A perfect 80’s housewife in ‘Candy’ | Lifestyle

Candy Montgomery and Betty Gore had everything they wanted: a husband, children, a house in their small Texas community. They bonded over carpools and church picnics, like 1980s housewives are supposed to do. Then Candy killed Betty with an axe.

“Candy,” which premieres Monday on Hulu, tells the true story of the brutal murder that rocked their united people on June 13, 1980, when Gore’s brutalized body bearing 41 ax wounds unraveled a web of infidelity and expectations. .

“These two women who were given everything they were supposed to have to be happy…and they weren’t,” said showrunner Robin Veith. “You weren’t allowed to be unhappy if you had all these things, so there was this constant emptiness that they didn’t know how to deal with.”

“Candy” spends its pilot on the fateful day, when Montgomery (Jessica Biel) drives around town running errands and Gore (Melanie Lynskey) is left home with her newborn, alone once again when her husband leaves town for worked. There is an immediate understanding that this is life for these women, day in and day out.

“I think she kept trying to take on too much, which is true for a lot of women,” Lynskey said of her character, who she believes suffered from postpartum depression.

“You keep saying ‘Yes’ and offering to make more and putting more on your plate until you’re like, ‘Wait a second, I’m so overwhelmed I just want to sit in a dark room for a day and cry. ‘” he said. “You don’t know when you’re heading to that point; you only know when you’re there.”

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In Montgomery’s account, and in which the jury believed enough to acquit her in self-defense, she passed out during the attack. She went into a “dissociative reaction,” her psychologist testified, an anger triggered by childhood trauma. Gore had learned of Montgomery’s affair with her husband, Allan, and confronted her friend. It didn’t matter that of the 41 blows dealt by the axe, 40 were delivered in Gore’s lifetime.

So “Candy” choreographed their fatal fight exactly as Montgomery described it.

“We did the Candy version very specifically,” said Lynskey. “We choreographed the story that she told in court, with no added action or anything like that. There were things that didn’t make sense, frankly. It was hard to go from A to B.”

But the program spends less time on the how than on the why; the actual attack is not seen on screen until the final episode. Instead, it focuses on how the two women got there, both separately and together. How they found themselves alone, taking care of their children and their houses, because their husbands never think of helping. How they looked to each other for comfort, Gore in a group called Marriage Encounters and Montgomery in Gore’s husband. How their community began to close down, to suffocate them, as their perfect, happy lives disintegrated.

“I grew up there. It was called Kingsville, Maryland, not Wylie, Texas, but I grew up in that town. I know these people. They’re my parents, they’re my friends,” Veith said. “I wanted to keep the feeling of claustrophobia that comes with these open spaces in the suburbs.

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Today, the real Montgomery is divorced, living under a different name, and working as a mental health counselor. In a way, he did escape from his claustrophobic life after all.

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