Weird and nervous, “candy” Jessica Biel’s limited crime-based series icing on the cake after star producer “sinner.” Here, the two hats serve up a low-key “why” true crime story with all the frills of a “Dateline” episode, which happily doesn’t outpace its popularity in five episodes.
Bill, made for Hulu, dons a Harpo Marx wig to play Candy Montgomery, a hapless housewife who starts an affair, breaks her own rules, doesn’t let feelings stick, and ends up getting involved in a creepy act, Claim one life, smash other lives.
Like Frozen, the small Texas town where it all unfolds is also a character, a place where people hold grudges and live peaceful, hopeless lives, sitting next to betrayed people in church with their faces hanging on Full of smiles.
Victim, Betty Gore (Melanie Lynskey, fresh graduate “Yellow Jacket”), is married to Ellen (Pablo Schreiber), and her children are friends with Candy. It made the series of events all the more shocking and sad, with Betty raising a baby, disturbed by the number of business trips her husband took, and when they adopted an unhappy foster child, he told him, “I can’t be in this situation. Next deal with the house where the other person doesn’t want to be here.”
Using familiar fixtures, “Candy” basically starts at the end and then works backwards, depicting a community where everyone seems restless for different reasons, and a casual volleyball team that becomes the source of its own mini-soap opera.
“Candy” comes with the necessary disclaimer, which means there is freedom in the actual story, and the tone based on dark irony feels more pronounced, which is much better than recent stories “The truth about Pam.” The performance from Biel and Lynskey is poignant and convincing, and the unexpected turns make this one of those fact-based pieces where the less you know, the better.
Given the context of popular murder and infidelity being a true crime, it’s hard to stand out from the crowd. Hulu will try to do this with its scheduling approach, with one episode every day, Monday through Friday, or as we used to call it, “television.”
In a similar fashion, “candy” doesn’t break new ground, but neither is it really needed. Yes, it has a lot of company in this particular genre, but thanks to the principal, it’s tastier than most.
Candy will premiere on Hulu on May 9.