'Apples Never Fall' review: Can this Liane Moriarty show top 'Big Little Lies?' (2024)

Home>Entertainment>TV Shows

Starring Annette Bening, Sam Neill, Alison Brie, and Jake Lacy.

ByBelen Edwards on

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on Flipboard

All products featured here are independently selected by our editors and writers. If you buy something through links on our site, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission.

'Apples Never Fall' review: Can this Liane Moriarty show top 'Big Little Lies?' (1)

Annette Bening in "Apples Never Fall."Credit: Jasin Boland/PEAco*ck

Apples Never Fall opens with a bunch of fallen apples. Overly literal and more funny than it is suspenseful, the image does not bode well for Peaco*ck's latest miniseries, which is based on Liane Moriarty novel of the same name. Sure HBO saw success with their adaptation of Moriarty's Big Little Lies, but Apples Never Fall doesn't have the same bite.


'The Gentlemen' review: A messy rollercoaster that's too much filler, not enough killer

The apples belong to Joy Delaney (Annette Bening), a retired tennis coach out running errands for the day. One of those errands involves buying (and staring at for several beats too long) some luscious apples. Not long after, those apples are strewn along the road next to Joy's bloody bike — and she is nowhere to be found.

In the days that follow, Joy's husband Stan (Sam Neill) and their four adult children scramble to figure out what happened to her, only to uncover some brutal family secrets of their own. Among them? How much the kids take after their dysfunctional parents. (How do you like them metaphorical apples never falling far from metaphorical trees?) Yet the central mystery's twists are neither satisfying nor particularly interesting. The same goes for the Delaney family as a whole, making for a miniseries that feels more unripe than anything else.

Apples Never Fall introduces to the on-edge Delaney family.

'Apples Never Fall' review: Can this Liane Moriarty show top 'Big Little Lies?' (2)

Essie Randles, Jake Lacy, Alison Brie, and Conor Merrigan-Turner in "Apples Never Fall."Credit: Vince Valitutti/PEAco*ck

Unlike Big Little Lies, Apples Never Fall never really clicks as a family drama, instead resting on tired archetypes.

These clichés are especially true when it comes to the Delaney children. There's Troy (Jake Lacy), the richest, oldest supposed heir with a constant grudge against his dad; Amy (Alison Brie), a troubled free spirit; Logan (Conor Merrigan Turner), a total suck-up to Stan; and Brooke (Essie Randles), the mature baby of the family, who owns a struggling physical therapy practice. Every family scene before Joy's disappearance is rife with tension. The kids air out their siblings' failures, while the ultra-competitive Stan seems to take pleasure in pitting them against one another.

Mashable Top Stories

Stay connected with the hottest stories of the day and the latest entertainment news.

Sign up for Mashable's Top Stories newsletter

By signing up you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Thanks for signing up!


Should you sign up for Peaco*ck?

Nowhere is this clearer than on the tennis court. Given Stan and Joy's coaching background, tennis has always been the way the family connects. Unfortunately, the connection is more competitive than supportive. The kids literally play to win their father's love and approval. Meanwhile, they leave Joy stuck on the sidelines, taken for granted in everything she does.

The initial portrait of this messed-up family exposes deep-seated resentments and old wounds. It's when Apples Never Fall brings in its central mystery that things really fly off the handle.

Apples Never Fall's mystery is more silly than suspenseful.

'Apples Never Fall' review: Can this Liane Moriarty show top 'Big Little Lies?' (3)

Sam Neill in "Apples Never Fall."Credit: Vince Valitutti/PEAco*ck

Joy's disappearance sets Apples Never Fall's present-day timeline in motion. The biggest question for the Delaney children is whether Stan was involved. He's been acting shady, to say the least. Plus, the massive scratch down the side of his face suggests more violence between him and Joy than he's willing to admit.

But there's another possible ill-doer in the mix: Savannah (Georgia Flood), a young woman Stan and Joy took in when she showed up bleeding at their doorstep. For the Delaney kids, Savannah gradually overstays her welcome, worming her way into becoming a kind of surrogate daughter to their parents. But is she really who she says she is? Or is there something deeper and more malicious at play here?

