Parents' Guide to

Truth Be Told

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Stellar cast meets so-so writing with predictable outcome.

TV Apple TV+ Drama 2019
Truth Be Told Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 18+

Great cast

There are a few short sexual scenes, implied rapes, and dealing with emotions and fear of rape in addition to murder, suicide, drug/alcohol abuse, and violence so definitely not for kids. Loved this cast though and the story had us binge watching. *Apple does some self promoting but it’s tasteful.
age 15+

All over the place

Like other appleTV+ shows the picture quality and shot angles are awesome, but the story starts off painfully slow with a lot of unnecessary detail chaotically sprinkled all over the first three episodes. Usually you see that kind of development in spinoffs and when networks try to squeeze the maximum out of a book making it into two or more tv seasons. By episode three the main characters, including Poppi, look more ambiguous than they should. Lets see how the story develops, who knows maybe the stellar cast is in it for the story not just the money.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (1 ):

With its five-star cast and a fresh premise, this drama comes on like something new and notable but it plays out more like a middling crime drama, a poor man's How to Get Away with Murder, maybe. But when Murder premiered in 2014, the idea of a movie star on a TV series was still enough to bring some frisson to the proceedings; now, deep into television's modern golden age, it takes more to attract loyal viewers, even though -- and who could deny it? -- principal players Octavia Spencer, Aaron Paul, and Lizzy Caplan are all enormously appealing and sympathetic. And it's not that Truth Be Told is even bad, it just doesn't rise above what viewers are already watching. There are soap-opera-ish revelations -- secret lives, mistaken identities, illicit affairs -- and twists and turns, and characters with fatal flaws, and storylines that could be cleared up if people would just talk to each other like human beings instead of dropping cryptic clues.

The show also suffers from a slow pace, taking its time to get to places it knew you would get, which robs some of the sudden revelations of their urgency. And it cranks up the stakes unrealistically: Poppy podcasts every week? And she plans to keep up her podcasting schedule even while she investigates Warren's case? That's not a thing. It takes investigative journalists weeks, months, years to gather evidence and put together any kind of narrative because in real life, twists aren't conveniently doled out on the reg. Warren's mom has terminal cancer; she was given six months to live four months ago, and hopes that Poppy's podcast will free her son in time for her to see him on the outside before her death. Um, you thought your son's life in prison with no parole sentence will be overturned in 8 weeks after a journalist has just begun her investigation? Wishful thinking is a thing but this is ridiculous; what a shame, Caplan, Spencer, Paul and everyone else in the cast deserves better.

TV Details

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