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  • gbryl24 January 2016
    It's been awhile since I've had so much fun just sitting in front of the TV... Recommend without reservation. x This is a crime drama that has excellent plot twists and a great execution. Juliette Lewis is superb and is really cast well (here I disagree with some mainstream critics, but what do they know, anyway???)... x x x PS. This site is now retarded for requiring at least 10 lines of a review text. Some people have more to say, some less. Just because you are brief and concise does not mean you have no right to be heard. Even after writing all this extraneous stuff I had to right more. I hope the bright minds behind the 10-line minimum idea will reconsider....
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I watched this as it had good reviews on a few news websites I like but having finished the series I just cant see why anyone is recommending it? The story was pretty terrible from the start, everyone in it looked like a model so seemed completely unrealistic, the detective would turn up and ask 1 question then go again wasting countless hours in travelling, I believe the house got searched twice by supposedly professional police forensic teams and they failed to find a load of money stashed in a loft and blood soaked trainers in a vent underneath the house even though the vent was half out! The last and most ridiculous part is Ben's sacrifice saying he was the murderer as having told at least 3 other people and the Detective knowing he was making it up there is now way in this world that the Prosecutor would have taken it to court as he would have been sued for millions if the truth then came out. I wont bother with series 2 thanks, I was so disappointed as hoped this would be another quality crime drama like True Detective, Southland, The Wire or Homicide - Life on the Street.
  • This is a 10-episode mini series about a fictional crime in North Carolina, USA. It is a remake of an Australian series.

    A married man with 2 daughters (played by Ryan Phillippe) finds the body of a young boy, the son of his neighbor across the street (played by Natalie Martinez) while jogging. He becomes the main suspect for the Police (Detective Cornell is played by Juliette Lewis) and his community.

    The series is made to build up tension in every episode. The spotlight of who is the killer changes constantly as more clues are coming to surface.

    The direction of photography and direction create a haunted atmosphere, but this isn't a supernatural thriller. It's all about the human nature. Emotions, blame, jealousy...

    The acting is OK. You get to see Juliette Lewis with her hair up and a Philip Marlow raincoat playing a relentless homicide detective who won't stop until the killer ends up behind bars.

    10 episodes are too much (the Australian series had 6) but in my opinion if you have the time to invest, check it out.
  • The pilot started in a good way ,, The plot is catchy ,, irritating .the storyline is flowing perfectly .. the Detective is so pushy and uptight in an amazing way ,, that you gotta hate her so much :D

    I never really watched closely in the media at what happen in real cases like these (child murder ) but here in a way you start to create affections for the supposedly suspects and how the Media is dealing with them just to make it to a front page in some paper.

    I believe the whole idea was picked up by the Australian version of the show which ended last summer. it also got a huge compliments last year with high rating.

    The cast is fresh,, you won't easily connect or confuse them to any previous roles ,,Ryan Phillippe and Juliette Lewis did a good job ;)

    The ending of the episode is genius, so you'll definitely want to see what's gonna happen in the next episode.

    I also watched the second episode just now and again they leave you with a breathtaking ending just to keep you tied up to the series ;) !!

    ____________________ Update ___________________________

    The series went really good,as expected, the finale and more specifically the finale couple of scenes were dark and a surprise for a guy who watched the original series , opened the gate for a second season,, Aaaaaaand they renewed.

  • welshNick1 March 2015
    Warning: Spoilers
    A man out jogging discovers a neighbors small boy dead close by. After a failed attempt to resuscitate the boy (presumably leaving his DNA there) the police question him over the circumstances.

    This is a remake of an Australian series of the same name except this one has been lengthened from six hours to ten hours.

    This series is different to your standard whodunnits insofar as it concentrates on the stress levels of the suspect and his family as the police appear to have hung out to dry with the local news media. The local residents appear to suspect the jogger as well. One can feel a certain sympathy for the suspect as he is tried by the media. Whether or not he did it remains to be seen.

