The setup: at the afterparty following his 15-year high-school reunion, obnoxious autotune-abusing pop star Xavier (Franco) winds up dead on the rocks beneath his lavish mansion. Enter the determined Detective Danner (Haddish), who starts grilling his former classmates one by one to find out who's responsible. Her interrogations start with the sensible Aniq (the always-great Richardson), who was hoping to finally make a move on his schoolyard crush Zoe (Chao) — and after his version of events, Danner hears from Zoe's macho ex Brett (Barinholtz) in The Afterparty's second episode, then from Aniq's best bud Yasper (Schwartz, riffing on Parks and Recreation's Jean-Ralphio without being quite as ridiculous), and so on. The cast is top-notch, the writing is clever, there's much fun to be had with its genre- and perspective-bending premise, and the throwaway gags are simply glorious.
For three seasons on Ramy, Mohammed Amer has played Mo, the diner-owning cousin to the show's namesake. For those three seasons, including 2022's batch of episodes, he's also been part of one of the best and most thoughtful shows currently streaming, especially when it comes to the immigrant experience and telling Muslim American stories. Instead of just co-starring in an art-imitates-life dramedy inspired by someone else's existence, however, Amer has taken a leaf out of Ramy Youssef's book with Mo — a show with the same underlying concept, as co-created by Amer and Youssef. This time, the pair draw upon Amer's background rather than Youssef's. So, Amer's on-screen alter-ego is a Palestinian living in America. He's a refugee, in fact, who fled the Middle East when he was a child and sought asylum with his family. His US home: Houston, Texas. IRL, every one of these points is drawn from Amer's existence, as fans of his Netflix standup specials Mo Amer: The Vagabond and Mo Amer: Mohammed in Texas will recognise.
That's the history behind Mo, with the series' eight-episode first season honing in on its protagonist's attempts to gain US citizenship. Mo Najjar (Amer, Black Adam), his mother Yusra (Farah Bsieso, Daughters of Abdul) and brother Sameer (Omar Elba, Limetown) have been waiting two decades to have their cases heard — another detail ripped from reality — and trying to forge new lives while remaining in legal limbo has long since taken a toll. Spanning losing jobs, trying to find a new one as an undocumented American resident, the Najjars' family dynamic, pain from back home they haven't processed, the weight of cultural traditions and expectations, and Mo's relationship with Mexican and Catholic mechanic Maria (Teresa Ruiz, Father Stu), there's no shortage of detail and drama to Amer's passion project. Indeed, every second of the series feels as personal and authentic as it clearly is, and does far more than merely give Amer his own Ramy.
Mo streams via Netflix.
Aptly given its title, new Apple TV+ sitcom Loot doesn't look cheap — or sound it. It's partly filmed in one of America's biggest private homes, an enormous mansion with 21 bedrooms, five pools, a bowling alley and a cinema. It's filled with well-known needle drops that come quickly and often, with one episode featuring three Daft Punk tracks alone. It couldn't scream louder or drip harder with excess; the series is about a mega-rich tech whiz's wife who gets $87 billion in their public and messy breakup, after all. And, it is inescapably made by a company that's a big technology behemoth itself, and has been splashing stacks of cash to build its streaming roster (see: The Morning Show, Ted Lasso, Severance, Physical, Prehistoric Planet, Foundation, The Shrink Next Door, Shining Girls, Slow Horses, Lisey's Story and more).
Loot is also clearly a satire, however, and a canny, warm and funny one at that. The premise: amid being gifted a mega yacht for her birthday, then jumping to a party in that aforementioned sprawling home, Molly Novak (Maya Rudolph, Big Mouth) discovers that her husband John (Adam Scott, Severance) is cheating on her. Post-divorce, after that huge settlement and a stint of partying around the globe with her assistant Nicholas (Joel Kim Booster, Fire Island), she gets a call from Sofia Salinas (Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, Pose), the head of the foundation she's forgotten bears her name (and even exists). With Molly's drunken decadence all over the news, the charity is finding it difficult to do its work. So, the organisation's namesake decides to ditch the revelry — and her married moniker, becoming Molly Wells — and put all that dough to better use. She also commits to playing an active role in how her funds can truly help people.
