‘I Know This Much Is True’: Critics Are ‘Warning’ Viewers That the HBO Series is Very Dark

by Jeremy Spirogis
I Know This Much Is True TCA tour with Mark Ruffalo

I Know This Much Is True is a brand new HBO sequence starring Mark Ruffalo. The Marvel Cinematic Universe alum performs twins within the miniseries, which was launched on May 10 of this yr. While Ruffalo has obtained rave evaluations for his appearing, critics are already calling the sequence issues like “devastating” for its darkish subject material.

Mark Ruffalo stars as two twin brothers in I Know This Much Is True

I Know This Much Is True TCA tour with Mark Ruffalo
Derek Cianfrance and Mark Ruffalo of I Know This Much Is True seem onstage through the HBO section of the 2020 Winter Television Critics Association Press Tour | Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for WarnerMedia

In one in all HBO’s newer sequence, I Know This Much Is True, actor Mark Ruffalo portrays two twin brothers. As Time reported on the 2 characters’ backgrounds:

Dominick and Thomas Birdsey are as completely different as similar twins might be. Born six minutes aside on reverse sides of midnight on New Year’s Eve 1950, they started life on the finish of 1 decade and the start of the subsequent—with separate birthdays and, as college students through the Vietnam War, divergent draft numbers.

The 40-year-old twins are very distinct personalities — making Ruffalo’s job that a lot more durable. Time additionally experiences on the present’s “ceaseless torrent of misfortune,” warning: “Comfort TV this is not.” However, the author didn’t appear to assume that the darkness paid off. The critic wrote:

Though writer-director Derek Cianfrance neatly dilutes the melodrama with the identical blunt realism that made his 2010 movie Blue Valentine a intestine punch, he doesn’t solely succeed at bringing the narrative right down to earth.

‘I Know This Much Is True’

The Hollywood Reporter‘s review wasn’t a lot completely different when it comes to tone.

“You title the adversity and it comes into play in I Know This Much Is True,” THR wrote. The characters, they muse, seem “endlessly cursed.”(We’ll spare you their checklist of traumas within the sake of spoilers — in case are nonetheless courageous sufficient to observe). The evaluation continued:

Like the guide it’s based mostly upon, Cianfrance’s restricted sequence is a tragedy of the deepest and most spiraling type — not a pandering effort to jerk tears from the delicate viewer, however a torrent of grounded distress so unrelenting it passes from Strindberg to Shakespeare to one thing biblical.

The Telegraph additionally identified that the novel on which the HBO sequence was based mostly was as soon as a part of Oprah Winfrey’s guide membership.

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“Oprah likes a story that packs an emotional punch, and this one will pummel you to the floor,” the reviewer wrote about I Know This Much Is True.

The AV Club reported grimly, “in case you aren’t already mired in disappointment, right here comes HBO’s I Know This Much Is True to completely extinguish any spark of levity you may need had left.” The publication didn’t advocate binge-watching this explicit sequence “unless you really have a hankering to wallow.” Overall, I Know This Much Is True was an excessive amount of of a bummer for the reviewer.

As the critique concluded, “Do you really want to spend six hours of your life feeling as sad as can possibly be?”

The new HBO sequence is a ‘heavy, heavy show’

Collider featured one of many few reviewers who really advisable I Know This Much Is True. Still, they featured a “warning” on the high of the article. The reviewer cautioned:

 I Know This Much Is True is a heavy, heavy present. That’s the lead I’m going with for this evaluation. As a reporter, I used to be taught to place an important info up entrance, and if I owe you nothing else, it’s that straightforward warning.

The evaluation went on to name I Know This Much Is True “devastating from start to finish.”

“It’s the kind of show that puts you in an emotional chokehold and never lets go,” they wrote. Collider acknolwedged that the subject material is likely to be too traumatic for some viewers.

Mark RuffaloMark Ruffalo
Mark Ruffalo of I Know This Much Is True poses within the inexperienced room through the 2020 Winter Television Critics Association Press Tour | Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for WarnerMedia

“The show’s unrelenting bleakness certainly won’t be for everyone, and none of the characters are especially ‘likable,’” they continued. However, the reviewer thought the sequence got here collectively and made an influence.:

“And yet… and yet… I absolutely loved it,” the critic wrote. The Collider author concluded:

Those courageous sufficient to observe I Know This Much Is True in its entirety will likely be richly rewarded by this candy, unhappy gem of a sequence, which boasts stellar writing and marvelous performances from a really spectacular ensemble.

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