LOVE AND DEATH is a mixed bag with a story that has been told before several times with no new insights. What makes this limited series compelling and quite intense at times is the stand-out performances by Elizabeth Olsen, Jesse Plemons, and Patrick Fugit. It is based on a true story that exploded on June 13, 1980, in Wylie, Texas.  

LOVE AND DEATH was created and written by David E. Kelley. It’s a gruesome tale about the church, marriages that yearn for spice, an old ax, gossip, cover-ups, meltdowns, and bald-faced lies. The problem is we have heard this all before. Nothing new really stands out for consideration. The dialogues, at times, are stilted. We literally go from point A to point B and so on until the conclusion. What is mesmerizing is Elizabeth Olsen as Candy. 

Candy is a complicated character, and Elizabeth captivated viewers with her heart-wrenching, soul-less eyes. She could just stare right through any situation and melt those around her into believing how innocent she was while covered in blood. Her animalistic screams from her past “sssshhh” me into total silence. She was the center and the cause of all that happened. It was like a dominoes effect that couldn’t be stopped—stunning and stellar acting. 

The rest of the ensemble was excellent as well. I was totally into her attorney’s over-the-top magnificent portrayal and the intentional easy-going “melba toast” Allan Gore. So many lives were ruined by starting a non-committal affair, and the repercussions are still felt forty years later. 

LOVE AND DEATH is not a series everyone has to watch. It is, however, an incredible lesson in becoming “one” with your character. It is sensationalism at its best with an Emmy-worthy presentation by Elizabeth Olsen. It is available to stream on Max.

Esta Rosevear

Esta Rosevear has been a Theatre Arts teacher and director for 35+ years, published Children’s author of the Rebecca series, and is passionate about playing her violin, walking, gardening, and reading murder mysteries.

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