    My big problem with this is that it could be done in 4 hours. I have no doubt I will be thoroughly bored by the end and only be watching to see who it was.

    Be prepared for plenty of 'filler' episodes.
  • The original Secrets & Lies was a fine Australian production. The story was gripping, the writing very good and the performances top notch. Then an American version was produced: same story, almost the same script but nowhere near as polished as the original. Ryan Philippe is not a strong presence and Juliette Lewis's version of the unsympathetic and aggressively prosecutorial detective was distractingly overdone. We don't know whether she was overdirected or whether she overacted on her own, but the result was misconceived. It is to Lewis's credit that in spite of h her exaggerated performance one could discern an actor with considerable thespian chops. (I'd add that the inspector in the original Australian production was a pleasure to watch. He exhibited a restrained, polished and almost elegantly dogged skeptical persistence. The actor was the kind of pro that is hard to find in American television.)

    The current season presents a new story whose outline I won't rehash here. What stands out is the embarrassing mediocrity of the writing and the cringe-worthy melodramatic acting. The whole thing looks like a parody of a Lifetime movie. Lingering shots of pained faces and corny music telling you -no, ordering you- to feel what you're supposed to feel. This dreadful show cannot be laid entirely at the feet of the actors. Jordana Brewster is indeed a community theater performer. But Michael Ealy, who turned in an outstanding performance in his appearances on The Good Wife, reverts to Lifetime acting here. The fault clearly lies with the writing and the directors. And Juliette Lewis once again grossly overdoes the hard-ass detective. The episodes are drawn out and the whole thing is as boring as a bag of hair. A crashing disappointment.
  • alessandra-7100128 April 2015
    Love this show! It's full of suspense! It gets you thinking that everyone is the "bad guy". It's not predictable, which is a good thing. I recommend!! You'll want to keep watching it. I am keep up with the show and can't wait to find out who the actual killer was. Some people say it's a predictable show when it's not. The best part is that everyone on that show is good looking. So it spices things up, especially having a Hispanic woman as one of the main characters. Even though I don't know if there will be a season 2 yet, I hope there is. If you're a potato couch or watch TV consecutively when there's time, make this show a must watch on your list!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The writing of this series is horrible. I almost stopped after watching the first episode, but I kept hoping it'd get better. Sadly it didn't. If you have to patience to sit through the entire boring and annoying story line, go for it.

    I'm not even sure where the story was leading, and I might never find out. I know good stories don't reveal themselves early, and you're in for a roller coaster ride full of surprises. However, the story itself needs to be interesting, realistic, and enough questionable cues should be revealed to keep you intrigued. For this story, none of that happened. If the writers intended for Ben Crawford to be the killer, then they're doing a darn good job of not showing any cues of his being guilty. He's portrayed to be an absolutely innocent man who is harassed constantly by this unprofessional cop who has nothing better to do than pinning the murder on him. She has no credible evidence, shows no intelligence in her investigative methodology, and personally I find her demeanor annoying.

