Black Bird is an American true crime drama limited series developed by Dennis Lehane, based on the 2010 autobiographical novel In with the Devil: a Fallen Hero, a Serial Killer, and a Dangerous Bargain for Redemption by James Keene and Hillel Levin. This six-part limited series debuted in July on AppleTV+.
Now, Black Bird has a seemingly ridiculous premise –
Jimmy Keene is sentenced to 10 years in a minimum security prison but he cuts a deal with the FBI to befriend a suspected serial killer. Keene has to elicit a confession from Larry Hall to find the bodies of as many as eighteen women. (IMDb)
Seriously, who would agree to such a risky deal? Thus, that ludicrous premise is enough to turn off most critically thinking individuals about Black Bird. But in fact, the premise of Black Bird is indeed, true! And that is what the subject of Keene’s autobiography is about.
Keene, played by Taron Egerton, is a charismatic, cocky drug-dealer who has been outfoxed by the FBI and is coerced into an impossible mission with suspected serial killer Hall (Paul Walter Hauser) as his target. The devil-may-care convict experiences an epiphany of his own as he connects and interacts with the duplicitous, amoral, psychopathic Hall.
Obviously the performances of Egerton and (to a greater extent) Hauser that make Black Bird compelling viewing. The other sub-plots involving the attempts of detective Brian Miller (Greg Kinnear) and FBI agent Lauren McCauley (Sepideh Moafi) in investigating Hall’s crimes further as well as Keene’s relationship with his father James “Big Jim” Keene (Ray Liotta, in his final role) provide icing of a very sumptuous dramatic cake.
Black Bird is a treat for true crime buffs and definitely worth binge-watching.
Now streaming on AppleTV+.
… still there’s more …