Based on Karen M. McManus’s New York Times best-selling novel, One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five high schoolers walk into detention and only four make it out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.
The open secret at Bayview High* is that Simon Kelleher knows everyone’s secrets, as the mastermind behind the gossip blog About That. Which means Simon has A LOT of enemies — but would someone hate him enough to DO A MURDER?!??? Because that’s what it looks like when Simon dies under suspicious circumstances during detention — and the four classmates who were with him are the prime suspects.
*Not to be confused with Saved by the Bell‘s Bayside High, which I frequently did (and both shows are hilariously Peacock originals, although WILDLY different).
Full disclosure: I haven’t read the book, so I can’t speak on faithfulness to the source material.
The beauty. Addy had the rest of her perfect life planned out with her perfect boyfriend… but then life happened. And also a dead kid in detention. (I couldn’t figure out who this actor resembled for the longest time, and I’ve narrowed it down to Mena Suvari or Marley Shelton, i.e., basically somebody from Sugar & Spice.)
The brawns. Cooper’s family moved all the way from Mississippi for him to play baseball, so obvi expectations — and pressure — are HIGH.
The brains. Bronwyn knows all about the relentless pursuit of success too, although her arena is academics. (In continuing to spot resemblances to Y2K celebs, this actor falls somewhere between Jordana Brewster and a Moore-Willis sister.)
The badass. The only person who doesn’t give a shizz what other people think of him. Mostly.
(Side note: I’m always amused when actors share the same name with someone else’s character. It might get a little confusing on set, and it also makes Googling more difficult.)
The bastard (may he rest in peace). Simon might liken himself as a teenage Ronan Farrow for his own conscience, but he tends to ruin lives for sport more than for righteousness. (Also, Ronan Farrow was already in law school at that age, so Simon only wishes. Or wished, as it were.)
Addy’s best frienemy. I totally didn’t recognize her as Josephine Lightbourne from the The 100, but the actor was born in Winnipeg and that should always be celebrated.
Cooper’s dad. I also didn’t recognize him from The Catch, which I watched because I’ve given almost every Shondaland show at least 1 season.
Bronwyn’s mom. Likewise, Valerie Cruz has been in a lot of things, but I will always associate her with Nip/Tuck.
Addy’s mom. It’s one of the Bomb Girls!
Cooper’s grandma, although she’s tragically only in the first episode. (Tragic for the viewers, not for grandma.) Apparently, I only have one onscreen reference for each adult, and OF COURSE Ms. Caldwell’s is Lost.
Couch-Sharing Capability: Medium
The teen shows I watch are usually more of The CW variety, which seem positively tame in comparison to One of Us Is Lying. (Disclaimer: I’ve never watched Euphoria, so my frame of reference is very PG-13.) The mystery element is totally conducive to a bingewatch — and a quick and well-paced one at that, with only eight episodes.
Recommended Level of Inebriation: Low
The eye-roll moments are usually deliberate and there are also quite a few snortworthy throwaway lines, so booze is definitely not necessary for enjoyment. (My favourite source of lulz might be Addy and Cooper Greek chorus-ing about the sexual tension between Bronwyn and Nate.)
Use of Your Streaming Subscription: Good
The Gossip Girl x Pretty Little Liars vibes are obvious, but One of Us Is Lying has a better sense of humour about itself than either of those shows. The noir-ish quality and socioeconomic awareness actually reminds me of early Veronica Mars (which I know is a lofty comparison, but I’m just saying that there are similarities). Plus, this show actually solves its big mystery while still leaving the door open for the future (it’s been renewed for Season 2).