    In summary, the story is boring with no interesting elements, the dialogues are mediocre, the pace is slow, and the characters are awfully uninteresting.
  • 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.
  • Love the show, it's not the usual murder mystery. Guilty or not, the suspect is only the suspect because he found the kid, and the media blowing everything up and having to have a villain for their story and people don't realize that's how it is in real life most the time. So im not usually to quick to jump to conclusions, I'm all about knowing the facts. Detective suspects him based off of no real evidence just going by what she assumes. You see the effects it takes on Ben husband/suspect and his life at home and work etc. The story is great, lots of secrets, very intense, keeps you wanting more. The acting is amazing, Ryan Phillipe does an awesome job! You feel for him even tho your not sure if he's innocent or guilty. I think there will be a major twist, cuz of Now after I've seen 3 episodes it seems like anyone could be the killer, you never know.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    season 1: I can not get excited by the story due to the continuous focus on the annoying pressure from the cop played by Juliette Lewis, and all the plump misunderstandings due to the main character misinterpreting and acting ahead of having all the facts. season 2 was OK to watch, and as Lewis character is killed in the end, maybe season 3 gets a new cop and is watchable. now, Juliette is an awesome actor so I can only assume that the horrible outcome is due to the regisseurs instruction on how she should do it. but the character is probably one of the most unlikeable ever and because she is good at acting she plays unlikeable so believable that it is very cringeworthy to watch.
  • I've just finished watching season number 1, I really liked the story but I still can't believe the poor acting. It could have been an excellent story if it had better casting. The Crawford's are really perfect, blonde, beautiful, perfect shape but it's imposible to believe anything they say or do. The best friend, neighbors and lover are really awful. It's really unbelievable how the producers let this one go down the toilet.
  • The mere lack of ability to perform from Juliette Lewis was appalling. She may be able to perform other tasks (characters) but to watch her mere attempt to try to play a detective was the cutting point for me. During the pilot, she always has that "deer in the headlight" kind of look. I wish the best of luck to the director because he probably had to take so many breaks because of her performance. Many actors study for their role. In some cases, even fill in the role (i.e. Jaime Foxx hung out with Ray Charles for some time prior to filming). Another good example are the many actors whom play WWII soldiers that they often spend many hours with or interviewing the veteran. I think Juliette Lewis watched TV to do her studying of (attempting to) act as a detective. She just needs to stick with what she's good at....playing the damsel in distress.
  • The original was tense and gripping. The original had good acting. The original is recent, with modern sensibilities. Maybe once a generation a good story is worth re-making. Update it for cultural relevance. Update the technology and the look.

    But if Americans really can't understand Australian, they can watch it with subtitles.

    Is this really the only way to get an American audience to watch something? How cheap can ABC be? Very sad.

    I suppose this is the easiest way to censor it, and water down the content so as to not disturb delicate puritan sensibilities.

    The world can be so much better than this if you look outside your borders.
  • rchaddock2 March 2015
    Its off to a good start. Hopefully this isn't a who done it without ending.

    I would like to find out who is the killer is before the statute of limitations is up.

    I also hope if this a series that there will be a whole new plot and cast for the renewed season. I would rather see a new series that has finality on the first shot out. Soaps belong during the day, especially a who done it. Also sub plots that have nothing to do with the main plot tends to confuse the viewers. This review process forces the reviewer to not be as subjective as one would wish. Its better to be short and concise then convoluted with lines of text that are unnecessary.
  • Americans can never create classic crime drama. Dont waste money on it.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    (Review based on watching the whole of season 1)

    Over-long, over-plotted and over-elaborate, "Secrets and Lies" is a series that could have benefitted from pruning - a lot of pruning. Buried deep inside the katzenjammer there are a number of valid observations and valid moral points, such as the fact that adults should control their words and actions carefully, from fear of harming children either directly or indirectly. However, these points are hidden inside a large mass of - no, let me rephrase that, inside a large mess of plot twists, revelations, clues, non sequiturs, red herrings, and so on.

    "Secrets and lies" is also notable for its lack of subtlety and nuance. This lack extends to various aspects, such as characters and performances. For instance, there is a female detective who spends most of her time being bitter, grumpy and joyless to the point of caricature. In real life, of course, even the most dour or determined of persons would crack a joke or hum along to a song.

    I was also surprised by the speed with which the male protagonist became both a prime suspect and a public bugbear. The man finds a child's corpse and before you can say "What a tragic discovery" he is discussed, reviled, hounded, oppressed and persecuted, complete with a Greek chorus of newscasters and reporters so extensive that it must represent 90% of American media professionals. Yes, yes, the media can be callous and rash, we get it.

    I gather that this is an American remake of an earlier Australian series. If so, then it's logical to suppose that the original series was better - it's certainly difficult to imagine it being worse.
  • Season 1 was a nuanced psychological thriller with a fantastic resolution. So far season 2 is a soap opera. A shame, I was looking forward to seeing Michael Ealy, the one season wonder, again.

