The true-crime genre expands with Hulu’s new miniseries, Candy. The show is a five-episode dive into the friendship turned adulterous murder of Betty Gore by titular character Candy Montgomery. The two devout churchwomen cultivated a friendship that eventually led to an affair and the grisly murder of Betty in Texas in the 1980s.
The miniseries is based on real-life events and people, but surely the writers and producers had to deviate and use some artistic license. The show portrays Candy as a murderer, but the Real Texas Housewife pleaded self-defense and was acquitted of all charges. In fact, two of the show’s producers are the writers of Proof of love: a true story of passion and death in the suburbs, a book detailing the facts behind the Candy Montgomery story.
Let’s dive into the real story first before looking at how the miniseries portrayed and dramatized it.
Candy: the real story
Betty Gore and Candy Montgomery were known as close friends and very active women in their church. However, for nearly a year in the late 1970s, Candy had an extramarital affair with Betty’s husband. On June 13, 1980, Betty’s body was found bludgeoned home while her husband was away on business. She was almost unrecognizable as she had been beaten with an ax 41 times.
At first, the police assumed that an intruder had murdered Betty, but when her husband admitted to having an affair with Candy, their suspicions immediately turned on her. Candy was quickly arrested for the crime as her fingerprints were found at the scene, and she was the last person seen with Betty before her death.
Candy initially claimed her innocence, but after evidence surfaced, she quickly admitted to killing Betty, but alleged it was self-defense. Candy’s side of the story is that Betty wielded the ax demanding that Candy stay away from her husband. Betty didn’t let Candy go and finally threw herself at her with the gun. Candy finally managed to take control of the axe, and as she said in her testimony, “I didn’t think. I picked her up and I hit her, and I hit her, and I hit her, and I hit her.” Despite all the evidence, the prosecution could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the crime was not committed in self-defense, and Candy was found not guilty.
The miniseries doesn’t seem to focus much on the trial. Rather, it seems to dramatize the lives and interpersonal relationships between the characters and how such a crime of passion could happen to anyone. This is all clear from the show’s trailer.
Candy: Trailer Breakdown
The trailer opens with a touching tribute from Betty Gore to her best friend, Candy Montgomery. “I’m so touched by your generosity, compassion, and friendship that you’ve shown. You’re nothing but love,” Betty said with emotionless effect, as if she didn’t really mean it. Interspersed in this short monologue are excerpts from the lives of women. At one point, they are shown in a church parking lot where Betty suggests starting a children’s choir. While the other mothers condemn the idea, Candy is introduced as Betty’s champion and cheerleader.
The trailer then takes a drastic turn as the audience is shown Candy admitting to committing adultery with a stranger. The man’s identity is quickly revealed as one of Candy’s friends exclaims, “He’s Betty’s husband! He’s married!” Candy is then shown as the stereotypical unhappy housewife as she lies sleepless in her bed next to her husband, asking, “Don’t I deserve more?”
Things get even darker as Betty wonders why Candy isn’t there anymore, which is intermingled with a scene of Candy closing a door and whispering in a low voice, “She knows.” The trailer then cuts to what we assume is the miniseries’ climactic scene just before Betty’s death as Candy knocks on her door with a fake and forced, “Hey y’all!”
The rest of the trailer shows scenes of Candy unraveling, feigning emotion and ignorance of what really happened, destroying evidence and comforting others. The final scene shows Candy being interrogated by police officers as one of them shows her many broken fingernails. She plays calmly, but we see a slight look of horror in her eyes as she clasps her hands and looks away.
Candy: the cast
Jessica Biel plays the main character of Candy Montgomery. She started acting when she was a child, notably in the television drama 7th Sky, and she’s been pretty active in entertainment for most of her life. His last major acting role was on USA Network’s The fisherman in 2017. Since then, she has been working behind the cameras as a producer, including her work on the show cruel summerwhich is set to begin its second season soon. Candy will be his first major role in about five years.
Betty Gore, the brutally murdered character, is played by New Zealand-born Melanie Lynskey. Like Jessica Biel, she acted for most of her life, with some of her most notable performances being one of the stepsisters in the Cinderella tale. For all time and one of Phyllis Schlafly’s conservative activist minions on Hulu’s Mrs America. Of course, his most recent claim to fame is as one of the main characters in the Showtime hit yellow jackets.
Candy: release date
Candy premieres Monday, May 9, 2022 on Hulu. The miniseries was billed as a “beautiful night event” and all five episodes will air during the week. The series finale, titled “Candy’s Story,” is set to air on Friday, May 13, 2022.