Now Streaming: APPLES NEVER FALL Tries to Teach, MANHUNT Simply Thrills

Annette Bening, Sam Neill, Jake Lacy and Alison Brie star in a family melodrama, now streaming on Peacock TV. Or, you can watch the search for Abe Lincoln's killer on Apple TV+.

Managing Editor; Dallas, Texas, US (@peteramartin)
Now Streaming: APPLES NEVER FALL Tries to Teach, MANHUNT Simply Thrills

Tell your mother you love her. Or else.

Apples Never Fall
Now streaming on Peacock TV.. I've seen all seven episodes.

The magnetic cast keep me watching the heavy-handed family melodrama, but I grew increasingly infuriated until I felt I'd been snookered by all the emotional manipulation.

Annette Bening and Sam Neill star as a married couple who have retired from a successful career running a tennis training academy in Florida, U.S. In the opening moments, she crashes her bicycle in a single-vehicle incident; soon thereafter, she disappears, leading her four adult children to come to the conclusion that their father probably killed her.

Each episode dips back and forth from the ongoing search for the mother to rewinding eight or nine months before, when a mysterious young woman knocks on the parents' door and weasels her way into their lives. She's so patently fake that it's a serious strain to believe anyone could believe the story she tells.

Each episode is devoted to a different family member, recalling past events and dealing with present problems through their perspective, which allows each leading player to shine in their own spotlight, as the character's individual personalities and shortcomings are allowed full play to exasperate with their foolish, often risky, and sometimes contemptible behavior.

Even so, the acting is wonderful! Bening and Neill are magnificent wounded parents, who have reconstructed their lives in real time for decades. Alison Brie and Jake Lacy, as well as the lesser-known (to me) Conor Merrigan Turner and Essie Randle, are all quite good as the adult children, who are largely casualties of their own bad decisions, as well as some damage from their parents.

Georgia Flood is quietly unbelievable as the unbelievable Savannah, who is a live grenade tossed into the family's storm-tossed estate. Jeanine Seralles, who I almost didn't recognize from her recent appearance as a highly-strung woman in Hightown on Starz, plays a cool cucumber as an investigating police detective.

The final episode had me tearing my hair out -- and I don't have much left to lose -- but it sticks to its guns as a finely-acted family melodrama that never rises above or goes beyond the particular patch of land it has claimed as its own. If that's your thing, enjoy.


First three episodes now streaming on Apple TV+.

I can much more readily recommend Manhunt. As I wrote in part last week:

"For those of us who are not so well-versed in the history of the period, the sense of chaos and confusion that follows a momentous, generation-changing event is still relatable. We've all seen tremendously divisive figures affect living history, at a pace that is often difficult to comprehend. Sometimes you just want to hit 'pause,' as it were, and allow time to reflect and process what's just happened. The series allows for serious contemplation, even as it moves relentlessly forward.

"With a raft of terrific, intensely dramatic performances by actors both familiar (Menzies, Linklater, and Morshower, as well as Patton Oswalt, Matt Walsh, and Lili Taylor) and those less familiar to me (Boyle and Harrison, as well as Lovie Simone and Brandon Flynn), the series is consistently intriguing and thoroughly absorbing."

Apples Never Fall

  • Annette Bening
  • Sam Neill
  • Jake Lacy
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Alison BrieAnnette BeningApple TV+Jake LacyPeacock TVSam NeillDramaMystery

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