Related Stories

  • 21 best shows on Peaco*ck for when you need a break or a binge-watch
  • Best streaming deals: You can still get Starz for $3 a month
  • 'Desert Road' review: A time-travel thriller unlike any you've seen before
  • 'Azrael' review: Samara Weaving, a silent gimmick, and lots of gore
  • '7 Keys' review: This sexy thriller is a mean piece of work

Apples Never Fall would like to keep you guessing, but Savannah is set up as a villain with motives so easy to suss out that's she's basically boring. The same goes for the rest of the show's treatment of Joy's disappearance. The red herrings — of which there are many — are practically crimson, with Apples Never Fall dragging each dead end out an embarrassing amount. Worst of all are its attempts to create suspense, including an overused dramatic inhaling sound effect that plays whenever the show toggles between the past and the present. (Or "then" and "now," as the show labels its timelines.) It's the kind of sound you'd expect to hear in a second-rate true crime podcast, not a miniseries starring Bening and Neill.

When the mystery finally reveals its grand twists after all that sound and fury, they're more groan-worthy than gasp-worthy. The same goes for Apples Never Fall as a whole.

Apples Never Fall hits Peaco*ck March 14.


Belen Edwards is an Entertainment Reporter at Mashable. She covers movies and TV with a focus on fantasy and science fiction, adaptations, animation, and more nerdy goodness.

Recommended For You

How to watch 'Kung Fu Panda 4' at home — and all the rest of Po's adventures

Take advantage of a Peaco*ck streaming deal through June 30.

By Christina Buff

Our favorite tech gifts for the gadget-loving set

These are the gifts you dream about.

By Leah Stodart , Miller Kern , and Timothy Beck Werth

Apple Intelligence might get a paid tier one day

Want the AI smarts? Pay up.

By Stan Schroeder

Apple is discontinuing Apple Pay Later, but a replacement is coming

Apple Pay Later out, installment loans in.

By Stan Schroeder

Apple delays AI features in Europe because of DMA regulations

Apple users in the EU won't get Apple Intelligence this year.

By Cecily Mauran

More in Entertainment

U.S. government plane snaps intense footage inside mighty Hurricane Beryl

A record-breaking storm.

By Mark Kaufman

Creature with giant eggs filmed thousands of feet undersea

Lurking in the depths.

By Mark Kaufman

Where the northern lights will be visible thanks to the solar flare

Tonight's forecast calls for auroras.

By Mike Pearl

How to see the Eta Aquarid meteor shower in 2024

The barely-there moon will make for great viewing conditions.

By Mike Pearl

How to see the Lyrid meteor shower despite the bright moon

The moon will be a buzzkill, but it doesn't have to spoil the show completely.

By Mike Pearl

Trending on Mashable

NYT Connections today: See hints and answers for July 9

Everything you need to solve 'Connections' #394.

By Mashable Team

NYT Connections today: See hints and answers for July 10

Everything you need to solve 'Connections' #395.

By Mashable Team

'Wordle' today: Here's the answer hints for July 10

Here are some tips and tricks to help you find the answer to "Wordle" #1117.

By Mashable Team

How streamer Pirate Software gained nearly two million subs in six months

Lightning struck twice for the game dev streamer.

By Steven Asarch

'Wordle' today: Here's the answer hints for July 9

Here are some tips and tricks to help you find the answer to "Wordle" #1116.

By Mashable Team

The biggest stories of the day delivered to your inbox.

This newsletter may contain advertising, deals, or affiliate links. Subscribing to a newsletter indicates your consent to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. You may unsubscribe from the newsletters at any time.

Thanks for signing up. See you at your inbox!

  • TECH
  • LIFE

'Apples Never Fall' review: Can this Liane Moriarty show top 'Big Little Lies?' (35)

Mashable supports Group Black and its mission to increase greater diversity in media voices and media ownership. Group Black's collective includes Essence, TheShadeRoom and Afro-Punk.

©2005–2024 Mashable, Inc., a Ziff Davis company. All Rights Reserved.

Mashable is a registered trademark of Ziff Davis and may not be used by third parties without express written permission.

'Apples Never Fall' review: Can this Liane Moriarty show top 'Big Little Lies?' (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Duane Harber

Last Updated:

Views: 6247

Rating: 4 / 5 (51 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Duane Harber

Birthday: 1999-10-17

Address: Apt. 404 9899 Magnolia Roads, Port Royceville, ID 78186

Phone: +186911129794335

Job: Human Hospitality Planner

Hobby: Listening to music, Orienteering, Knapping, Dance, Mountain biking, Fishing, Pottery

Introduction: My name is Duane Harber, I am a modern, clever, handsome, fair, agreeable, inexpensive, beautiful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.