Not to be confused with other movies and TV shows of the same name, Secrets and Lies on Netflix (and Amazon Prime as of 2017) is an Australian TV series focused on events surrounding the murder of a young boy. Though neither the title or plot are original, the subtropical setting, moderately paced plot, and characters you feel sympathy for are enough to grab your interest and keep you watching. With a surprise at the end of almost each episode, you may even binge watch your way through the six episodes.
Set in Brisbane, Australia, Secrets and Lies stars Martin Henderson as Ben Gunderlach, a house painter and avid jogger, who finds the body of a young boy, a close neighbor with ties to the family, early one morning while running in the woods. Ben becomes the leading suspect almost immediately, and with mounting tension at home – he has a wife and two daughters – his life seems to slowly unravel. It does not help that he tries to track down the killer on his own and seems to find himself at a loss for words when they are most needed.
The detective in charge of the case is played with calm intensity by Anthony Hayes. He shows up often and provides a cool contrast to the increasingly frustrated and disheveled Ben. Also of note are Diana Glenn as Ben’s wife, Christy, and Adrienne Pickering as Jess, the mother of the murdered boy. Though everyone seems like regular folks, this may the best looking cast this side of Dicte and Wallender. The tropical vegetation, attractively detailed wood homes and summer weather lend an exotic air to the show.
With a fairly small cast, the list of suspects in the case is limited. We are never led to believe that an outsider committed the crime. As with any good mystery, you will find yourself changing your opinion about the identity of the murderer as the show moves along. Henderson may lack some depth in his portrayal of Ben, but you are likely to stay on his side, even as he displays an amazing lack of common sense.
Secrets and Lies was created and written by Stephen Irwin and first aired on Network Ten in Australia, March, and April, 2014. ABC is working on U.S. version of the show, set to premiere March 1, 2015. Past experience would lead us to believe it will not be as good as the original even though Ryan Phillippe will be in the starring role. Your best bet is to watch the original Australian version on Netflix or Amazon instant streaming.
(November, 2017, update: The Australian Secrets and Lies TV series is no longer on Netflix, but is currently available on Amazon Prime.)
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