Based On A True Story (2023) Series: Weird Fixation With Crime

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Based On A True Story is a satirical dark comedy. It is about the weird fixation with true crimes among ordinary folks in the USA. Wherein, everything is about making money.

Even the grim and cold-blooded murders happening in their part of the world can be successfully marketed on various platforms by savvy operators in this new digital age.

On the other hand, it seems this show is loosely inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s classic movie – Strangers On A Train*. One of its lead characters Nathan Bartlett (Chris Messina) is shown watching “Stranger on a Train” in this show too. After watching it, one can see the said inspiration.

(*Stangers on a Train - A man tries hard to persuade a tennis star to agree to his theory that two complete strangers can get away with murder by executing to his plan to kill the each other's most-hated person.)

Synopsis (official summary) of this 2023 dark comedy series from the USA

Three strangers – realtor Ava Bartlett (Kaley Cuoco), former tennis star Nathan Bartlett (Chris Messina), and plumber Matt Pierce (Tom Bateman) join forces and seize a unique opportunity to capitalize on America’s obsession with true crime and make their dreams come true. Their plans include killing people, talking about it on modern-day media platforms like a podcast and thereby making money in today’s America.

Spoilers Free review of the Based On A True Story (2023) Series

Well, let us begin by clarifying that ‘Based On A True Story’ is a fictional tale, it is not a true story.

Our growing fixation with true crime

Still, it is an enjoyable show, that brings to light the almost obsessive behaviour with murders and other sensational crimes, not only in the USA but around the world. In a funny take, a serial killer is recognized for the gruesome murders, by his followers, who wish to take undue advantage of the general public’s obsessions with the murders and murderers.

Some money-minded entrepreneurs decide to build almost supporting ancillary units around such grim crimes – conventions, seminars, podcasts, TV deals, tell-all book deals, coffee mugs, T-shirts and many other commercial ventures related to the same in America. Perhaps, the capitalist world works like this only – the market-driven economy.

No wonder, some people can monetize almost anything, that is the world we are currently living in. So, we have a CrimeCon, just like the famous ComicCon events in America and the rest of the world. Interesting times, indeed, that we live in. And this is what this show taps into. There is a huge untapped market out there – for the consumers of true crime tales.

It has a bunch of good actors in it and the conclusion

It is almost an absurd modern tale about the contemporary times that we live in. No doubt, because of its dark comical content, I like it. The bunch of good actors, like, Kaley Cuoco (Ava Bartlett), Chris Messina (Nathan Bartlett), Tom Bateman (Matt Pierce), Priscilla Quintana (Ruby Gale), Liana Liberato (Tory Thompson), Natalia Dyer (Chloe Lake), etc have done a good job to keep this dramatic thriller going.

Tom Bateman does look and sound menacing in this show. Whereas Kaley and Chris keep the comedy going with their enactment of a clueless couple, who do not understand the gravity of the situation when they make a monetary deal with the devil. It is an interesting story about interesting times that we are living in. All in all, I reiterate that it is a good time-pass comedy. If you like the dark stuff, then do go for it.

Ratings of this 2023 dark comedy series from USA

FM’s rating3.55/5
IMDb rating as of the date 7.20/10
Rotten Tomatoes ratings as of the date74% Tomatometer & 79% Audience Score
Critics Consensus / Rotten TomatoesTrue crime enthusiasts have been satirized more sharply, but engaging leads and a lightly humorous touch make Based on a True Story worth investigating.
FM, IMDb & Rotten Tomatoes ratings – Based On A True Story.

Spoilers Alert – its central plot, characters & ending explained

Focus on the plot and reality of this show

No, I reiterate that it is not based on a true (crime) story.

The basic plot of the story

The central plot of the story is about the pregnant wife Ava Bartlett (Kaley Cuoco – who was pregnant in real life too, while shooting for it) and her on-screen husband star Nathan Bartlett (Chris Messina) decide to make a deal with the devil. Their plumber Matt Pierce (Tom Bateman) is the on-screen serial killer and the husband-wife duo wants to use his criminal notoriety to make quick bucks for all of them, by airing their podcasts about a serial killer Matt and his murder victims.

Focus on the (serial) killer of this show

So, who is the serial killer?

Matt is a serial killer in this show, who has eluded the police in the show. He has stayed out of jail by maintaining a low profile while working as a plumber.

After murdering as things got heated for him, he simply skipped town and changed his location. And the police remained clueless. Only the murder-crime-obsessed Ava realized that Matt was a killer.

Focus on the ending of this show in season one

The cliffhanger ending of season one

Matt kills Ruby Gale in the penultimate episode of the show after he learns that she knows too much. Earlier in the show, we witnessed that Ruby wished for her piece of cake – the lucrative podcast business with the serial killer. She also threatens to expose all of them, in case the team trio do not include her in the podcast business. Then in the closing episodes, we see that Matt asks, persuades, threatens and forces the couple – Ava and Nathan, to get rid of Ruby’s dead body. And they did so.

This show has an open-ended ending. So, in case there is a second season of it, then its writers can have endless possibilities. The crime may pull all of them in, and we might see a dark comedy again.

Poster of the Based On A True Story (2023) Series

Based On A True Story – poster

Key details of this 2023 dark comedy series from the USA

GenreDrama, Comedy, Thriller
Released June 2023
Age-CertificationUA (13+)
Season &
Season (1) One &
Episodes (8) Eight
CreatorCraig Rosenberg
CastKaley Cuoco, Chris Messina, Tom Bateman, Priscilla Quintana, Liana Liberato, Li Jun Li, Sebastian Quinn, Natalia Dyer, etc.
Original NetworkPeacock
About – Based On A True Story.

Trailer of the Based On A True Story (2023) Series

Official trailer – Based On A True Story.

If you like Dark Comedies from North America, then do check these out – Beef and Barry series too. You might like them too.

Featured & Other Images: Based On A True Story | Peacock.

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