Based on a true story, Black Bird follows Jimmy Keene (played by Taron Egerton) after he is sentenced to ten years in a minimum security prison without parole; he cuts a deal with the FBI to enter a maximum-security prison for the criminally insane with the task of befriending a suspected serial killer, Larry Hall (Paul Walter Hauser). Keene's job is to elicit a confession from Hall in order to slam the door on Hall's appeal and find the bodies of as many as eighteen women.
From the opening episode of the mini-series, Black Bird reveals itself as an interesting show. This was mainly due to the fascinating performance delivered by Taron Egerton (Kingsman, Rocketman). By the time its pilot has ended, viewers will be hooked on something truly special. The creepy atmosphere is immediately displayed and increases rapidly in every episode, which is the true lynchpin of the show.
Taron Egerton delivers his best performance to date here. He commands the screen in every scene and conveys each emotion with ease. You can always sense Keene's fear while Taron is also able to show his stubbornness. As Jimmy is our guide into this prison, you can feel everything that the character is feeling; this makes those emotional aspects more impactful and has meaning to our protagonist.
However, the tour-de-force performance comes from Paul Walter Hauser (Cruella, Cobra Kai). This is one of his best performances on TV in recent years, as Hauser completely embodies Larry Hall. He is both haunting and chilling by getting under your skin every time he is on screen. The moments he has between Egerton are when the show is top-tier as it is so unnerving and skin-crawling. Hauser truly makes this character as sinister as possible as every time he opens his mouth, he purposefully creeps you out. This is a performance that will go all the way to the awards as this is one that will stick with you for months to come.
Black Bird is also paced incredibly well. Some slow-burn TV shows tend to take a while to click into gear, but in this case, there is always something to keep you interested and gripped. Tensions are always high, but there is also a psychological aspect to Jimmy that allows viewers to understand his character much better. As the series progresses, that tension just keeps building and that final episode just brings it all together in the most perfect way. The finale to this series could be one of the best hours of television ever put on screen. It does everything in the most shocking way while still being satisfying.
You will not see a better series this year than Black Bird. This is an essential watch for Apple TV+ subscribers as it is tense, gripping, and filled with twists and turns you will not see coming. Taron Egerton and Paul Walter Hauser are both outstanding with Hauser being able to deliver his most terrifying performance to date. While it may be a hard watch, Black Bird is a must-watch.
Black Bird will be available to stream on Apple TV+ from July 8th.