Apples Never Fall is now streaming, but it may not be worth watching...

Apples Never Fall just debuted on Peacock but there are some sadly good reasons why this new drama is getting such bad reviews!

Los Angeles Premiere Of Peacock's New Series "Apples Never Fall" - Arrivals
Los Angeles Premiere Of Peacock's New Series "Apples Never Fall" - Arrivals / Jon Kopaloff/GettyImages

Apples Never Fall just premiered on Peacock, which promises to be a good thriller. It has a top-line cast, a powerful storyline and looks good. However, there may be a good reason to skip this would-be new “must-watch” series after all. Find out why!

Adapting the novel by Liane Moriarty, Apples Never Fall focuses on the Delaneys, a successful family living in West Palm Beach. The family heads, Stan (Sam Neill), and Joy (Annette Benning), have run a popular tennis club for years while their children embark on a variety of careers. When Joy retires, it looks like the family is ready to embrace a new chapter.

However, when Joy goes missing, the siblings wonder if their father had something to do with it. As the search for answers continues, the series bounces between the past and present as the family faces secrets, including the connection of their parents to a mysterious woman (Georgia Flood). 

The show dropped all seven episodes on March 14 on Peacock. Its Rotten Tomatoes score is 43% with critics and just 47% with audiences. That may be a surprise with so much star power, but as it happens, there are a few good reasons why Apples Never Fall doesn’t work as a show.

The tale is way too familiar

Let’s see: A seemingly picture-perfect family suddenly is exposed as having dark secrets in a story that mixes up time periods. Where have we seen this before? Maybe with Big Little Lies, Nine Perfect Strangers, Bad Sisters, The White Lotus, and about a dozen other recent TV shows. The trailer alone seems filled with cliches and tropes done much better already and not as compelling as they could be. 

That follows into the series as so many of the would-be twists can be spotted, from the family’s problems to the conflict between the parents. It’s not totally the show’s fault, but it’s impossible not to compare it to better shows, leaving this feeling lacking. 

It drags the story out

A common complaint on limited series these days is how way too many of them drag the story out beyond what it should be. The novel was a sharp and short thriller that might work as a 100-minute movie. Pushing it to seven hour-long episodes is something else. Too many of the story beats drag out and the fact the writing is so shallow makes it tougher to get into it. 

Maybe shortening it down an episode or two could have been better but maybe this just wasn’t the right property for a TV show. It shows once more how producers eager to create “event TV” ignore how spreading a story so thin only hurts it. 

The cast is great, but the characters aren’t

There are few things more disappointing than seeing a TV show waste a fantastic cast. This has Benning, Neil, Alison Brie, Jake Lacy, Flood and more, all fine actors. It’s too bad they’re given such terrible characters to play, both in terms of writing and actions. Each episode focuses on a different Delaney, and it’s hard not to see every one of them in the worst way.

These characters are selfish, self-centered, throwing each other under the bus, ratting on secrets and using their mom’s disappearance for their own means. Some of the behavior is borderline sociopathic, and that’s before they suspect their dad of murder. It’s hard to root for any of them or even care, as the unlikeability of these characters will turn off viewers rather than make them compelling to watch. 

The ending is ludicrous 

The show already has some problems with pacing and trying to throw in “shocking” twists. But that could be forgiven if the finale stuck the landing. Instead, we get a twist ending that is absolutely ludicrous. It makes almost no sense and turns things into something that would be laughable in a Lifetime original movie.

That it ignores the novel’s point, which was how you didn’t need a murder to expose a fractured family, is worse. To take what had seemed a grounded show and toss it into this crazy level mars whatever strengths the show has and makes it a joke. 

At the end of the day, Apples Never Fall isn’t really a bad show, it’s just a very disappointing one. It drags out a storyline that could have been a movie, shallow writing and characters and a stupid ending that lets down all the potential it had. There’s a good reason this Apple is being deemed “rotten” by critics. 

Apples Never Fall Season 1 streaming on Peacock.