Candy Part 1 is the first instalment of an American true crime drama streaming television miniseries created by Nick Antosca and Robin Veith. The series stars Jessica Biel as the real-life Candy Montgomery, who was accused of brutally murdering her best friend, Betty Gore (played by Melanie Lynskey) in 1980s Texas. In the light of the popularity of dramatisations of true crime stories – like The Staircase and The Thing About Pam – we take the opportunity to analyse whether these true crime dramas are worth the time and effort to begin with.
S P O I L E R S
Candy Part 1 is a good example of everything that is wrong with these true crime dramas. Even if one is unfamiliar with the facts of the case or even with the premise of the miniseries, it is clear early on in this episode that Betty will not survive the duration. After all, there is a frame that states – “The Day She Died” in bold letters so, it’s been communicated to the audience.
So, the manner in which Candy Part 1 drags out the ultimate reveal of Betty’s dead body is frankly, tedious. That Candy is also the murderer is yet again common knowledge to the audience as well. Thus, where is the tension of conflict? Non-existent, whatsoever. In that light, this miniseries becomes less about how the deed was done but why. It has to be, to be honest.
Now, The Thing About Pam was intriguing because the titular character was engaging in her own diabolical way and Renee Zellweger was brilliant in the role. The Staircase already exists as a documentary – depicted in the dramatised miniseries no less – and that somewhat lessens the latter’s impact. Wherein lies the question – does true crime work better as a documentary or as a drama or even a bit of both? It depends. The Thing About Pam works – for the reasons above – but the jury is still out on The Staircase, so to speak!
Candy Part 1 has us on the fence somewhat but we are willing to give it time to engage us.
Now streaming on Hulu.
… still there’s more …