Seven years after making his most recent movie, aka 2015's Chris Hemsworth-starring Blackhat, one of America's best directors is finally back behind the lens. Thief, Heat, The Insider and Collateral filmmaker Michael Mann only helms Tokyo Vice's pilot, but what a tone-setting debut episode it is — as stylish and gritty a piece of television as you're likely to stream any time soon, in fact. Mann also serves as the eight-part book-to-screen series' executive producer, which explains why its slice of neon-lit Japanese-set noir always feels like it bears his fingerprints. Of course, the show isn't shy about its links to the director, who also executive produced the original 1980s TV series Miami Vice, and wrote and directed the 2006 big-screen remake. That said, Tokyo Vice's moniker actually stems from Jake Adelstein's memoir Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan, about his years writing for Yomiuri Shimbun as a non-Japanese journalist. Nonetheless, everything about the HBO-backed program feels as if it was always fated to end up in Mann's hands.
Adelstein was Yomiuri Shimbun's first foreign staff writer, with Tokyo Vice exploring his quest to cement himself inside the publication from the bottom up. As played by West Side Story's Ansel Elgort, Adelstein always stands out, as does his dogged determination to chase the stories he's explicitly instructed to ignore. Murders don't happen in Japan, he's told. What he's witnessing screams otherwise, though. So, he starts spending his own time investigating, befriending Tokyo organised crime division detective Hiroto Katagiri (Ken Watanabe, Godzilla: King of the Monsters) for guidance, and also getting close to club hostess and fellow American-in-Tokyo Samantha Porter (Rachel Keller, Legion), plus jaded Yakuza enforcer Sato (Shô Kasamatsu, Love You as the World Ends). Elgort is the weakest part of the series, but that also suits the overall narrative and its focus on the city's underworld — and everything around him, including Rinko Kikuchi (Pacific Rim: Uprising) and Hideaki Itô (Memoirs of a Murderer), is stellar.
When novels are turned into movies, there's usually a sense that's something is missing, no matter how fantastic the film proves. That's understandable; when you compare the time it takes to unfurl a story on the page with the usual running time of a feature — even a lengthy one — not everything can make the leap from book to screen. Named for the gambling machines that fill Japanese arcades, Pachinko turns author and journalist Min Jin Lee's award-winning text into an eight-part series instead, and it's a canny and clever move. So too is getting filmmakers Kogonada and Justin Chon to direct four instalments apiece, both coming off fantastic work via After Yang and Blue Bayou respectively. And, adding to the smart and savvy choices made by this immediately engrossing series, which unfurls a sweeping, 20th century-set, multi-generational tale about struggle, resilience and endurance: casting always-wonderful Minari Oscar-winner Youn Yuh-jung — as well as newcomer Kim Min-ha as the younger version of her character.
Youn and Kim play Sunja (and, as a child, first-timer Yuna does as well), who anchors a story that's both impressively sprawling and devastatingly intimate. As a girl, she grows up in Japanese-occupied Korea, a fact that shapes every part of her young life. When she's older, she moves to Japan — and by the time that she's a grandmother, that's where the bulk of her existence has unfolded. Jumping between different periods, Pachinko charts how the shadow of colonial rule has lingered over not just Sunja but the family she's brought into the world, including in the 80s where her grandson Solomon (Jin Ha, Devs) works in finance in New York and her son Mozasu (Soji Arai, Cobra Kai) has made his way thanks to the titular game. Splashing an epic story told with emotion, resonance, insight and elegance across the screen, this is at the pinnacle of novel-to-screen adaptations.
Pachinko streams via Apple TV+.
