‘Love and Death’ Is Based on a True Story That’s Every Bit as Deranged as It Sounds
We're obsessed with true crime stories of deception, murder, and villainy, I mean why else would the genre be growing so much over the years? Could it be that the faux-positivity everyone is slinging on social media these days is subconsciously being identified as a not-so-clever ruse? Do people want to secretly succumb to the idea that human destruction is the way to go, because all of this bubbly, fake "just Yoga it" empty-quote way of life isn't cutting the mustard?
If that seems like a harsh social criticism, just remember that shows like Love and Death are based on a true story.
Yes, HBO Max's 'Love and Death' is a true story.
The limited series stars Elizabeth Olsen (WandaVision, Wind River) as Candy Montgomery, a real-life Texas housewife who murdered Betty Gore in 1980.
The show marks what should be another great entry in Lionsgate Television's string of excellent HBO properties created by David E. Kelley and Nicole Kidman. The pair also worked together on Big Little Lies and The Undoing; Love and Death looks like it will keep that momentum of sordid tales going.
The series was written by Kelley and is based on a collection of articles found in Texas Monthly that share the same name ("Love & Death in Silicon Prairie") along with the book Evidence of Love: A True Story of Passion and Death. The mini-series is directed by Lesli Linka Glatter, who's got a ridiculous list of credits to her name.
Glatter most recently directed an episode of The Morning Show along with the upcoming series The Banker's Wife, 25 episodes of Homeland, a couple of episodes of Ray Donovan, and turns on Justified, Masters of Sex, The Walking Dead, The Newsroom, True Blood, Pretty Little Liars, and a ton of other known series.
What is 'Love and Death' about?
Deadline offers up what is probably the most succinct and wonderfully deranged descriptions of the show: "The series revolves around two churchgoing couples enjoying small-town family life in Texas, until somebody picks up an ax."
Candy and Betty met one another at The Methodist Church of Lucas and they started off as close friends.
However, Candy Montgomery had grown bored with her husband Pat and wanted an affair packed with "transcendent sex." After bumping into Betty's husband accidentally during a volleyball game, she thought that that Allan would fit the bill nicely because he "smelled sexy."
After the two got to know each other in the church, their fondness for one another grew until Candy mustered up the courage to flat-out tell Allan that she was attracted to him.
Then it turned into Candy asking Allan if he "would be interested in having an affair." The direct question caught Allan off guard, but they brainstormed and methodically planned their affair routine. And the amount of consideration and preparation they put into it was kind of...impressive.
Just take a look at this blurb from Texas Monthly at the list of rules they decided on before becoming "entangled" with one another:
"If either one of them ever wanted to end the affair, for whatever reason, it would end. No questions asked.
If either one became too emotionally involved, the affair would end.
If they ever started taking risks that shouldn’t be taken, the affair would end.
All expenses—food, motel room, gasoline—would be shared equally.
They would meet only on weekdays, while their spouses were at work."
Candy would be in charge of fixing lunch on the days they met, so that they could have more time. They figured they would need all of Allan’s two-hour lunch.
Candy would be in charge of getting a motel room, for the same reason.
They would meet on a Tuesday or a Thursday, once every two weeks.
That was because Candy was free only on days when her little boy attended the Play Day Preschool at Allan Methodist Church. She took him each Tuesday and Thursday, from nine to two, but she figured that she would need three out of four of those school days for all the other errands and church and school duties in her hectic schedule."
Well, as it's easy to imagine, they did become emotionally entangled, and, well things took an evil turn, with Candy, a churchgoing mother just looking for an affair, killing another mother and the wife of her lover with an ax.
You can read parts one and two of the Texas Monthly story here and here as a warm-up to the HBO Max premiere in 2022.