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Black Bird season 1 review – a slick crime drama that keeps you guessing

June 30, 2022

This review for the Apple TV+ series Black Bird season 1 contains no major spoilers. The series premieres July 8, 2022.

Series developer and writer Dennis Lehane (shutter island) has assembled a hell of a cast for this superb Apple TV+ detective series, which will debut in July on the streaming platform. Taron Egerton (Rocketman) leads this star-studded cast as a selfish drug dealer looking to shorten his prison sentence when a tantalizing opportunity comes his way. He must be transferred to a maximum security prison for the criminally insane and befriend a serial killer no less, in order to obtain a crucial confession from the supposed murderer, played by whisperer Paul Walter Hauser (Richard Jewell). This appealing premise makes for an intriguing watch as the showrunners tease the possibility that this creep could break free at any moment or haven’t even committed the atrocious acts he confessed to in the first place.

Charming drug dealer Jimmy Keene (Egerton) is our man on the inside, charged with a lengthy jail sentence due to an FBI raid, where they seized a shipment of drugs, cash, and drugs. weapons the size of Pablo Escobar in his sumptuous mansion. This friendly criminal seems to thrive on the inside, but is still desperately looking for a way out. His salvation comes in the form of a bittersweet offering that Jimmy is initially hesitant to accept. He must go through a grueling interview process and learn to empathize with this psychopath before he can transfer and meet him.

Jimmy receives the serial killer, Larry Hall’s dossier and begins to do his homework, reading about the murderer. It works as a seamless transition into the investigation itself, with Detective Brian Miller (Greg Kinnear) and FBI Agent Lauren McCauley (Sepideh Moafi) on the case. Larry is renowned in the Indiana area for being a serial confessor, someone who has a habit of admitting to criminal acts just for sheer attention. Brian suspects otherwise and manages to get a detailed confession from Larry, but was he provoked? The writers do an impressive job of keeping this puzzle at the forefront of the viewer’s mind, with clues pointing both ways. The FBI thinks he may have killed up to fourteen girls, and yet they only have one body to go on. They need Larry to provide the others’ locations and that’s where Jimmy comes in.

The show splits its narrative between the prison antics Jimmy endures and the detective’s fruitless investigation outside, with a haunting score provided by Scottish rock band Mogwai simmering in the background. This is expertly-made drama, with slick camerawork and an authentic gritty side to it. The acting is superb and it’s hard to single out a single performer, but Ray Liotta, in one of his last performances, really sticks in the memory. He embodies a fragile man full of regrets with experience and aplomb. Other Hollywood A-listers bring their usual panache to top things off. Black bird is another triumph for Apple TV+, whose USP now appears to be high-quality dramas featuring top movie stars.

What did you think of the Apple TV+ series Black Bird season 1? Comments below.

You can watch this series with an Apple TV+ subscription.

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