Tell Me Your Secrets, currently airing on 13th Street Sunday nights, is a thriller series centered on morally complex characters with mysterious and disturbing pasts. Emma is placed in a witness protection program after the man she was dating is revealed to be a serial killer. Emma was Karen in her past, who suffered severe trauma while incarcerated. Mary, on the other hand, is the grieving mother of a missing young woman. She suspects that Emma has a role to play in her daughter’s disappearance.
Mary enlists John, a former criminal, to help her find Emma. John is on the road to redemption as we see the three characters desperately trying to find a firm footing on slippery ground. These characters carry dangerous secrets within them that keep us hooked on the quest for their motivations. As each of them is on the verge of moral turpitude, the truth is even more convoluted, blurring the line between victim and perpetrator. So, let’s find out if the mysterious characters have any semblance of reality.
Is Tell Me Your Secrets based on real facts?
No, Tell Me Your Secrets is not based on a true story. However, the characters’ plight and their criminal past are inspired by notorious criminal cases where the killer’s partner is shrouded in mystery. The fictional story and characters were written by Harriet Warner, who also wrote the series Dangerous Liaisons. Harriet Warner decided to associate Emma with a serial killer because she felt their bond was born out of love and the trauma that ensued.
These contrasting emotions are the pillars on which the relationships between the characters are hinged. Another central idea of the series is the ability to keep secrets in the dark corners of the human mind. These secrets refuse to come out, even in strong relationships, which begs the question: Can you have privacy without fully knowing your spouse’s thoughts? After all, Harriet Warner has expressed an interest in exploring relationships where love flourishes despite the enormous truths that lie ahead.
Another series with similar themes is Mon Amie Adèle, based on the best-selling novel by Sarah Pinborough. These complex characters and themes are ingrained in literary fiction, which corroborates our fascination with the secrets of others. Harriet Warner harnessed this aspect effortlessly and created the complex tale of Tell Me Your Secrets.
The Woman in Danger is a recurring trope in the series, but Harriet Warner denies the concept’s deliberate introduction into her writing. She didn’t think about the genre when writing the story, and she also said that the characters are sort of behaving themselves. She explained that the plot centers on women and how society tends to judge female ideals. In addition, the character of Mary’s desperation is driven by her loss. This gives her a platform to reinvent her goal, as she is determined to find out the truth. This loss allows us to empathize with the character and to follow his journey through the ten episodes.
Lily Rabe, who plays Emma / Karen, was also motivated to join the cast due to the strength of the writing. She had just given birth to a newborn baby and didn’t want to play such a difficult role mentally. Despite her reservations, reading Warner’s script changed Lily Rabe’s mind. She was won over by the unique sensibility and approach to creating Warner, and we were also watching the series. While the show isn’t based on a true story, it does detail the intricacies and dangerous machinations of the human mind.