7.7
302 votes
I Know This Much Is True

I Know This Much Is True

HBO 2020

The parallel lives of identical twin brothers Dominick and Thomas Birdsey in an epic story of betrayal, sacrifice and forgiveness set against the backdrop of 20th century America.

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The 10 Best Episodes of I Know This Much Is True

I Know This Much Is True - S1E6

#1 - Episode 6

8.14

Season 1 - Episode 6

After a startling confrontation, Dominick seeks reconciliation with those closest to him and receives an answer to the question that has haunted him all his life.

The episode was rated #1 Best episode of I Know This Much Is True from 121 votes.

I Know This Much Is True - S1E2

#2 - Episode 2

7.79

Season 1 - Episode 2

Tensions rise between Dominick and his live-in girlfriend, Joy, as the media begins to take an interest in Thomas' case. In his attempt to have Thomas released from the Hatch forensic institute for the criminally insane, Dominick finds a potential ally in social worker Lisa Sheffer but learns that helping his brother may be more difficult than he thought. Dominick clashes with Thomas' new psychiatrist, Dr. Patel, as she begins to probe into his past. We learn about the shocking tragedy that triggered the dissolution of Dominick's marriage to Dessa.

The episode was rated #2 Best episode of I Know This Much Is True from 159 votes.

I Know This Much Is True - S1E4

#3 - Episode 4

7.64

Season 1 - Episode 4

Despite the protestations of those closest to him, Dominick returns to work before fully recovering from his accident. Heavily medicated, Dominick recalls the disturbing incident that lead to Thomas’ first hospitalization while counting down the hours to Thomas’ hearing with the Hatch review board.

The episode was rated #3 Best episode of I Know This Much Is True from 128 votes.

I Know This Much Is True - S1E5

#4 - Episode 5

7.61

Season 1 - Episode 5

Dominick learns of his grandfather’s past through his manuscript. Following a stunning revelation, Dominick enlists an unlikely ally in his mission to have Thomas released.

The episode was rated #4 Best episode of I Know This Much Is True from 125 votes.

I Know This Much Is True - S1E1

#5 - Episode 1

7.56

Season 1 - Episode 1

After paranoid schizophrenic Thomas Birdsey has a violent public breakdown, Dominick Birdsey finds himself stepping up to defend his identical twin brother in unexpected ways. As he navigates the fallout of Thomas’ actions, Dominick reflects on their childhood growing up under the tyrannical rule of their volatile step-father, Ray, and their persistent desire to know the identity of their biological father. Dominick crosses paths with the prickly Nedra Frank as he attempts to have his grandfather’s manuscript translated from Italian into English as a gift for his ailing mother.

The episode was rated #5 Best episode of I Know This Much Is True from 211 votes.

I Know This Much Is True - S1E3

#6 - Episode 3

7.55

Season 1 - Episode 3

Sheffer preps Dominick for a pivotal hearing with Hatch’s review board that could decide Thomas’ fate. A chance encounter with an old classmate brings painful childhood memories to the surface. Dominick reflects on his and Thomas’ time together at college, during which he met Dessa and the signs of his brother’s illness first began to manifest. Joy attempts to remedy the problems in her and Dominick’s relationship.

The episode was rated #6 Best episode of I Know This Much Is True from 135 votes.

Last updated: feb 20, 2021

Comments

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I never questioned Mark Ruffalo's acting abilities, this might be unnecessarily over the line though. I'd rather just let him have the Emmy now, and leave the rest of the series alone.

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Like other filmmakers, Derek Cianfrance made his way into the TV with his own limited series. Is it as sad and humanist as Blue Valentine and The Place Beyond the Pines? Sad for sure, but we rarely get any humans on screen. This series is suffering topped with more suffering. It's completely depressing like Cianfrance's work but his first two features would contain beautiful moments where we want his characters to thrive. Look at the ukelele scene from Blue Valentine, we know what's cherished between the two characters won't last but we're dedicated to their story. Here, that isn't the case we get one depressing turn after another which doesn't serve the story, not to mention the hero is Nate from Six Feet Under without the charm, making it a difficult watch. There are some highlights, such as Ruffalo putting two award-worthy performances. Rosie O'Donnell was the stand out for me (if the Emmys weren't going to be packed, I believe she would've gotten a slot). Also, Cianfrance shot this on film and it looks gorgeous. Even when it gets to a super ridiculous tragedy (it got to the point where I laughed at moments that Cianfrance intended to be melancholic) it looks pretty. Speaking of Cianfrance, this is his second adaptation after 2016's The Light Between Oceans. Considering his two best works were his own ideas, I believe it best if the director abandons source materials. Both books are rich with material and when hearing he'd be doing them, I was excited but it appears he's incapable of collaborating with his source material (both had changes that didn't serve his style and made these two works emptier than his first two films). Also, this is TV. I noticed both Mildred Pierce and Olive Kitteridge begin by stating "A Film by," indicating what their respective directors saw their limited series entries as and although Cianfrance does the respectable thing by putting "Written for Television by," he wrote this like a film. We get flashbacks to the grandfather of the two protagonists that are solely in Italian and it looks like a Werner Herzog film. But it could've been an entire episode rather than split as excerpts for the final two episodes (Twin Peaks: The Return, for example, had its eighth episode become something else entirely but Cianfrance never dedicates a single episode to a character or story indicating he doesn't understand the medium of TV). And this was released during a pandemic. HBO had to move The Undoing to Fall so they could make sure they'd have enough programming for the rest of the year (unfortunately we won't be getting Barry or Succession this year). But the daytime soap opera crime shenanigans of Nicole Kidman would've served as better entertainment to that of brooding Mark Ruffalo times two. I noticed both Cianfrance and Nicolas Winding Refn will be doing more TV (Cianfrance just signed a contract to do more HBO projects for the next two years while Refn will be producing a Maniac Cop series for HBO) but the two need to understand that TV isn't film but longer, it's an entirely different medium. I would never want to wait every year to see the misadventures of Dominic and Thomas Birdsey, such characters might be better suited for only two hours rather than six. Bottom line, if you are a devout fan of either Derek Cianfrance or Mark Ruffalo, this is worth a watch solely for dedication to these two artists. If you're searching for a miniseries with excellent storytelling that'll have you binging, this is most certainly not that. Considering we got the amazing Devs, Mrs America, and The Plot Against America this year, it isn't worth the commitment.

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Zzzzzz... Pretentious, boring and way too long

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[HBO] The curse in the family. Or an excuse for not accepting the responsibility of being what one is. This story speaks of pain, of almost religious suffering, like a Via Crucis that must be resisted until the revelation of oneself is achieved. There is also a feeling of guilt that destroys, a trace of madness that produces emotional scars. It is a great series blessed by the work of a great actor.

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