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TV Review: The Lizzie Borden Chronicles 1.1
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The Lizzie Borden Chronicles
Episode 1.1
Directed by Stephen Kay
Written by Richard Blaney and Gregory Small
Starring Christina Ricci, Clea Duvall, Cole Hauser, Bradley Stryker, Jeff Wincott, and Dylan Taylor
Lifetime
Air Date: Sunday, April 5th, 2015, 10pm ET

On January 25th, 2014, Lifetime premiered the movie Lizzie Borden Took An Ax starring Christina Ricci in the title role and Clea DuVall as her sister, Emma Borden. After her father and stepmother were found brutally murdered with a hatchet, based on a true story, the TV movie took them through the investigation and trial of which Lizzie was eventually acquitted. The ending revealed that she did kill her parents. The movie had high ratings, so a six-episode limited series was ordered, which was recently increased to eight.

The Lizzie Borden Chronicles 1.1 review: The episode opens with some little girls playing jumprope singing the famous Lizzie Borden poem. These words flash across the screen – “Four months after the acquittal of Lizzie Borden for the murder of her parents.” The girls jumping are interrupted with flashes of a raised ax dripping with blood. It’s not just little girls who think Lizzie is a murderer despite the verdict, pretty much the whole town does, with whispering stares.

The sisters have less bloody problems at hand, as their father had considerable debt, and their half-brother William (Andrew Howard) arrives and stakes a claim on whatever they get. William Almy (John Heard) is determined to take everything he is owed and Heard plays smarmy very well.

A problem that they don’t yet know about yet is Pinkerton detective Charlie Siringo (Cole Hauser), who came to town for the express purpose of looking more closely into the Borden case. I hope this case is not the death of him. There is some death in this episode (not his though).

Ricci plays Lizzie Borden perfectly, mixing innocence with evil. Clea as Emma is the picture of protective loyalty, standing by her sister. The episode was good and ended with a bang. I’m not sure it could last more than 8 episodes if the rest are like the first. For a limited run, it should be ok. I do like the effect of briefly putting the scene in slow motion for emphasis. Just sometimes I wasn’t sure what the emphasis was supposed to be.

The Lizzie Borden Chronicles airs Sunday nights at 10pm ET on Lifetime.

Lifetime press release:

The Lizzie Borden Chronicles delivers an intense and fictionalized account of actual events and people surrounding Lizzie’s life after her controversial acquittal of the horrific double murder of her father and stepmother in 1892, when the exonerated figure lives a life awash in newfound celebrity. But when numerous people close to Lizzie – ranging from her half-brother to Broadway luminaries and the head of the criminal underworld — start to mysteriously die under brutal and strange circumstances, legendary Pinkerton detective Charlie Siringo (Cole Hauser, Good Will Hunting) becomes determined to prove her involvement in their ultimate demise. Emmy nominee John Heard (The Sopranos) will portray William Almy, the business partner of Lizzie’s murdered father Andrew, while Lizzie’s half-brother William will be played by Andrew Howard (Hatfields & McCoys).

Premieres Sunday, April 5, at 10pm ET/PT

Videos

The Lizzie Borden Chronicles: Lizzie Scares a Group of Children (S1, E1)


Lizzie isn’t pleased when a group of curious schoolchildren try to follow her around in this scene from “Acts of Borden.”

Official Trailer: The Lizzie Borden Chronicles


Christina Ricci reprises her role as the notorious murder suspect Lizzie Borden in Lifetime’s new series, The Lizzie Borden Chronicles. Premieres Sunday, April 5 at 10/9c on Lifetime.

Official Clip: The Lizzie Borden Chronicles


Christina Ricci reprises her role as the notorious murder suspect Lizzie Borden in Lifetime’s new series, The Lizzie Borden Chronicles. Premieres Sunday, April 5 at 10/9c on Lifetime.

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