Doogie Howser. Picket Fences. Chicago Hope. The Practice. Boston Legal. Ally McBeal. Big Little Lies. If you were a fan of any (or all of) these shows, then you’ll be familiar with the name David E Kelley. He created all of these (amongst others), and you can’t have failed to notice his name in title sequences. His name cropped up again recently, this time in Love & Death, the new miniseries based on the true story of accused murderer Candy Montgomery that's started on M-Net.
But with endless awards and plenty of praise over the years, we’re scooching Kelley aside to focus on Lesli Linka Glatter, the director of Love & Death. Her name might not be as familiar to you, but you’ve definitely heard (and likely watched) many of the shows she’s worked on, including Twin Peaks, ER, Grey’s Anatomy, The West Wing, Gilmore Girls, House, Mad Men, True Blood, Ray Donovan, and Homeland … to name a few. If you grew up in the ‘90s, it’s likely you watched her feature film directing debut: Now & Then.
But TV is her forte and now she’s back behind the lens for five of Love & Death’s seven episodes, including the first three. At the show’s SXSW premiere, Glatter spoke about diving into the crime’s complicated history.
“I don’t even actually look at this so much as true crime as more of the dark side of the American dream – kind of an American tragedy. Yes there is a horrible crime at the heart of it and we don’t let her [Candy] off the hook, but to me it’s a bigger story than just the crime.”
With such a diverse résumé, Glatter has the experience required for handling the complexities of this story. From the twisted darkness of crime-solving in Twin Peaks to ramping up tension and delivering action in Homeland to working with great characters throughout her career, Glatter is adding the right notes to Love & Death. She’s also backed by an incredible cast in getting to the heart of the tragedy that unfolded in a small Texan town.
“What I and…these amazing actors were interested in was delving deep into the character and the psychology of the character, and why and how this could happen, and not just the crime.”
Speaking of Texas, the series was shot in locations around the state. Evoking a Texan mood came naturally to the director, seeing as she was born in Dallas. It must have been very exciting to shoot in her home state, especially considering it was her first time shooting there. Filming primarily took place in Austin, making use of big, open roads. As production designer Suzuki Ingerslev said in an interview with Condé Nast Traveler:
“We wanted to show these big, open roads where you’d have to drive endlessly to get to church or into town. That emptiness sums up the loneliness of suburbia. We wanted to show the isolation of living that life in the suburbs and the tedium of their daily routine.”
Love & Death airs Express from the US on Fridays at 03:00 and in prime time on Mondays at 21:00 on M-Net channel 101.
If you missed the first three episodes, you can catch up with DStv here.
Feature image: Lesli Linka Glatter with the cast of Love & Death (Getty).