    In season 1 there was palpable tension between the lead suspect and the lead investigator, to the point you weren't sure which was the bad guy. The tension in the community, the actions of the media, the dubious motives of others surrounding the main suspect created a genuine tension right to the very end.

    Season 2 is sensationalist, lacks any genuine tension and revolves around soap-opera style revelations. After 7 episodes I don't think I really care anymore who the murder is.
  • lisajoann9 September 2015
    I think by giving this show 4* I am being generous. I am only on episode two and I am horrified how the Americans have ruined an amazing Australian crime drama!

    The original Australian version was one of the best crime dramas I have seen in years. It was captivating, enthral lung and really kept you on your toes. It had a phenomenal script and an even better cast which you really felt for and cared about.

    In this crappy remake Juliette lewis is beyond awful! That woman cannot act! Ryan Phillipe is OK but doesn't come across as a man that loves his family- there is absolutely no chemistry between him and the kids or his wife. It's like they just got a group of random people together and made hem live under one roof rather than spending the time to find actors who will appear as a family!

    One of the great things about the Australian version was the pace of the show, things unravelled in a natural way and it felt like we were watching a real life story unfold within the press and within the family. Cut to: American version... It's soooo rushed and forced! It's like they're trying to make you like the characters but they give no background or depth to them in the slightest!

    I honestly believe if they HAD to remake this show (which I really don't believe they should have) then the Brits would have done a far better job at adapting it yet keeping it as true to the original as possible so it wouldn't tarnish it! If the Brits had remade it, it would have been closer to their amazing show broadchurch rather than some crappy melodrama that's worthy of the American soap operas!
  • Been watching this mess & am on 6th episode. As the plot unfolds, it becomes more and more implausible. Juliette Lewis' character is so one dimensional and over the top, it's just as I said, unpleasant to watch. It becomes difficult to even look at her. If they developed her character a little, gave her even one redeeming character trait, maybe I would watch the rest of the show, but every time she is on camera I want to avert my eyes. Just don't bother with this one. There are so many better shows out there. I don't understand why we are forced to type 10 lines of text. There's nothing more to as but, if you ever want to echo anything with Juliette Lewis in it ever again, avoid Secrets and Lies.
  • The fact that everything is not included in an episode is very inconvenient. You have to go to a web site or to on demand and watch more to find out what is going on. I do not like this. The show is not that good that I would spend my time going to various places to watch footage. I will not watch it again. It should not be this hard to view a television program.

    There were also episodes which were padded with so much extraneous detail that it wasn't very interesting.

    The characters and plot were well done. It was the superfluous detail that to me fell short and ruined it as mentioned above.

