Last year, North Texas was highlighted in the TV series Dr. Death, a true-crime drama about infamous Dallas surgeon Dr. Christopher Duntsch and based on the 2018 Wondery podcast of the same name. Streaming on Peacock TV, it’s an absolutely chilling series. Now, North Texas is getting the Hollywood treatment once again, this time highlighting a 1980 murder committed by Candy Montgomery in Wylie.
It’s a notoriously juicy story, featuring an affair, 80s-era suburbia, female friendship, and (notably) female rage. Two new TV series based on the true Texas tale will debut on HBO Max and Hulu this year.
HBO Max Takes on the Candy Montgomery Story
Based on the book by John Bloom and Jim Atkinson, Love and Death is a new limited TV series that will stream on HBO Max.
Currently filming just outside of Austin (in Georgetown, Texas), the show stars Marvel Studios mainstay Elizabeth Olsen as Montgomery. Executive produced by Nicole Kidman and David E. Kelly (who also adapted the screenplay), the series also drew inspiration from a collection of articles from Texas Monthly called Love & Death in Silicon Prairie, Part I and II.
The series follows the book’s story of friends Montgomery and Betty Gore, who sang in church choir together and had daughters who were best friends. Both of their husbands worked in North Texas’ tech industry, nicknamed “Silicon Prairie.” A tense and violent relationship began when Gore discovered that Montgomery was having an affair with her husband, Allan Gore. One summer day in 1980, Montgomery kills Gore with an ax in a utility room. Montgomery went to trial for murder and was found not guilty by a jury after arguing self-defense.
Lily Rabe, who most recently starred in The Tender Bar, will play Gore. The Power of the Dog‘s Jesse Plemons is taking on the role of her husband, Allan Gore.
True Crime, Texas, and Hulu
Over on Hulu this May, Candy will follow the same scandalous story (also using John Bloom’s novel as source material) with a different illustrious cast. Jessica Biel is set to take the titular role, while Yellowjackets’ Melanie Lynskey and Veep‘s Timothy Simons will co-star as Betty and Allan Gore. We’ll defer any judgment or comparisons until the two shows stream later this year, but one big point immediately goes to Love and Death for actually filming this very Texan story in Texas. (Candy is filmed in Decatur, Georgia.)
If you don’t know the story and your interest is officially piqued, consider diving into the excellent Texas Monthly two-parter, published in 1984.