If you’re anything like me, you’ve spent the better part of the last two years thinking about murder. Okay, that sounds bad… What I mean is, if I’m not watching some eerie documentary on Netflix (Making a Murderer season 2 was insanely good!), I’m probably listening to a true crime podcast (special shoutout to Serial and Teacher’s Pet). True Crime is like the 2019 equivalent of watching CSI all day, just creepy enough to keep you on edge but not too creepy that you’re afraid of the dark
Somewhere in between googling the Hae Min Lee and Steven Avery cases, I stumbled upon the Dirty John podcast and devoured it in less than 24 hours. The podcast was so popular that before all the episodes had even aired, a television show based off it was in development! The show, originally on Bravo, just released its 8 episodes on Netflix last week. And if true crime isn’t your thing, don’t worry, this show is more Real Housewives than it is a thriller.
Dirty John recounts the true story of a con man named John Meehan (Eric Bana) as he works his latest con : business woman and mother of two Debra Newell (Connie Britton). John fed Debra this fantasy of him being a wealthy, successful and respected anesthesiologist when they met on a dating website. Even with all the warnings signs, two months later, she married him. Throughout the series we will see him lie, manipulate and take over this woman’s life. You will not believe the lengths he will go to. And remember, this is based on true events… While the show took some small liberties, most of it really happened!
Connie Britton (of Friday Night Lights fame) plays a gullible, rich Californian stereotype, think Julie Cooper from The OC but without the attitude. She does it so well, she will have you screaming at her through your television. Eric Bana, hot as he may be, is so creepy and scary in this. Unlike Penn Badgley in Netflix’s You, you won’t want Bana’s Dirty John kidnapping you. Other standout performances are Juno Temple and Julia Garner as Terra and Veronica, Newell’s daughters. They are the show’s voices of reasons, they will yell at Debra just like you’re yelling at your television, and will have you rooting for them.
If you really want to deep dive into the Dirty John world, I highly recommend listening to the Wondery podcast that started it all. Or you could find the real Terra Newell on Instagram for all the fast fashion coupon codes you could ever want ;)
Watching this little popcorn gem is definitely a guilty pleasure. It’s not going to shape television for years to come or shake you to your core. But, it is the perfect show to binge on a Sunday while Marie Kondo-ing your closet with a glass of wine.