REVIEW: ‘The Girl From Plainville’ Is Absolutely Terrifying


Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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Hulu’s latest biopic miniseries “The Girl From Plainville” is absolute must-see television this spring season.

Do you remember the case of Michelle Carter? If you’re not familiar with the teenager’s name, you probably recall the landmark case in which she was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for repeatedly texting encouragement to her boyfriend, Conrad “Coco” Roy III, to commit suicide… which he did.

Yeah, that Michelle Carter.

On July 13th, 2014, Roy was found suffocated to death in a Fairhaven, Massachusetts parking lot, having committed suicide by way of carbon monoxide poisoning. The bizarre nature of the events that led to Roy’s suicide puzzled police, as did Carter’s behavior in the weeks and months afterward.

Carter’s actions, behavior, and obvious mental health issues are now being brought to our screens by the brilliantly talented Elle Fanning. While the Hulu miniseries features some of the best acting I’ve seen in years, it’s the nuance of this very real story that makes it so compelling and impossible to turn off.

Carter’s life was first detailed in the haunting docuseries, “I Love You, Now Die” on HBO, a story that still gives me chills when I think about it years later. What was made clear in the HBO series was that Carter’s loneliness was alleviated by the characters she watched on television, to the point where she would quote shows like “Glee” instead of developing her own emotional response to situations.

Some people have gone so far as to argue that Carter was so obsessed with the show “Glee,” and the character portrayed by Lea Michele that she talked Roy into suicide so she could perfectly emulate the storyline.

All of this and more are depicted in “The Girl From Plainville” in a disturbing fashion. (RELATED: REVIEW: ‘Pam & Tommy’ Is The Gut-Wrenching History Of The Celebrity Sex Tape And Revenge Porn)

I’ve seen some Twitter users post that the show glorifies Michelle as a victim of her own insanity, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Fanning’s depiction is true to life, showing that Carter seemed to relish the attention she received for Roy’s suicide like she came alive in her own private version of Munchausen-by-proxy… a terrifying personality trait for someone only 17-years-old at the time.

Don’t get me wrong, all of us are angsty miserable awkward idiots when we’re teenagers, but Carter is clearly something very different, and Fanning is nailing it.

If this story were fiction, it would be a D-list teen flick from the early 2000s, so unbelievable that it would fall into an ocean of hyperbole and drown in its own ridiculousness. The logline could be: an unpopular, troubled teenage girl talks her boyfriend into suicide to gain attention and sympathy from everyone around her… except her parents, the few friends she does have, her boyfriend’s family, and most of his friends had no idea they were even talking.

Only, it’s not fiction. This really happened, and it’s so much deeper than just the texts. We’re only three episodes into what is probably going to be the best miniseries of the year.

I think it’s even better than “Pam & Tommy,” and I loved that show. Watch the trailer for “The Girl From Plainville” here: