Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Bravo's Dirty John trailer turns a podcast sensation into just another Lifetime movie

The L.A. TimesDirty John was a minor podcasting sensation last year, one of the most easily consumed of the wave of glossy, tightly edited true crime podcasts that the first season of Serial inadvertently left in its wake. Centered on an affluent Newport Beach interior decorator with borderline-apocalyptic taste in men, the podcast drew much of its tension from setting up a supposedly idyllic romance between her and a mysterious new beau, and then steadily daring listeners to wonder just how much worse the abusive, ugly situation could get. (Pretty bad, as it turned out.)

Bravo released the first trailer for its limited series TV adaptation of the podcast today, and it’s not so much “thoughtful investigative journalism” as it is “a long-form Lifetime Original Movie.” The big culprit (at least, as far as the trailer’s concerned) is Eric Bana as the titular John, who goes from “breakfast in bed” to “ultra-skeeve” so fast you barely have time to enjoy the super-on-the-nose slowed-down version of Britney Spears’ “Toxic.” We’re always on board for Connie Britton getting a new gig—and it’s possible that the trailer’s rush to Crazytown isn’t indicative of the final product—but so far it really lays bare how it was mostly the podcast’s artful presentation that separated this story from yet another opportunity for true-crime rubbernecking.

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