• Madeline Johnson

Hulu’s New True Crime Series CANDY Premieres Today

The true murderous tale of affairs, Texas church ladies, and extravagant 80s hair is finally streaming.

Jessica Biel as Candace “Candy” Montgomery in Hulu limited true crime series CANDY.

Hulu is continuing its momentum of rolling out true crime limited series with CANDY, which the streaming platform will release as part of a five-night event with new episodes every day through May 13. The first episode, “Friday the 13th” is streaming now, and episode two, “Happy Wife, Happy Life” will air at 11:00 PM tonight.

CANDY is based on the bizarre true story of Candace “Candy” Montgomery, a Texas housewife who brutally murdered her best friend, Betty Gore. Montgomery struck Gore 41 times with an ax following an affair with her husband, Allan Gore, in 1980. Despite the brutality of the crime, a jury acquitted Montgomery of murder, accepting a plea of self-defense. Jessica Biel (The Sinner) will lead the series as Candy Montgomery alongside Melanie Lynskey (Yellowjackets, Heavenly Creatures) as Betty Gore and Raúl Esparza (Hannibal, Law & Order: SVU) as lawyer Don Crowder in his first murder trial. The series trailer captures precisely why the case is so intriguing, highlighting Candy’s seemingly spotless reputation as a god-loving woman, her steamy affair, and the mystery of how a close friendship could unravel into a brutal murder.

In an interview with Vanity Fair, series co-creator Robin Veith said, “I’ve learned, working on true crime, that you listen to everybody and take careful notes, but also remember that memory is tricky.”

I’m as guilty as anyone else of being enthralled by the details of true crime’s most heinous cases and have lost countless hours of my life deep in YouTube rabbit holes fixated on them. However, I wonder about the ethics of consuming true crime events for entertainment purposes—specifically how the stories are told, the real impact on survivors and victims, and whether these stories desensitize audiences to the gravity of the crimes. Hulu and other studios and streaming services have faced backlash over true crime content like The Dropout, Astroworld: Concert From Hell, and Dead Asleep.

Candy Montgomery, now in her 70s, has moved out of Texas and reportedly struggles with PTSD. With the case reentering the pop culture sphere, I am curious to see whether CANDY will sensationalize the story and how it will impact Gore’s family. I'm skeptical, given Hulu’s recent dramatization, The Girl From Plainville. HBO max is also developing its limited series dramatization of the crime, Love and Death, which is expected to premiere sometime this year and stars Elizabeth Olsen and Lily Rabe as Montgomery and Gore. I’ll be tuning in to see which streaming behemoth wins this round.