Peacock’s Apples Never Fall trailer series looks like it could be the next Big Little Lies

Annette Bening in Apples Never Fall
(Image credit: Peacock)

If you're looking for a complex and compelling drama to fill the hole left by the end of Big Little Lies, Peacock's new limited series Apples Never Fall could well be a contender. Based on the NYT's bestseller of the same name, the show focuses on an apparently perfect family as retiring tennis coaches Sam Neill and Annette Bening prepare for the start of their golden years. But when a wounded young woman knocks on their door, their perfect world turns out to be far from perfect after all.

In addition to an excellent cast that also includes Alison Brie, Jake Lacy, Conor Merrigan-Turner and Essie Randles as the Delaney family's adult children, the showrunner is Melanie Marnich of The OA and The Affair. And as for the Big Little Lies comparison, we're not just making that up: the book on which the show is based was written by Lianne Moriarty, who also wrote HBO's Big Little Lies and Hulu's Nine Perfect Strangers

What do we know about Apples Never Fall?

Without giving away any spoilers from the book, what turns the family's life upside down is when the mom, Bening, vanishes. And the reviews for the novel are very good. The NYT says that it's "packed with cliffhangers" and that it is "essentially two novels rolled into one – a wifty tale of domestic suspense, and a satisfying, layered family drama where the tension comes from the treachery of memory, the specter of generational violence and the effects of decades’ worth of unspoken resentments that have curdled over time."

The Wall Street Journal [paywall] says that "Moriarty excels in peeling [back] characters’ psyches, and here she begins with those twitchy, angry children, their individual relationships with their hard-driving “tennis parents” a source of seething angst for all... Moriarty tells a great story, understands her characters and cares about them, too. Readers who have kept up with her books will adore “Apples Never Fall,” and readers just discovering Moriarty will seek out her previous titles after savoring this fresh, juicy tale."

Not all the book reviews are glowing. Some suggest that while Moriarty's writing is excellent, she struggles to balance hope and hopelessness. The Guardian's review felt that there was something much darker lurking beneath a tale that's "indulgently over garnished... it's all perfectly readable, but it's hard not to want something more from someone so scabrously smart." It'll be interesting to see whether the TV adaptation dials down the trimmings a little to focus on what appears to be a pretty unsettling story.

Apples Never Fall will be streaming on Peacock from March 14, 2024.

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Carrie Marshall

Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall (Twitter) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR.