Apple TV+'s new 10-episode crime drama revolving around a fictional true-crime podcast. But despite starring Octavia Spencer along with Aaron Paul and Lizzy Caplan, the show's biggest flaw is its fake podcast, titled Reconsidered. "The main issue, says Julian, "is we are told that Reconsidered, Poppy’s podcast, has millions of fans, but at least in the first three episodes, we never see any proof of this. There is no glimpse into online discourse surrounding the case or examples of how the newly uncovered information affects the world beyond the show’s main players. In one episode of Reconsidered, Poppy basically alleges that the local police chief committed the murder and threw his own teenage son in jail as a sacrifice. Why does literally no one care except the police chief himself? That seems like the kind of major accusation that, if disseminated to millions of listeners, would trigger some kind of community response! There are still plenty of episodes left for the show to prove me wrong and, given the promising talent of the cast and my personal love of crime shows, I hope it does. But as it stands, the podcast framing of Truth Be Told seems at best like a half-hearted attempt to separate itself from other crime shows by adding a trendy 21st-century twist, and at worst, a thinly veiled device to allow Spencer to explain the plots and themes in lieu of conveying them organically."
Truth Be Told is a "logline" show that sounds good when described on paper: "Somehow, it manages to be pedestrian and tedious and not as entertaining as it should be, despite all the talent involved and factors that should work in its favor," says Jen Chaney. "So far, Apple TV+ seems to be specializing in logline shows, all of which sound strong in theory but don’t always execute in practice. Of the ones I’ve seen so far, only Dickinson, which is awesome, and The Morning Show, which becomes more engaging as it progresses, actually deliver on their premises. Truth Be Told is a promising elevator pitch that ultimately underwhelms."
Truth Be Told is toothless: "Apple TV+'s kinda pulpy, mostly windy crime drama is an art-imitates-life-imitates-art narrative that fictionalizes America's current obsession with true-crime stories and true-crime podcasts," says Robyn Bahr. "But here's the thing about true crime: We like it because it's true."
Truth Be Told doesn’t appear to know what approach it wants to take: "With a stacked cast and a premise that gives way to a wealth of ideas, Truth Be Told could have been a solid story about many things: wrongful convictions, the justice system, the power and pitfalls of journalism, the transformation of an innocent youth, how obsessions can break you apart, etc," says Pilot Viruet. "However, Truth Be Told doesn’t work—perhaps it gets better after the first four episodes, but that seems like a stretch—and instead it’s the rare crime mystery where I don’t care about getting to the end."