Do you remember when movies and TV shows labeled “shabby” actually fulfilled the promise of shabby? Nobody else either, which at least leads to the faux-dirty veneer splattering over it Harriet Warner‘S “Tell me your secretsLess disappointing: if nothing that aspires to laziness manages to get there, we can forgive a show for half-heartedly evaluating an attempt at dirtbag storytelling. Failure is failure, however, and Tell Me Your Secrets, aside from its scattered, better virtues, makes itself muddled by the decision path of filth and leaning on a tangle of intertwined storylines written to emphasize the show’s title. The protagonists have secrets, but Hoo Boy, they’re not that just Ones!
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The number of ways in which Warner inserts excess meaning into the basic idea of ”Tell Me Your Secrets” ultimately dominates the areas in which that meaning should have the greatest weight. The show revolves around three people: Kate (Lily raven), renamed “Emma” as she begins a new life in witness protection, Mary (Amy Brenneman), Head of a foundation that tracks down missing children, and a grieving mother who carries a torch for her own lost daughter, and John (Hamish Linklater), a serial robber who seeks redemption. Mary believes serial killer Kit Parker (Xavier Samuel), Emma’s previous squeeze, took her girl out and is so desperate to find her that she leads John to serve as her personal private investigator driving all over Texas (and beyond) to find Emma. Like John, Emma wants to get past her crime and punishment, even though she is by far the nicer of the two. She knows nothing about Kit’s crimes during their relationship, and after being exposed to the truth, tries to put the pieces of their life back together.
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So there you have it: an unequal trio, indirectly linked solely by circumstances, each of them burdened by their stories of suffering and internal struggles. But that’s not the case enough secretsSo of course there must be others. Pete Guillory (Enrique Murciano), Emma’s psychiatrist and de facto WPP handler, is to a former patient, Lisa (Ashley Madekwe) and could also be a stealth creepazoid; Rose Lord (Chiara Aurelia), a local teenager who lives in Emma’s new home in St. James, Louisiana, is regularly welcomed by her mother Diana (Katherine Willis); Jess (Emyri Crutchfield), another St. James child and Emma’s first friend lives in a group home for unwanted teenagers that has its own shabby background. Secrets create secrets create even more secrets and then a lot other Secrets, apparently jealous of the attention the first secrets get, raise their heads and complicate an already gnarled series.
There’s a palpable lack of audience confidence in the pile of muffled screams and whispers that include “Tell Me Your Secrets,” as if Warner and her team were a bit concerned about whether or not the main narrative is enough Narration and requires additional narration to glue all ten episodes together. Frankly, this is a colossal literary misstep. On the one hand Brenneman, Linklater and in particular Rabe, a consistent, powerful performer who knows how to smoothly maneuver the gap between Emma’s innocence and her complicity, functions as a great core cast. or never (a’la Emma). They are all looking for the same things above all else, for peace, closure and absolution, and they all conduct their individual searches in markedly different ways.
John seeks by staying to himself and turning to spiritual practice. Mary, by making herself public, seeks a prominent advocate for the rights and safety of children across the country. Emma’s quest exactly follows John’s lead – she’s necessarily a loner, except when she saves Jess from Rose’s bullying and then slowly becomes friends with Rose when Jess goes missing. She could be dead. Someone could have murdered her. We all see the body but we don’t see it go away and Emma sets out to defend herself – Pete believes she is hallucinating from her medication, but remember that he’s a creepazoid – by meeting strangers ingratiated against. A rich text is created on the paper that corresponds to character parallels. In practice, the wealth is intersected by a whole alphabet of subplots that only detract from what Warner is trying to do by connecting the dots between her leads.
All “Tell Me Your Secrets” needs is to highlight their differences while highlighting what they all have in common. Someone like Emma can being guilty and innocent at the same time, guilty of her association with Kit, but impeccable due to ignorance; someone like john could Go a better way with the right tools, but it might as well deviate. Someone like Mary, whose life is irrevocably changed by male predators, can become predators himself. (Not that Warner intended this, but Mary actually offers an interesting slide Carey MulliganCharacter in Emerald Fennell‘S “Promising young woman”; Where this film cannot decide whether its heroine is a crusader or a criminal, “Tell Me Your Secrets” has an instantly clear perspective on Mary’s spiritual well-being as her mission slowly unravels her spirit and morals.)
But the show goes on too many tangents as if trying to justify its own name, and none of them are as good or as resonant as the ones Emma, Mary and John cling to. Tut-tutting “tell me your secrets” for its basic obscurity would be foolish; It’s perfectly okay that Warner is nihilistic rather than hope. But she leans forward enough in her efforts to see that goal with the whole damn show falling flat on her face. When you think of the show tilt getting darker, it manages to find a new layer of darkness, like a black hole of bad feelings that is so overwhelming that even two seasons of “game of ThronesCan’t compare. Boggy neo-noirs about child murder won’t naturally be sunny. However, “Tell Me Your Secrets” doesn’t even look for a single ray. It is an overall inhuman experience. [C-]