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10 Major Ways Love & Death Is Already Different From Hulu’s Candy


The HBO limited series Love & Death premiered and there are already major differences between it and Candy on Hulu. Both series follow the notorious true story of Candy Montgomery, the Texas housewife turned ax murderer who had an affair with a man from her church and later killed his wife in their house. Love & Death stars Elizabeth Olsen of Avengers fame as Candy and Jesse Plemons as her fellow adulterer Allan Gore. Candy, meanwhile, stars Jessica Biel in the titular role and Pablo Schreiber as Allan. All episodes of Candy can be streamed on Hulu and the first four episodes of Love & Death are now available on HBO Max.


Candy premiered in 2022 and was generally well-received by both fans and critics. The real-life Candy Montgomery story made national headlines in 1980 after she admitted to police that she murdered Allan’s wife Betty on Friday, October 13th of that year, claiming self-defense. Both Love & Death and Candy chronicle the true events of the affair, murder, subsequent national news coverage and the eventual trial by jury. Although the two shows essentially follow the same plot points, there are some evident differences in the methods used to tell the story in each. Some of the differences are visually apparent while others are more subtle creative choices of characterization and production styles.

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10 Candy & Pat Have A Better Marriage In Hulu’s Candy

In Love & Death, Pat Montgomery is represented as aloof and childish. He is mostly uninterested in Candy and far more interested in late-night comedy and television programs. While he’s not bad in any way, his simplicity is used to contrast Candy’s desire for excitement and spontaneity. The HBO series uses this disconnect as a clear motivation for Candy to break Allan’s rules in Love & Death with their spontaneous affair. In Hulu’s Candy, that is not the case. Pat is very attentive to Candy and much more present as a husband and father. There are several instances in Candy where Pat offers his wife advice and emotional support in ways that Love & Death’s Pat fails to do.

9 Allan Is Much More Charismatic In Love & Death

Jesse Plemons in Love & Death

Jesse Plemons’ rendition of Allan Gore is cheery and personable in Love & Death. Pablo Schreiber’s portrayal of Allan in Candy makes him much less friendly and more reserved. It’s easier to believe that the charisma of Jesse Plemons’ Allan would attract Candy in the first place. Schreiber’s Allan might have been more accurate to the likeness of the real-life Allan Gore, whereas Plemons brings a softness and nobility to the character that was completely missed in Hulu’s Candy. Plemons also delivers a degree of star power to the role, having a string of impressive credits ranging from Breaking Bad and Black Mirror to The Power of the Dog for which he was nominated for an Oscar.

8 Betty and Allan Foster A Boy In Hulu’s Candy

Lily Rabe Love and Death
Lily Rabe in Love & Death

In Love & Death, the Gores only have one daughter named Alisa and a newborn child. In Hulu’s Candy, the Gores foster a son two years before Betty’s murder, in addition to having their daughter and newborn baby. The Gore’s daughter is named Christina in Hulu’s Candy and is named Alisa in Love & Death. In real life, Betty and Allan’s daughter is named Alisa and goes by Lisa. There’s no information whether the young foster child, Davey in Hulu’s Candy, was based on an actual person. The real Gores did foster several children over the course of their marriage. Love & Death chose to leave that part of the Gores’ history out of their version.

7 Candy & Allan Are More Intimate In Love & Death

elizabeth-olsen-jesse-plemons love and death
Elizabeth Olsen and Jesse Plemons in Love & Death

The chemistry between Biel’s Candy and Schreiber’s Allan feels less believable than the connection Olson’s and Plemons’ character form in the affair. There are very few sex scenes between Allan and Candy in Hulu’s Candy. Love & Death features more passionate sex scenes between Candy and Allan that makes their affair seem more romantic and emotional. The few sex scenes in Candy were passionless and transactional, which might be the biggest difference between the two series. The lack of emotional investment completely changes the dynamic between the two characters in Candy despite how long Candy and Allan were together.