2022 marks a decade since Taron Egerton's first on-screen credit as a then-23 year old. Thanks to the Kingsman movies, Eddie the Eagle, Robin Hood and Rocketman, he's rarely been out of the cinematic spotlight since — but miniseries Black Bird feels like his most mature performance yet. The latest based-on-a-true-crime tale to get the twisty TV treatment, it adapts autobiographical novel In with the Devil: a Fallen Hero, a Serial Killer, and a Dangerous Bargain for Redemption. It also has Dennis Lehane, author of Gone Baby Gone, Mystic River and Shutter Island, bringing it to streaming. The focus: Jimmy Keene, a former star high-school footballer turned drug dealer, who finds his narcotics-financed life crumbling when he's arrested in a sting, offered a plea bargain with the promise of a five-year sentence (four with parole), but ends up getting ten. Seven months afterwards, he's given the chance to go free, but only if he agrees to transfer to a different prison to befriend suspected serial killer Larry Hall (Paul Walter Hauser, Cruella), and get him to reveal where he's buried his victims' bodies.
Even with new shows based on various IRL crimes hitting queues every week, or thereabouts — 2022 has seen plenty, including Inventing Anna, The Dropout, The Girl From Plainville and The Staircase, to name a mere few — Black Bird boasts an immediately compelling premise. The first instalment in its six-episode run is instantly gripping, too, charting Keene's downfall, the out-of-ordinary situation posed by Agent Lauren McCauley (Sepideh Moafi, The Killing of Two Lovers), and the police investigation by Brian Miller (Greg Kinnear, Crisis) to net Hall. It keeps up the intrigue and tension from there; in fact, the wild and riveting details just keep on coming. Fantastic performances all round prove pivotal as well. Again, Egerton is excellent, while Hauser's menace-dripping efforts rank among the great on-screen serial killer portrayals. And, although bittersweet to watch after his sudden passing in May, Ray Liotta (The Many Saints of Newark) makes a firm imprint as Keene's father.
I LOVE THAT FOR YOU
It works for television networks greenlighting new comedies, and it works for viewers picking what to watch, too: take one of Saturday Night Live's extremely amusing ladies, give them their own show, see laughs and smarts follow, profit. I Love That For You actually boasts two such talented women, although they didn't crossover during their SNL stints: Molly Shannon and Vanessa Bayer. The latter plays Joanna Gold, who has always dreamed of being on SVN — Special Value Network, that is. When she was a kid (Sophie Pollono, Small Engine Repair), she was diagnosed with childhood leukaemia, and obsessing over her idol Jackie Stilton (Shannon, The Other Two) as she sold anything and everything helped as a distraction. Now an adult, Joanna still wants to do exactly the same, and leave her job alongside her dad (Matt Malloy, The Sex Lives of College Girls) at Costco behind. But when she gets the chance, she pulls an unimpressed face during her first on-air stint that kills sales, so she says her cancer has returned to avoid getting fired.
On paper, that's an extremely tricky premise. In lesser hands, it'd be downright horrible. As well as being a comic gem here, in SNL, and in everything from I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson to Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar, Bayer had childhood leukaemia herself — and if she didn't, and wasn't also one of I Love That For You's creators and writers, it's highly likely that this series wouldn't work. Thankfully, instead, it takes the same approach that Bayer has clearly always taken since her teenage experience, using humour in clever, sensitive, sincere, amusing, savvy and sometimes surreal ways. The show keeps demonstrating why its setup is worth tackling, too, asking questions about trying to live a normal life and work out who you are after surviving such a diagnosis; how and when sympathy is genuine, earned and milked; and guilt on several levels. It's also an entertaining workplace comedy and a takedown of consumerism, greed and the fact that anything, including sob stories, are for sale if there's something to be sold. And, of course, Bayer and Shannon are dynamite in their shared scenes.
I Love That For You streams via Paramount+.
