TV review: Black Bird, on AppleTV+

Paul Walter Houser and Taron Egerton
Paul Walter Houser and Taron Egerton

So as I'm writing this review, it's the end of May, and I've just finished Black Bird ... but since the embargo drops today, June 30th, I have no one to talk to about it! And I wish I did, because this show is fantastic. 

About the show:
Inspired by actual events, when high school football hero and decorated policeman’s son Jimmy Keene (Taron Egerton) is sentenced to 10 years in a minimum security prison, he is given the choice of a lifetime—enter a maximum-security prison for the criminally insane and befriend suspected serial killer Larry Hall (Paul Walter Hauser), or stay where he is and serve his full sentence with no possibility of parole. Keene quickly realizes his only way out is to elicit a confession and find out where the bodies of several young girls are buried before Hall’s appeal goes through. But is this suspected killer telling the truth? Or is it just another tale from a serial liar? This dramatic and captivating story subverts the crime genre by enlisting the help of the very people put behind bars to solve its mysteries.

“Black Bird,” a gritty, suspenseful six-episode psychological thriller developed and executive produced by Dennis Lehane, will premiere globally with the first two episodes on Friday, July 8, 2022 on Apple TV+, followed by one new episode weekly every Friday. The series is adapted from the true crime memoir “In with the Devil: A Fallen Hero, a Serial Killer, and a Dangerous Bargain for Redemption” by James Keene and Hillel Levin.

Taron Egerton in Black Bird

The synopsis I read of the show before starting it was briefer than this, and I didn't realize that Taron Egerton is in it, as well as Paul Walter Houser, who was great in Richard Jewell. I also usually enjoy Egerton's movies too, such as Kingsman: The Secret Service

Both Egerton and Houser were phenomenal in this show—Houser especially, whom I read had to lose 30 to 40 pounds for the role. He played the serial killer Larry Hall very, very well, and I ended up looking up some information on both Hall and Keene during the show, to read more about them, based on his performance. 

Greg Kinnear also has a small role, as a police officer, and the now-late Ray Liotta, as Jimmy's father, and both of them did well in their roles too. 

TV review: Black Bird, on AppleTV+

I wouldn't be surprised if you see a lot of award recognition for Black Bird itself, as well as Houser and Egerton, for the 2023 award season. They both were fabulous in their roles and I almost wish the series was longer—it's a six-episode miniseries—because I would have liked to have seen more of them, although the story did seem to wrap up nicely.

5 stars out of 5.

The first two episodes of Black Bird will premiere on Friday, July 8th, followed by one episode weekly on Fridays.

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