Secrets and Lies is an American drama television series based on the Australian television series of the same name. The series has a 10-episode series commitment. Barbie Kligman was brought in as executive producer and showrunner while the producers from the original series, Tracey Robertson and Nathan Mayfield, serve as executive producers.
In May of last year, Secrets and Lies was picked up by AB and set up to debut as a mid-season entry during the 2014-2015 television series. On November 19, 2014, it was announced that the series will premiere on March 1, 2015. The series airs on Sundays at 9:00 p.m. Eastern/8:00 p.m. Central.
The series is based on the Australian series of the same name and follows Ben Crawford—played by Ryan Phillippe in the American version—a family man who discovers the body of a young boy while he’s out jogging and quickly becomes the prime suspect in his death. The series focuses on his internal and outward struggle of this suddenly violent reality, and the accusations leveled against him, as well as the uncomfortable life he had before the discovery of the dead child.
Ben is in a loveless and uneasy marriage with his wife Christy, played by KaDee Strickland. She’s the main source of income for the family, and she never lets him forget it. Although he’s a self-employed painter, his job has come to a crippling pace, leaving the financial responsibilities up to his wife.
When the lead police detective on the case singles in on Ben as the prime suspect for the murder of Tom Murphy and the media depicts him as a monster in their sensationalized headlines, Ben realizes his life is falling to piece all around him. To clear his name and return to his life, Ben goes in search of the real killer. In doing so, he unravels several secrets that have remained hidden within the small, seemingly close-knit community. One of the many secrets revealed throughout his journey to find the truth behind the murder is that Ben is the father of the child Tom Murphy, the murdered child whom Ben is accused of killing.
Overall, Secrets and Lies has received mixed criticism. On Metacritic, the series holds a score of 48 out of 100, based on 22 reviews, indicating mixed or average reviews. Similarly, on Rotten Tomatoes the series holds an approval rating of 37% with an average of 4.7 out of 100 based on 30 critic reviews. The site’s critical consensus was that, “While some may find its limited intrigue compelling, Secrets and Lies is ultimately undone by wooden performances, excessive red herrings, and bad scripts.”
During the fourth episode of the series, the show came under fire from the Bleeding Disorder Community for portraying hemophilia as an incestuous disease. In the episode, Michael Beach’s character states, “Hemophilia is the nasty byproduct of incest.” A petition for a public apology was initiated by Change.org.