New Peacock Drama Is About A Family of Sour 'Apples'

In Peacock’s “Apples Never Fall,” a family of six relates tensely to each other, each harboring secrets from their pasts and in the present day.

In this show, barely any screen time is devoted to any pretense that the members of this family have loving feelings for each other -- other than Mom, played by Annette Bening (above photo, left), who at least goes through the motions of love.

Bening, 65, plays Joy -- a name perhaps chosen for its irony -- since joy is in short supply in the life of this family. 

They are the Delaneys, and by the looks of it, they live well in what looks like Palm Beach.

Joy’s husband is Stan (Sam Neill, 76, above left), who, like her, is adjusting to life in retirement.



The two were the owners and very active owner-coaches of a South Florida tennis academy that produced at least one tennis superstar.

As “Apples Never Fall” gets underway, Joy and Stan are saying farewell to the academy, which they have recently sold. Now comes retirement and the challenge of what to do.

“Apples Never Fall” is a seven-episode limited series adapted from the novel of the same name by Liane Moriarty, also the author of another novel that became a TV series, “Big Little Lies.”

The title of “Apples Never Fall” comes from an old saying sometimes attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson, an “apple never falls far from the tree.”

It refers, basically, to children -- or more generally, succeeding generations -- who are the “apples” whose character development over time follows the same path as the tree-parents who spawned them.

In Episode One, we meet the members of the family -- Mom, Dad, grown sons Troy (Jake Lacy) and Logan (Conor Merrigan-Turner), and grown daughters Brooke (Essie Randles) and Amy (Alison Brie).

Whether or not these grown children have evolved into next-generation versions of their parents is not revealed in the first episode of “Apples Never Fall.”

But there will plenty of time to find that out in the ensuing six episodes of this seven-episode series. 

Episode One is titled “The Delaneys,” but each of the next episodes is named for a specific character -- in order, “Logan,” “Amy,” “Brooke,” “Troy,” “Stan” and last but definitely not least, “Joy.”

Joy is clearly the central character of the show. At the start of the first episode, she disappears mysteriously and without a trace.

With her disappearance coming at the beginning, the story ricochets back and forth between then and now.

By the end of Episode One, the possibility exists that Joy’s disappearance has something to do with a young woman who suddenly shows up at Joy and Stan’s door in some kind of trouble.

The story of fractured families has been told many times many ways on TV and in movies, and “Apples Never Fall” doesn’t add much of anything new to the category.

But although I didn’t particularly love Episode One, I admit I wanted to watch Episode Two as soon as it was over.

“Apples Never Fall” starts streaming on Thursday, March 14, on Peacock.

1 comment about "New Peacock Drama Is About A Family of Sour 'Apples'".
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  1. John Grono from GAP Research, March 14, 2024 at 6:13 p.m.

    Gees.   The person in the (above photo, left) looks more like a bloke than looks like Annette Benning.


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