It Couldn’t Occur Right here is the primary entry in SundanceTV’s True Crime Tales franchise, the place host/advocate Hilarie Burton Morgan travels to varied small cities and appears into surprising murders that occurred there. Interspersed with documentary footage the place the murders and the investigation are mentioned, Morgan talks to specialists who’ve investigated and studied the assorted instances, in addition to the members of the family of victims and individuals who have been wrongly accused of the murders.
Opening Shot: A nighttime drone shot of the small city of Adel, Georgia.
The Gist: Morgan begins in Adel, Georgia, not removed from the place her husband, Jeffrey Dean Morgan shoots The Strolling Lifeless. Shockingly, between 1998 and 2000 there have been 4 murders in and across the slow-paced, pleasant city of 5,000. The primary homicide was essentially the most surprising; Donna Brown, a Taco Bell assistant supervisor, was shot within the eye at level clean vary late at evening in September, 1998. The deposit she was carrying was stolen, as was her automobile.
As a result of Adel is so small, the native police in addition to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation had somebody in thoughts for the homicide, simply primarily based on priors: Devonia Tyrone Inman. We hear from his mom about how he fell in with the unsuitable associates in California and she or he determined to maneuver him again to Adel to dwell together with his grandparents, however that didn’t cease the difficulty. There have been eyewitness reviews that he was seen in Brown’s automobile; his girlfriend’s sister (who has since transitioned and can be interviewed) informed police that, regardless of what their sister stated, Devonia was not of their condo all evening.
However after Devonia was arrested, extra killings occurred. The half that Morgan seems into is how Devonia can nonetheless be in jail after copious proof has been revealed that he isn’t the one who killed Brown.
Our Take: Once we first noticed Hilarie Burton Morgan driving via Adel, Georgia, and speaking about small city life — she and her husband dwell in a small city, regardless of their performing careers — we thought that the previous One Tree Hill star can be doing among the investigative work on these instances, type of like a star model of Michelle McNamara. However she’s truly performing as an “advocate,” filling in some background and different data.
It makes for a little bit of a disjointed 45 minutes, as a result of Morgan’s segments don’t precisely add any data that couldn’t have been stuffed in with extra of the normal documentary footage. We’re not saying that her presence is ineffective, although. Within the section the place she interviews Devonia’s mom and stepfather about how her son remains to be in jail regardless of the entire witnesses recanting what they stated about his connection to the homicide of Brown, we are able to see that Morgan’s empathy is real, and her curiosity within the case when she speaks to a criminology professor additionally rings true.
However we marvel if Morgan was added as a result of she gives a star identify and face. True crime collection actually don’t want that superstar, however on this case her curiosity in small cities and the darkish sides all of them have have to be of particular curiosity to her might need been one thing that was too tempting for the producers — she is without doubt one of the EPs — to not embrace. However off of what we noticed within the first episode, we don’t suppose it was fully obligatory.
Parting Shot: Morgan tells the digital camera about Devonia, “Nothing’s going to alter for him till all of the proof is heard in a court docket of legislation.”
Sleeper Star: It’s a must to really feel for Devonia, in addition to his dad and mom, about how he’s nonetheless in jail, and a sufferer of what Morgan referred to as “Small city grudges and rumors, vices, and police tunnel imaginative and prescient.”
Most Pilot-y Line: There are many close-ups of Morgan trying empathetic or engaged. Hear, we like Hilarie Burton Morgan as a lot as the following TV critic, however the much less of her we see in these episodes, the higher.
Our Name: STREAM IT. Whereas we recognize Morgan’s curiosity in small-town murders, it looks like her presence in True Crime Tales: It Couldn’t Occur Right here distracts from tales that may stand solidly on their very own.
Joel Keller (@joelkeller) writes about meals, leisure, parenting and tech, however he doesn’t child himself: he’s a TV junkie. His writing has appeared within the New York Occasions, Slate, Salon, RollingStone.com, VanityFair.com, Quick Firm and elsewhere.
https://decider.com/2021/09/09/it-couldnt-happen-here-sundancetv-review/ | Stream It Or Skip It?