Review: 'Tell Me Your Secrets' revels in too much mayhem

Amazon Prime series goes off in too many different directions

Tom Long
Special to The Detroit News

Proving it’s possible to bury good performances beneath an avalanche of storylines, “Tell Me Your Secrets” is a scattershot mess, disjointed, over-stuffed and yet still intriguing. It’s a car wreck you can’t turn away from.

This new Amazon series is about a serial killer. It’s about a serial killer’s girlfriend. It’s about a rapist. It’s about abused teen girls. It’s about the serial killer’s other girlfriend. It’s about a grieving mother gone mad. It’s about a duplicitous FBI psychiatrist. No, wait, it’s about a SWAMP MONSTER.

Lily Rabe and Enrique Murciano in "Tell Me Your Secrets."

Seriously, it’s about all those things. And more.

Most centrally, it’s about Emma (Lily Rabe), the onetime girlfriend of a serial killer who abducted women and smashed their hands, feet and head with a claw hammer. An iffy FBI shrink (Enrique Murciano) has gotten her out of prison and into the witness protection plan in the hopes that she’ll recall repressed memories about… something. 

Emma has dyed her hair and lives in a sweaty deep South town where troubled teen girls seem drawn to her and where the SWAMP MONSTER attacks her one night only to disappear beneath new calamities and characters. When a SWAMP MONSTER becomes a secondary concern you know there’s too much going on.

Among that too much is the grieving mother in Texas (Amy Brenneman) who forces a supposedly reformed rapist (an exquisitely spooky Hamish Linklater) to hunt for Emma so she can learn the fate of her missing daughter. Wait, what?

Creator Harriet Warner obviously has no lack of imagination, though she does exhibit a serious lack of restraint. The show does have its own mad energy and if you like crazy content measured by the pound it may be for you. If not, you could end up feeling battered by it all.

Tom Long is a longtime contributor to The Detroit News. 

“Tell Me Your Secrets”


Amazon Prime Video