Tell Me Lies is an original Hulu series based on the book of the same name by Carola Lovering. The show premiered in early September 2022 and follows Lucy (Grace Van Patten) and Stephen (Jackson White) through their extremely toxic college relationship. He is clearly a manipulative upper-class student, while she is a naïve freshman when it comes to the dynamics of casually connecting in a post-high school environment. There are some other interesting subplots along the way, but overall it’s a pretty steamy show that explores the interworking of college relationships as the characters navigate school, obligations social issues, their future and disputed families.
In the first episode, the show introduces viewers to the remnants of Lucy’s group of college friends, Bree (Catherine Missal), Pippa (Sonia Mena), Evan (Branden Cook) and Wrigley (Spencer House), as they all attend Bree and Evan. marriage four years after graduation. It’s kind of a de facto college reunion. As with any TV show set up, audiences get a crash course in each character’s relationships as they begin their introduction. Luckily, the series does this well without making the situations and conversations seem too contrived.
As with most old friends, conversations are comfortable and reminiscent of the past after a long period of separation. The dialogue feels natural while giving the audience just enough information before viewers are taken back eight years to Lucy’s welcome week as a freshman in the fall of 2007, which then begins the premise. of the show.
At first glance, Tell Me Lies might seem like a simple, free-to-air show for young adults. Fortunately, however, it’s more than that. Its characters feel like real people struggling with the same situations that most of its viewers have or are currently experiencing, which is why it’s a show worth watching.
The series’ female characters are refreshingly complex people.
Tell Me Lies is surprisingly nuanced. The female characters have richer and more complex relationships with each other than most shows about interworking college relationships. Although most of their discussions with each other involve that of the men, the women on the show do not put each other down to build themselves up. They aren’t pitted against each other as a cheap way to advance the story. On the contrary, they have real conversations and maintain the agency in the space they inhabit on screen.
It’s refreshing to see female characters who don’t inherently blame other women for men’s transgressions. On a show where shame might be a regular trope for drama, none of the women even hint at such thoughts. Don’t get me wrong, the show isn’t a groundbreaking feminist drama, but given the context, it’s refreshing to see women interacting with each other in a truly supportive way.
The storytelling is surprisingly character driven
True to its name, Tell Me Lies is full of characters who continue to lie to themselves and themselves, but they mostly do so in understandable and relatable ways. They’re young and stupid, but they’re not mean. As episodes progress, viewers learn about the previously unknown relationships between key characters in gripping and generally interesting ways to watch. Such commitment is only possible because the show manages to make good use of its characters as the story unfolds.
It’s easy to worry about what happens to Lucy and her friends, as viewers see the struggle many of them face as a result of the decisions they make. Whether or not audiences agree with these decisions, there’s no denying that everyone on the show has layers to explore.
Even Lucy’s toxic lover Stephen, arguably the most hateful character in the entire series, has complexities regarding his obnoxious behavior. He’s more than just an antagonist, but the show never makes excuses for his actions. Instead, he pulls back the curtain on his home life and dives into how that upbringing clearly shaped his worldview and his so-called college friendships. It allows the viewer to decide for themselves. Spoiler alert: it’s still terrible. Nevertheless, he is a captivating character.
Similar to other Hulu shows like Normal People and Conversations With Friends, Tell Me Lies highlights the complexity of human relationships and how messy they can be. People are notorious for making bad decisions when it comes to love and relationships, especially young college students. Rather than romanticize the situation like so many movies and TV shows tend to do, Tell Me Lies stays true to its name and shows that most young adults who start new “love” ignore the red flags and only listen to what they want. listen. At the end of the day, the show is entertaining and compelling to watch.
Tell Me Lies is currently streaming on Hulu, and new episodes of the series air every Wednesday.