In one of 2022's new streaming standouts, Bad Sisters, Brian Gleeson tries to get to the bottom of a suspicious death. In another, The Patient, Domhnall Gleeson plays a serial killer. The two shows have more differences than commonalities, but it's clearly a great time for the Frank of Ireland-co-starring Gleeson brothers and twisty tales about crime. For Run's Domhnall, he co-leads a show about a murderer who enlists a therapist to try to stop his homicidal urges. Sam Fortner does indeed sit in Alan Strauss' (Steve Carell, Minions: The Rise of Gru) office and seek his help, but as well as hiding his eyes and face behind sunglasses, he keeps his real name, the bulk of his personal details and bloody pastime to himself. It's only after Strauss wakes up chained in Fortner's house that the latter feels comfortable enough to come clean and truly ask for assistance, albeit under terrifying circumstances for his captive.
Domhnall Gleeson's on-screen resume isn't short on highlights, including Ex Machina and Brooklyn. Carell's has blatantly boasted many, spanning both comedies (Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy and The Office, obviously) and dramas (including his Oscar-nominated work in Foxcatcher). Accordingly, it should astonish no one that they're both instantly gripping in The Patient, as their characters bounce off of each other in inherently grim circumstances; however, they're each also in career-best form. The psychological-thriller series works as two commanding, textured and high-stakes character studies as Fortner demands Strauss' professional best, and ensures he isn't capable of refusing — and works through their respective baggage cat-and-mouse-style from there. In fact, it hits its marks so well that the show's concise format (each episode clocks in at between 20–25 minutes) keeps viewers wanting more.
The Patient streams via Disney+.
Killing It starts with a pitch. It's the first of many because that's just life these days, the show posits. Adding another sitcom to his resume after The Office, Ghosted and his beloved Brooklyn Nine-Nine guest spots, Craig Robinson keeps his first name as a Miami bank security guard with big aspirations — if he can rustle up some startup funds. His vision: owning a saw palmetto farm and living the American dream, because he believed his dad back when he was told as a kid that hard work and perseverance always pay off in the USA. For $20,000, he plans to buy land in the Everglades, then sell the fruit to pharmaceutical companies, who'll use it in prostate medicines for the lucrative health market. But when his branch manager won't give him a loan, and his life spirals soon afterwards, he begins to realise how America really works for everyone who isn't ruthless, wealthy or both.
Striving for a better life, styling yourself to meet society's expectations, getting brutally trampled down: that's Killing It, which hails from B99 co-creator Dan Goor and executive producer Luke Del Tredici. It's a perceptive and savvily funny series about aiming for a shiny future to escape the swampy present, but getting stuck slithering in a circle no matter what you try. And, it's also about literally killing snakes, a money-making scheme that Craig comes across via Uber driver Jillian (Claudia O'Doherty, Our Flag Means Death). She's a chatty Australian who swings hammers at pythons because it's a profitable business — and because there's a contest awarding $20,000 to whoever kills the most. If The Good Place was wholly set in Florida and followed down-on-their luck folks chasing glory by slaying pythons, and also made exceptional use of the well-paired Robinson and O'Doherty, this'd be the end result.
WELCOME TO CHIPPENDALES
Scandals are to the true-crime genre like loose bills are to erotic dancers: virtually essential. On-screen stories about real life can exist without getting into ripped-from-the-headlines territory, of course, and performers who disrobe onstage can do their job without crumpled notes being thrust their way. Still, some synergies just work. In 2022, TV writer and producer Robert Siegel has happily mined sordid chapters of the past for two new streaming series, and how — first with the instantly watchable and engrossing Pam & Tommy, and now with the just-as-easy-to- Welcome to Chippendales. The second sees him survey the eponymous male stripping business, of course, showers of dollar notes and all. And for viewers who don't already know the details behind the world-famous touring dance troupe and its West Los Angeles bar origins, as started by Somen 'Steve' Banerjee back in the 70s and earning ample attention in the 80s, the full rundown has far more than scantily clad guys aplenty, lusty women, and bumping and grinding to an era-appropriate soundtrack.