    In the end it turned out to be more trouble than it was worth, so it does not work for me.
  • I have read the other reviews, 10 at the time of this posting, and I strongly disagree with any of them that give less than a score of 7 and any negative feedback about this show. The acting is done very well, anything annoying about any of the characters is meant to be. If all of them were likable then there wouldn't be a show. If you like a twisting turning story-line that leaves you having to watch more, then you will not be disappointed. I have seen all 4 episodes so far and can't wait until next week for more. This show is definitely trying to keep up with the premium channel's series, and do it in a manner so you can watch it with your teen without a bunch of over the top sex scenes or unnecessary language. Now don't get me wrong, I loved The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire, True Detective, and others. But I had to watch them alone for fear of what might be said or shown in front of my daughter. It's good, watch it!
  • Just simply outstanding! Ryan Phillippe giving a fantastic performance .Bravo!The whole cast is great but Ryan Phillippe is absolutely convincing in all that he does. The story itself gripping thriller with twists and turns behind every corner .Just when you think you know where its going, you find yourself on a totally new avenue of suspense ,drama trying to figure out who could have done what and WHY!!!This drama will keep you thinking about yourself in a similar situation.How would you react if your neighbor/ friend would be a murder suspect ? Or from the other side: how would you feel/behave if you would be a murder suspect but not yet officially accused for it? Season Finale update: Just when you think it can't get any just does! Season 2 review: Season two started with high hopes but very quickly turned, in my mind , to mush of one story getting in to the second then the third getting in to the first whilst the fourth waiting for the fifth to get in to the third. Too many unknowns, too many plots, too many of everything. Just lost the interest as there is no main thread to follow. Yes there is a possible victim and a bunch of possible suspects, but as this season is created even the Pope can be a suspect. (No disrespect! ).So after 4 chapters I have given up on it!
  • lawrbren15 November 2017
    I cannot believe Ep10 is the last of the series. What a stupid waste of time. What happened to Ben? Did Andrea manage to track down and punish Abbie? Unless I missed something, it wasn't explained who put the torches in the garage, sent the text to Andrea, or who locked him in his truck. I feel I must have missed an episode. It has spoiled a superb series, which had me hooked from the first.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I think that SECRETS AND LIES (2015-?) had very low expectations going in. I certainly wasn't sure about it. Thankfully, my reservations were alleviated almost immediately! Ironically, my main reservation going into ended up being completely unfounded and that was the casting of Ryan Phillippe in the lead, central role of Ben Crawford. Never one of my favorite actors, I was pleasantly surprised at Phillippe's exceptional, gripping performance in Season 1 of this series! I dare say that it was Phillipe's persuasive portrayal of Ben that kept me tuning in each week.

    In counter to Phillippe, I was ironically not as engaged by Juliette Lewis as Det. Andrea Cornell, at least not until the end of Season 1 when she was less one-dimensional and the writers gave shades of humanity to her character. In retrospect Lewis was really playing a cold, relentless, emotionless person, and she certainly pulled it off. My only issue was that why for so long into the season did she think that Ben was the ONLY reasonable suspect!

    'Secrets and Lies' tells the tale of Ben Crawford (a superb Phillippe), who is the prime suspect in the murder of 5-year old Tom Murphy, the son of Ben's neighbor Jess Murphy (alluring Natalie Martinez). In the opening scene of the series, Ben finds Tom's dead body in the woods during his morning run. Immediately contacting the police, the lead detective on the case is Det. Andrea Cornell (an incredibly stoic Lewis). Cornell pretty much sizes Ben up within minutes and figures him for the killer. Most of the series involves Ben trying to clear his name to counter Cornell continuing to gather mounting evidence against him.

    Other key characters include Ben's wife Christy (excellently played by Kadee Strickland), Ben's 2 daughters Natalie and Abby (very well played by Indiana Evans and Belle Shouse), and Ben's best friend Dave (played in scene-stealing comic fashion by Dan Fogler). It's really Ben's part of the story that kept me engaged, especially his tumultuous relationship with Christy and his funny BFF relationship with Dave. Also Ben's relationships with his respective daughters was involving, with the older Natalie being more rebellious and the younger Abby clinging to Ben as "Daddy's little girl".

    Each episode involved Ben, who has no memory of the events of the night of the murder, trying to piece together clues that could simultaneously jog his memory and clear him of Tom's murder. Subplots involve the various neighbors of Ben, including Jess, all who have their own "secrets and lies" and how they could be suspects since they all live in the same neighborhood as Ben.

    Juliette Lewis' contribution shouldn't go ignored either. Like I said, I just wish we had more shades of her character earlier rather than later, but when the writers really dug into her character's past, that's when I think Cornell became very interesting. And it looks like Season 2 will focus more on Cornell and her personal life, which I'm definitely looking forward to! Again, Phillippe's performance is the real surprise in all of this. He really made me root for Ben and hope that he wasn't the killer in the end. He did a great job of carrying Season 1. This is easily my favorite thing he's ever done and, in my opinion, the best performance of his career. Highly recommended!
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