The recent HBO miniseries “Love & Death” tells a story that’s been told before. Like, a million and a half times before. The story of the axe murderer Candy Montgomery was first the subject of a shocking, detailed Texas Monthly article four years after the 1980 murder of Betty Gore first made headlines. There was a book released that same year about the case, and in 1990 we got our very first star-headed small screen treatment with “A Killing in a Small Town,” starring Barbara Hershey as the Wylie County woman whose killing of her friend and rival always seemed a little too random to wrap up neatly.
Since then, we’ve had not one but two miniseries centered around the crime. The first—last year’s “Candy,” co-created by “The Act’s” Nick Antosca and starring Jessica Biel in that wig—was a strange, terse, 5-episode attempt to figure out why Candy snapped so suddenly, and so violently.
This year’s “Love & Death,” starring Elizabeth Olsen wearing no wig, is altogether more traditional, and somehow even campier. So just how gay is it? Well strap in, because you’re about to find out.
Candy Knowing the Lyrics to Every Disco Song
…and singing them in the car, at the club, in the kitchen, thinking about her torrid affair with her friend’s husband. If that’s not camp, I don’t know what is.
Lily Rabe Saying “I’d Like to Fornicate”
So much goes down at Marriage Encounter, a place where you go to re-commit to your partner who you hate and are actively cheating on. But the best thing that happens there is that Betty Gore (Lily Rabe, delivering a flawless performance as usual) tells her husband Allan (Jesse Plemons) that she’d like to get down in no uncertain terms. Is there any gayer way to initiate straight sex than by using the word “fornicate?” The answer is no.
Her character is in no uncertain terms obsesha with Candy: they even start their own cleaning business called “The Cover Girls.” But aside from being Candy’s only deep friendship, there’s a definite sapphic vibe happening between these two.
It’s floral, it’s got a puce green background, and it’s just one step removed from the Simpsons’ famously beloved (by John Waters, camp expert) corn curtains.
Patrick Fugit’s Twink Death
Let’s be honest: we love a twink death. Especially in the case of Almost Famous twink Patrick Fugit, who plays Candy’s sweet, understanding, ultimately cucked husband. He can pull off those aviators with aplomb, and that’s a rare feat. The Internet is wrong: twink death is a wonderful thing, and I don’t care who knows it!
Well I’m drooling.
The pointing that goes on in this series is nothing short of extraordinary. From Candy’s angry pointing after the breakup to her cigarette-holding-point at the very end, there’s a lot going on with that forefinger. Olsen plays Candy with intriguing subtlety, but she doesn’t deny herself the chance to let the Karen leap out. Reading for filth? More like pointing for filth.
Punish Me, Daddy Judge
Candy’s IRL judge Don Crowder was something of a loose canon—a man who, the series informs us at the very end, committed suicide at the age of 56, after the death of his brother and a few unsuccessful business attempts.
Happily, we’re not shown that part of the story. Instead, we get to see Dan Crowder (played by a very hot Tom Pelphrey) get scolded by a beaded zaddy judge who just loves to punish the inexperienced trial lawyer who, in defending Candy, truly puts his whole bussy into it. Their dynamic is hot, and I won’t hear otherwise. Never have the words “I’m holding you in contempt” sent such shivers down my gay spine.