Kumail Nanjiani (Eternals) plays Steve, who rustles up the cash to start his own backgammon club by working in a service station for years. His dream place: cool, suave and sophisticated, and somewhere that Hugh Hefner might want to hang out. When a rush of patrons doesn't eventuate, the male dancer idea springs after a night at a gay bar with club promoter Paul Snider (Dan Stevens, Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities) and his playboy model wife Dorothy Stratten (Nicola Peltz Beckham, Holidate). But as business partners change, choreographer and Emmy-winning producer Nick De Noia (Murray Bartlett, Physical) gives the troupe its crowd-pleasing moves, Steve kinds a kindred spirit in accountant Irene (Annaleigh Ashford, American Crime Story) and costume designer Denise (Juliette Lewis, Yellowjackets) comes on board, this twists into a tale of money, envy, squabbles over power and ultimately murder. And yes, both Nanjiani and Bartlett are riveting to watch — as are the dance routines De Noia conjures up.
Welcome to Chippendales streams via Disney+.
INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE
When Louis de Pointe du Lac met Lestat de Lioncourt, his life forever changed. His death did, too. That's the story that Interview with the Vampire tells and, by committing it to the page in 1976, Anne Rice's existence was altered for eternity as well — although not quite in the same way, naturally. The author has been known for her Vampire Chronicles series ever since, and its debut entry was adapted into a Brad Pitt- and Tom Cruise-starring 1994 movie before getting a do-over now as a television series. Obviously, the late Rice doesn't share her characters' lust for blood, or their ability to thwart ageing and time. Still, her famed works keep enticing in both readers and viewers — and this latest novel-to-screen version is a gothic series worth sinking your teeth into, especially thanks to its willingness to take on race, to embrace queer themes, to get playful and humorous, and to splash a sweepingly rich iteration of its now well-known tale across streaming queues.
If you've seen the film, you'll know Interview with the Vampire's basic gist, although there has been some tweaking. Nonetheless, Louis (Jacob Anderson, aka Game of Thrones' Grey Worm) and Lestat (Sam Reid, The Drover's Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson) meet in New Orleans, where they're both drawn to each other — and soon the former joins the latter in sleeping in coffins, avoiding daylight and (reluctantly) feeding on people. The series has the titular chatting happen in today's times, however, as a continuation of the movie's first conversation. Yes, this version of Daniel Molloy (Eric Bogosian, Succession) has been there and done this before. That didn't turn out so well for him, so he's reluctant about a repeat discussion, this time in Dubai. But Louis still has quite the story to unfurl, including covering been a Black man trying to make his way in the bayou at the turn of the 20th century, what it's meant to join the undead, his complicated relationship with Lestat, and the arrival of Claudia (Bailey Bass, Psycho Sweet 16) as part of their bloodthirsty family.
Interview with the Vampire streams via AMC+.
THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH
Who'd want to try to step into the one and only David Bowie's shoes? Only the brave and the bold. Two people earn that description in The Man Who Fell to Earth, the new TV sequel to the iconic 1976 movie that starred the music legend in the role he was clearly born to play: an alien who descends upon earth and ch-ch-changes history. Bill Nighy (Buckley's Chance) is charged with taking over the character of Thomas Jerome Newton and, thankfully and with style, he's up to the task. Chiwetel Ejiofor (Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness) slides into the same kind of part that Bowie owned in the original, however, as fellow extra-terrestrial interloper Faraday. He's this follow-up's newcomer to the planet, and he's just as destined to do big things. That's not a spoiler — early in the first episode, Faraday addresses a massive crowd like he's Steve Jobs announcing Apple's latest product, and The Man Who Fell to Earth's tech success uses the occasion to spin his origin story.
