I had the absolute greatest time at SXSW premiere of HBO Max's newest show, called Love & Death. A show that is based on the true story of Candy Montgomery, which many people have heard before since its major release run. Not that long ago there was a very familiar show called Candy which stars Jessica Biel. As one can tell, this is a very well known and enthralling story. With this new show, it stars Elizabeth Olsen and Jesse Plemons, as the main characters. This new rendition proved to be more dark comedy than anything else and almost has a thriller/horror aspect. Makes sense to have these tones based on the events that happened in Candy's life. Elizabeth and Jesse have amazing chemistry and every cast member brings a very unique style to the table. Like I stated earlier, this show was funny which caught me by surprise. It was uncomfortably funny to be honest, based on the subject matter. If those who do not know the full story, Candy eventually has an affair and killed her lover's wife with an axe. Especially since this is based on true events, it felt wrong to laugh at times, but it truly makes sense why they went this direction. They really wanted to establish the scenarios these characters were in, to make it make sense why they do the actions they do. The show writer and director really drive home the message that this is a dark tale as well and something truly awful happened. That is never in the background, but the comedy helps push the narrative. They blend the horrors of what happened with the comedic elements very well done.
At SXSW we were able to check out the very first episode of the 6 in the mini series. In just within an hour runtime, we were able to get a lot of groundwork completed. The show never felt rushed or out of place which I really commend. We really spent time to get to know all of the characters and what their life is like. We see the dynamic Candy has with her church, husband, kids, best friend and new found affair lover. Elizabeth Olsen is a powerhouse when it comes to her performance. She plays a character who is someone who loves to explore what she wants in life. Although some may see it as wrong, the show really depicts why she does it. Deep in its core, the show is really about being lonely and just wanting to be seen by someone. Also that the social norms in gender roles shouldn't matter. She wants something more in her life than just staying at home, cooking and being the support for her family. Her wanting more and wanting something for herself makes sense, even though it becomes a slippery slope for both her the Jesse Plemons' character. Both know that what they are doing is wrong, but the show really makes it plausible of why they would take the risk. There is a great detail of reasoning in the show. Based on the Q&A, they really tried to keep as much of the real story in it as possible. Which makes the more outrageous scenes that much more engaging. So many things happened that you wouldn't believe, but it was all true!
Love & Death is going to prove to be a great mini series for so many reasons. The cast is truly incredible and the story is enthralling. The only thing I don't like about it, is that it is based on a true story. I do think the show runners are telling the story in very respectful way and true to what happens, but it just always makes me uneasy knowing someone really died. I did not think that I would laugh so much in a dark story and I did. The whole crowd at the event was laughing. It is brilliant that they start and end the show on a more serious note, which makes the main story important and unforgettable. Although funny, it does show that it's still surrounding the killing that happened and that's the real story. I think Love & Death is an incredible character piece that many people will fall in love with. This show is seductive, sexy and hot when it wants to be as well. I never doubted Candy (Olsen) and Allan (Plemons) not liking each other. The flirtation at first is comical, but things really become serious in a build up. They really play off each other very well. They don't rush into it and they go through many plans before they even do anything. It was super realistic and seeing their chemistry was phenomenal. They truly are the driving force of the series, but everyone in it also brings so much value. I do really think people are gonna love this show and I can't wait to see the rest of the mini series.
Written By: Frederick Nuti