6 Love & Death Tells The Story In Chronological Order

Candy Montgomery looking at herself in Love & Death

Both stories feature flash-forwards of the murder scene in the first episode, but Love & Death follows the story in a more linear fashion. Love & Death tells the story almost entirely in chronological order except for a few brief teaser scenes that foreshadow the horrific details of Betty Gore’s death. Hulu’s Candy goes back and forth in time with its narrative between the murder, crime scene, backstory, and the trial. Hulu’s Candy is still narratively linear, but employs more use of flashbacks and flash-forwards that are intercut throughout the series, creating a less immersive feel for the viewer.

5 Love & Death Is More Centered Around The Local Church

Candy Montgomery leading a church choir in Love & Death

Many scenes in Love & Death take place at the local church which the Montgomerys and Gores are both members of. There is much less of a church influence in general in Hulu’s Candy. Both series cover the church-sponsored volleyball game that sparked Candy’s interest in Allan after he accidentally knocked her over. The former church leader Jackie was included in both Love & Death and Candy. Jackie leaves the church in both versions which has a negative effect on Candy and represents a religious bond breaking in both series. Other than that, there aren’t many associations to the church in Hulu’s Candy. Love & Death ingrains the church setting much more frequently into its story.

4 Candy Is Portrayed Differently In Both Series

Love & Death True Story Who Was The Real Candy Montgomery

In Love & Death, Candy is more bubbly, sweet, and at times more emotionally explosive. Elizabeth Olson brings a wider dramatic range to Candy which makes her more personable and makes the murder more shocking. Olson’s Candy also doesn’t wear glasses throughout the first four episodes and has a different hairstyle that Biel’s Candy, who looks more like the actual person. The real Candy had curly short hair and wore glasses, which Biel does, but comes off as less warm and inviting than Olson’s version. Biel’s Candy is also a better manipulator and liar. After the murder of Betty, Olson’s Candy reads more guilty, while Biel’s Candy seems more sociopathic and unaffected.

3 Love & Death and Candy Follow Different Genre Tropes

Candy Montgomery smiling while talking to someone in Love and Death.

Love & Death takes a slow-burn approach to the unfolding series of events while Candy has more elements of a psychological thriller. Love & Death also tells the story at a slower pace which allows the viewer to get to know Candy better on a personal level. Candy is somewhat distant and less accessible in Hulu’s Candy in an attempt to highlight her eeriness, which works for the horror tropes that Hulu’s Candy employs. Olson’s Candy is more relatable since Love & Death is told as a drama, while Hulu’s version makes Candy more of a villain and less humane in order to fit into its psychological thriller approach.

2 Love & Death Features An Ensemble Cast

Krysten Ritter looking judgingly in Love & Death

Love & Death features an ensemble cast with several major actors in lead and supporting roles. Olson and Plemons are both A-list celebrities and two extremely successful dramatic actors. Krysten Ritter of Jessica Jones and Breaking Bad fame plays Candy’s friend Sherry. Lily Rabe plays Betty as was recently in Apple TV’s Shrinking. Elizabeth Marvel of House of Cards and Homeland plays Jackie. Tom Pelphrey who broke out as Ben on Ozark plays Don Crowder. Candy starred Jessica Biel as Candy and Melanie Lynskey as Betty. The rest of its cast features lesser-known actors.

1 Love & Death Is 2 Episodes Longer Than Candy

Lily Rabe holding a baby and smiling in Love & Death

Love & Death is set to be more than two hours longer than Candy spanning over seven episodes versus Candy’s five. The longer format for Love & Death makes sense for its dramatic slow-burn approach. It also gives it more time to slowly chronicle the intimacy in the relationship between Allan and Candy, which feels underdeveloped in Hulu’s Candy. Hulu’s Candy was still successful in its objective narrative style and in some ways focuses more on the accuracy of the true story, specifically with Candy’s appearance. While both series are excellent in their own right, Love & Death offers some key differences from Candy that enhance and update the notorious story of Candy Montgomery.



This story originally appeared on Screenrant

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