8 March 2015 | aGuiltySoul
Lots of Secrets & Lies
This show is entirely wrapped around the chief suspect in the murder of a little boy, that is Ben Garner, played by Ryan Phillippe. We follow him from the moment he discovers the body of a murdered neighbor boy during an early morning run, and through the ins and outs of the investigations. I say investigations because there is the one the police conduct (lead by a stoical woman homicide police detective played by Juliette Lewis in a surprising casting choice) and the other that Ben feels driven to conduct himself.
Ben watches as the constant media attention not only starts to destroy his life but also threatens his family, particularly the well being of his two young daughters. From the beginning, secrets are revealed, all of them damning in one respect or another. Ben's own first reveal not only sets him back but rattles his already shaky marriage.
We watch as Ben becomes a bit maniacal in his attempts to get ahead of the police and to protect his family. We have very little for us to go on to show us the progress or reasoning of the police. That make this series the opposite of a procedural, as well as a murder mystery with a highly emotionally invested central figure. I find that refreshing, but also a little exhausting. However, it's nice to feel so involved in what is happening on the screen.
None of the above would work if not for the quality of the acting which is very well done. That's the glue that holds this whole roller coaster ride together.
There are times you will find yourself yelling at the screen, "What are you doing?!?" Under the pressure of a trial in the court of public opinion and for the ultimate well being of his family, Ben doesn't always make the best decisions. But we do see what is driving him and ultimately it's too late to pretend disinterest. You find yourself very much wanting to see what happens next and how this all comes out in the end. Because at the end of the 10 episodes, we will know who killed that poor child as well as all the dark secrets the neighborhood has been harboring.
Addendum: We are 1/2 way through the series at this point and the drama and heightened emotions have stayed strong. This is an entertaining well done television show.