Season #: 2, 1
Metascore
46

Mixed or average reviews - based on 14 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 14
  2. Negative: 3 out of 14
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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Aaron Barnhart
    Dec 9, 2019
    80
    Not only its most promising show to date but one that could serve as a template for future Apple TV+ shows. It’s a good-verging-on-great anthology series with storylines, writing, and casting that could be replicated again and again, allowing Apple to widen its lane while shrinking HBO’s. ... [Octavia Spencer and Aaron Paul] alone are worth the investment of eight hours of your time.
  2. Reviewed by: Allison Keene
    Dec 5, 2019
    80
    Spencer is compelling, but Poppy’s story works best when she’s consorting with her ex-flame, ex-detective Markus Knox (Mekhi Phifer), who provides her with some key breaks in the case. ... It’s enjoyable while you watch, but you don’t rush to return to it. It’s just fine—but it’s not essential TV that you need to pay for a streaming platform to enjoy.
  3. Reviewed by: Sonia Saraiya
    Dec 4, 2019
    80
    There is, empirically, way too much going on. But Truth Be Told is romp, albeit kind of a gory one. The story is ridiculous, and gloriously so. ... It can be a bit much, but the show earns it.
  4. Reviewed by: Tambay Obenson
    Dec 5, 2019
    58
    It’s trying to be too many things at once: a murder whodunit, a social commentary piece, and an exploration of family bonds all in one. And while meshing genres and styles isn’t taboo, in this case, its lack of specificity renders the series disharmonious. Still, its biggest selling point is its cast, notably Spencer and Paul.
  5. Reviewed by: Joi Childs
    Dec 4, 2019
    58
    At a minimum, Truth Be Told is an entertaining watch that does hook the viewer. But it’s not likely to be the series that turns around the otherwise rocky deployment of Apple TV+ offerings. Truth be told, the podcast within the show might’ve been the better medium for this campy tale of thwarted redemption.
  6. Reviewed by: Kristi Turnquist
    Dec 4, 2019
    50
    The cast is skilled. ... But “Truth Be Told” suffers from a wobbly tone, and seems to be several shows – family drama, prison drama, would-be “Serial” true-crime tale, etc. -- in one. ... “Truth Be Told” would have worked better by focusing on Poppy’s family, and losing the trendy, true-crime plot.
  7. TV Guide Magazine
    Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Dec 9, 2019
    40
    Sluggish. ... [Spencer is] miscast and overly serene. ... You know you're in trouble when the least fascinating character is the one driving the action. [9-22 Dec 2019, p.13]
  8. Reviewed by: Lucy Mangan
    Dec 6, 2019
    40
    By nearly halfway through the series we have had only a set of decidedly unoriginal revelations revealed in a deeply pedestrian manner. You can feel the on-screen talent longing to let rip, but the script and the structure and the sense just aren’t there.
  9. Reviewed by: Robyn Bahr
    Dec 5, 2019
    40
    Replete with weak coincidences and dopey plotlines, I did not care at all if Paul's character was guilty or not, nor did I care who even killed this professor. (You literally learn almost nothing about him, anyway.) Instead, what occasionally thrilled me were the compelling family dynamics at play here, with prosperous Poppy returning home to the Bay Area — and her family's biker bar — after living an entire other life out on the East Coast. ... It's just too bad these nuanced relationships are stuck inside a mediocre murder mystery bound to a meaningless title.
  10. Reviewed by: Judy Berman
    Dec 4, 2019
    40
    The cast does the best it can with thin characters; Elizabeth Perkins brings engaging pathos to Warren’s cancer-stricken mom Melanie. Sadly, Truth Be Told doesn’t seem to have much to say on their plight that superior predecessors including Netflix’s hilariously sophomoric true-crime mockumentary American Vandal haven’t already covered. ... It marks another misstep for Apple TV+ because it’s so bland and forgettable.
  11. Reviewed by: Jen Chaney
    Dec 2, 2019
    40
    Truth Be Told is not great. 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. ... It’s trying to do too many things at once. But what really does the show in is its lack of specificity.
  12. Reviewed by: Michael Haigis
    Dec 2, 2019
    38
    The series lacks the tact or nuance to investigate the idea of inherent evil, and what’s left is a rather muddled whodunit in which the answer ceases to be very interesting.
  13. Reviewed by: Daniel D'Addario
    Dec 4, 2019
    30
    A show whose tone shifts chaotically should, at least, be interesting. Or it should be able to truly be about the things it’s about. ... [Poppy's] flaws — self-obsession, a righteous belief in her infallibility, inability to truly see others as anything besides characters in her story — become the show’s. ... A show that gets a lot very wrong.
  14. Reviewed by: Brian Tallerico
    Dec 5, 2019
    10
    Its most egregious sin may be wasting an incredibly talented cast, who all get sucked into the quicksand of hackneyed dialogue and clichéd plotting. There’s not a single moment in the first three episodes that feels true or even interesting as a soap opera. The truth is that it’s one of the worst shows of the year on any network.
User Score
5.3

Mixed or average reviews- based on 9 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 9
  2. Negative: 2 out of 9
  1. Feb 5, 2020
    0
    I had to stop watching after the first episode. The characters seem so unbelievable, Poppy especially. She agrees to visit a convictedI had to stop watching after the first episode. The characters seem so unbelievable, Poppy especially. She agrees to visit a convicted murderer in jail (believing him to be innocent) and then once its revealed he joined an Aryan nation type gang she runs out of the room in terror. That part may be believable actually. A black woman in 2020 is perfectly fine visiting a murderer but a racist is just over the line. Of course he would join a gang in prison. I wonder if she reacts to the Crips or Bloods with that level of over-the-top frenzy. I'm just so tired of cliched racism story lines being squeezed into every single show on TV. Enough already. Full Review »
  2. Jan 16, 2020
    10
    What a fantastic tv show. From beginning to end this tv show never stops with the supspense. A gritty murder story and a amazing tv show
    Rating-9.8/10