Love & Death: Everything We Know About the HBO Series So Far


Candy Montgomery is getting quite the Hollywood treatment these days, even if she’d prefer to have nothing to do with it. Mere months after Jessica Biel played the real-life Texas housewife in Hulu’s Candy, WandaVision actress Elizabeth Olsen is stepping into the same role, albeit with a tamer hairstyle and a different team supporting her. In an adaptation of two acclaimed 1984 Texas Monthly articles—and the book that later sprang from them—HBO Max is launching Love & Death, based on the true story of Montgomery, her lover, and the axe murder that shook their small Texas community.

Written by Big Little Lies and The Undoing’s David E. Kelley and directed by Lesli Linka Glatter—known for her work on shows including Homeland and Mad MenLove & Death stars Olsen as the charismatic Candy, who embarks on an affair with fellow church choir member Allan Gore (Jesse Plemons). What begins as a careful, well-orchestrated rendezvous ultimately ends with murder, igniting a case that thrusts Candy into a strange spotlight. Ahead, everything we know about the series so far.

elizabeth olsen, patrick fugit, jesse plemons and lily rabe sit at a table during a scene in love and death

Elizabeth Olsen, Patrick Fugit, Jesse Plemons and Lily Rabe in Love & Death.


Is Love & Death based on a true story?

Love & Death debuted its premiere episode at this year’s SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, where it received a raucous reception in the Paramount Theatre. During a post-screening panel moderated by ELLE, Kelley explained why the very true story of Montgomery and Gore caught his attention. “If I had written this stuff and made it up, they would have revoked my writers license,” he said, before joking, “which has been taken away before, but this time it would have been for good.” He added, “I really felt more like a stenographer than a writer in this one. The story was so juicy and the characters were complex and human. It’s not often you find a nostalgic, warm community series that ends with an axe murderer.”

To avoid spoilers, we won’t get into the intricacies of how, exactly, that axe murder went down. But if you’re curious, pick up Evidence of Love for the most in-depth accounting, or read the two-part Texas Monthly series for a shorter summary.

Who’s in the cast?

Joining Olsen and Plemons are Lily Rabe as Allan’s wife, Betty; Patrick Fugit as Candy’s husband, Pat; Krysten Ritter as Candy’s friend Sherry; and Tom Pelphrey as Don Crowder; among others.

During the SXSW panel, Olsen shared that it was Candy’s optimism, rather than her eventual infamy, that drew her to the character. “[Candy] was just so optimistic and resilient and hopeful and striving for more and had a deep hole in her life,” she said. “She didn’t have any resources trying to fill it. So she’s doing the best she can with what she’s got.”

Later, Rabe added, “I think this is not a show about failing marriages; I think it’s about so much more.”

When does Love & Death come out?

The first three episodes arrive on HBO Max April 27. The remaining episodes will roll out one at a time, every Thursday through May 25.

Is there a trailer?

On March 23, HBO Max unveiled the full-length trailer for Love & Death, hinting at the first spark between Candy and Allan: an accidental collision during a volleyball game. Watch the full trailer below.

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