"The Girl From Plainville," the new Hulu series on the infamous Michelle Carter case, is taking the streaming platform by storm. Rotten Tomatoes currently has the series at a 93% approval rating from the numerous reviews by viewers on the show.
But many wonder how true the series is to the actual case, and what part is dramatized or even spotlighted that was not talked about throughout the case.
'An unbiased view'
The creators of "The Girl From Plainville" describe the show as "an unbiased view of the case," while adding that it shows a more nuanced view of the case that may not have been shown by the media in the moment.
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The series' creators say their new series focuses more on the everyday life of Carter in the run-up to the trial. The directors also show more of Conrad Roy III, Carter's boyfriend throughout the series, to portray the dysfunctional relationship between the two teens. They also shine a light on the mother-son relationship between Roy and his mother, an aspect the directors said was not talked about during coverage of the trial.
The team behind the series reportedly conducted thousands of hours of research, including going through all of the text messages between Carter and Roy.
Greater focus on Conrad Roy III
Colton Ryan, who plays Roy, told ET that the series goes so in-depth on the character development of Roy before his ultimate suicide that he "felt more a sense of purpose that not only I had to be there, I wanted to, if I could, in any small way, help in the process of reminding someone that people are more than just their ending."
Roy's mother appeared on the April 8 edition of "20/20" and said that while the family didn't have any involvment in "The Girl From Plainville," they didn't have any problem with the show, as long as it dealt with mental health awareness and included Roy instead of focusing solely on Carter.
Acting out the text messages
Another point that was dramatized in the series is the way the creators made the two actors, who play the main characters, act out the text messages rather than sending them over the phone.
“We really felt like people didn’t know what their text conversations were, what their relationships were with other friends or with family," co-creator Liz Hannah said. "And so, it became much more about relationships than it did about what happened."
Hannah said that while most reports focused on just Carter throughout the trial, the series focused on both sides, from the defense as well as the prosecution. The show is able to "show the drama which is, ‘How did this girl get convicted of something that was so [unprecedented] and was so controversial?" Hannah said.
Exploring mental health and young people
Co-creator Patrick McManus said the show also brings some humanity to the characters to challenge viewers preconceived notions about the case.
“I think that people will come in with the same preconceived notions that we came in and come out the other end maybe not being fully sold,” he told ET. “Maybe they’ll still think she got what she deserved but at least they could see a little bit more of the humanity in this character.
Elle Fanning, the actress who plays Michelle Carter, told ET the Hulu series "really explores the grieving process, it explores loneliness, it explores mental health and young people. I think that it pushed forward conversations of de-stigmatizing mental health."
Some very real moments
The show may be highly dramatized and go deeper into the character developments, but it also includes some very real details. The series reveals an eating disorder that Carter has, which is true. It also dives deeper into the revelation of Carter's love of shows such as "Glee" and movies like "The Fault in our Stars," which were revealed in the HBO documentary.
There are also scenes where Carter and Roy are alone, another a true aspect of their relationship, as they saw each other in person a handful of times. There are also scenes mirroring real life where Carter texts her friend that Roy was missing.
"The Girl From Plainville" premiered on March 29 with three episodes. New episodes will debut weekly until May 3.
If you or someone you know is at risk of suicide please call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741 or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.