Home Before Dark

2020-04-15 08:44
Brooklynn Prince in 'Home Before Dark.'


Hilde (played by Brooklynn Prince) who moves from the city of Brooklyn to the small lakeside town her father left behind. While there, her dogged pursuit of the truth leads her to unearth a cold case that everyone in town, including her own father, tried hard to bury.


My girlfriend and I have had a free Apple TV+ subscription for a few months but never used it. She got it because she bought an iPhone after her very old model broke, and the company threw in a yearlong subscription to their streaming service for free. I wasn't keeping an eye out for any shows and hadn't seen any local advertising.

So, you can imagine my surprise when I stumbled on a TV show with an intriguing poster, called Home Before Dark, and clicked on it to find a hidden gem.

Apple has made the first two episodes free to watch and to be honest, that's all I needed to get hooked and watch the whole season in the space of a day and a half.

It centres on Hilde Lisko, who is played by the incredible Brooklynn Prince and is loosely based on a true story about a young girl who discovers a murder in the small town she must move to. As a journalist, this really spoke to me and I loved watching this arresting 9-year-old protagonist uncover leads, unravel lies and get one of the biggest scoops in history. All before she's even old enough to legally hold a job or drive.

When I first started the show, I thought it might be geared towards children with such a young lead, but it's a thrilling ride that deals with mature themes from police corruption to sexism and more. Home Before Dark is a mix between Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom, a detective show like The Killing and a story about meaningful relationships like Now and Then.

It also manages to never belittle the experiences of children and highlights how important it is to believe them and support their endeavours. With the use of flashbacks Home Before Dark takes the time to show how unaddressed childhood trauma impacts adults' abilities to manage stress and navigate interpersonal relationships.

That's where Hilde's father Matt, played by Jim Sturgess, comes in and we discover why journalism and uncovering the truth was always his calling. It is something that he has passed on to his daughter and a skill set that she seems even more adept at than him at various points in the series.

On top of that, the series shows how first impressions can often be wrong. Whether it's about the precocious lead, the lead suspect, or the neighbour. With plenty of twists and turns, you might think you have everything figured out and know what's coming next, but you don't. It gets really dark, so make sure you have cookies nearby to stress eat like I did.

My two favourite things about this show, aside from all the stellar journalism, are: Brooklynn Prince's performance and the soundtrack.

I could go on for pages about how great Brooklynn is so let me keep it short and simple: You must watch this show just to see her performance.

I can't believe that she's so young and so talented. It makes me wonder what I've achieved with my many years long lead on her. She is a shining light. Her turn as Hilde offers light, dark and depth beyond her years. This is a character brought to life in a way that few others could.

My other highlight is the soundtrack. And I know what you're thinking: 'Of course you're obsessed with the soundtrack, you're obsessed with music and TV/film. ' But honestly, this soundtrack used songs every genre and level popularity to create a feeling of timelessness. Which is really a feat when you consider that the show spans decades and age groups.

One last thing I should mention that I also really enjoyed was creator Dara Resnik's commitment to using actors with disabilities in a variety of roles and making the cast truly diverse. It might not be something everyone notices but as a queer, disabled, person of colour, I loved it. It helped me feel seen.

You don't have to take my word for it: watch two episodes of Home Before Dark for free now and get hooked!



(There are some Apple TV + shows that are free right now (here's a run down). That means that, if they're available in South Africa, all you have to do is enter your free Apple ID to watch. As for other shows, you can sign up for a 7-day free trail.)

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