Friday, June 5, 2020

What I’m Watching: Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story (Season Premiere)

Dirty John: Season 2, Episode 1 “No Fault” (B)

I’m trying to make an effort to stay up to date on limited and anthology series since that’s definitely my weak spot when it comes to television coverage. I watch every pilot but don’t necessarily pick up new storylines on shows that might be totally different each season. I wasn’t impressed at all with the pilot episode of the first iteration, which ended up netting Connie Britton a Golden Globe nomination, and though this installment didn’t pique my interest enough to watch the second one that aired right after it, it’s definitely much improved. What was most intriguing to me is how much it just jumped in when things were already bad, not bothering to introduce the characters at a high point and instead showcasing its protagonist’s misery as her husband sought to make her seem crazy with every move once he was already actively pursuing divorce. Because this real-life crime played out when I was less than a year old, I’m not familiar with it at all, and therefore I can only judge this representation. I’m a big fan of Amanda Peet, who was one of the best parts of “Brockmire,” and I think she’s doing an incredible job here of a passionate person who’s been gaslit too often and just wants to work on a marriage that her husband clearly has no interest in continuing. The range of emotions and the quickness with which she switched from one to another was impressive, and she’s well-matched by Christian Slater, a dependable father figure on “Mr. Robot,” who here with his pretentious clothing and accessories is trying to make it seem that he’s doing everything he possibly could and she’s entirely unreasonable. I’m sure it’s an interesting narrative, and given its premiere date, I imagine this show could net Peet some awards attention next season, which would be very much deserved.

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