Who'd want to try to pick up where one of the best sci-fi films ever made left off? That'd also be the brave and the bold, aka Clarice creators Jenny Lumet and Alex Kurtzman. Drawing inspiration from silver screen gems is obviously the pair's niche of late, but it's worth remembering with this new effort — which takes its cues from Walter Tevis' 1963 novel of the same name, too — that Kurtzman was also behind exceptional 2008–13 sci-fi series Fringe. Indeed, The Man Who Fell to Earth 2.0 feels like the perfect use of his talents, with the series thinking big and brimming with urgency in its vision of a world that might only be able to be saved by a spaceboy who truly cares about stopping climate change's damage. To follow through with his mission, though, Faraday also needs the help of former MIT physics whiz Justin Falls (Naomie Harris, No Time to Die).
The Man Who Fell to Earth streams via Paramount+.
Some shows commence with a dead girl wrapped in plastic. Others begin with a plane crash on a spooky island. With Outer Range, it all kicks off with a void. On the Abbott family ranch in Wyoming, in the western reach that gives the show its name, a chasm suddenly appears. A perfect circle swirling with otherworldly mist and resembling an oversized golf hole, it's just one of several troubles plaguing patriarch Royal (Josh Brolin, Dune), however. There is indeed a touch of Twin Peaks and Lost to Outer Range. A dash of Yellowstone, The Twilight Zone, The X-Files and whichever family-focused prime-time soap opera takes your fancy, too. As a result, while Royal is visibly disconcerted by the unexpected opening staring at him in an otherwise ordinary field in this intriguing, quickly entrancing and supremely well-acted eight-part series — a show that makes ideal use of Brolin especially — he has other worries.
His rich, ostentatious and increasingly madcap neighbour Wayne Tillerson (Will Patton, Halloween Kills) suddenly wants a parcel of the Abbotts' turf, claiming mapping inaccuracies. One of Tillerson's mouthy and entitled sons, Trevor (Matt Lauria, CSI: Vegas), ends up in a bar spat with Royal's sons Rhett (Lewis Pullman, Top Gun: Maverick) and Perry (Tom Pelphrey, Mank). And there's also the matter of Perry's missing wife, who disappeared nine months back, leaving both her husband and their young daughter Amy (Olive Abercrombie, The Haunting of Hill House) searching since. Plus, into this sea of faith-testing chaos amid such serene and dreamlike scenery, a stranger arrives as well: "hippie chick" backpacker Autumn Rivers (Imogen Poots, The Father). She just wants to camp for a few days on the Abbotts' stunning and sprawling land, she says, but she's a key part in a show that's a ranch-dwelling western, an offbeat enigma, an eerie sci-fi, a detective quest and a thriller all at once.
THE GIRL FROM PLAINVILLE
Whatever she's in, and whether she's the star of the show or a supporting player, Chloë Sevigny's face always tells a tale of its own. That's been true in everything from Kids and Boys Don't Cry through to Big Love and We Are Who We Are, and it remains that way in The Girl From Plainville — the new eight-part true-crime miniseries led by The Great's Elle Fanning that's based on the death of Massachusetts teenager Conrad Roy III in 2014. Here, Fanning plays Conrad's long-distance girlfriend Michelle Carter. It's due to the her actions that the situation has been known as "the texting suicide case" for almost a decade — garnering not just local but international attention, and earning a HBO documentary, I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth Vs Michelle Carter, back in 2019. Fanning is fantastic in what proves an eerie character study, but the looks that Sevigny, as Conrad's mother Lynn, shoots her way scream rather than simply speak volumes.
Inspired by Jesse Barron's Esquire article of the same name, The Girl From Plainville tells a tough tale, starting with Conrad's (Colton Ryan, Dear Evan Hansen) suicide in his truck in a Kmart parking lot. It was his second attempt to take his own life, although he'd promised Lynn that he wouldn't do it again — and when his death was investigated, police discovered text messages sent to him by Michelle, including a plethora of words encouraging him to follow through. In 2015, she was indicted on charges of involuntary manslaughter for "wantonly and recklessly" assisting the suicide. In 2017, her trial took place. The outcome is now a matter a history, which the complicated, captivating and gripping The Girl From Plainville builds up to while also unpacking Michelle and Conrad's relationship.
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