HBO Max’s Love and Death vs. Candy: The True Story, Differences, and More

Didn't we already get this show?

by J.R. Waugh
Love and Death Candy Differences
Image: Lionsgate Television / 20th Television, remixed by Attack of the Fanboy

Love and Death is generating quite the buzz with its adaptation of a 1980s true story about Candy Montgomery, who after having an affair, murdered her lover’s wife. It’s got drama, axe murder, and even a 1990 TV movie dedicated to it. But over less than a year, we’ve got two new adaptations, both with some pretty great cast attached. On HBO Max, we have Love and Death, but in May 2022, we received Candy on Hulu, but are there any significant differences in these adaptations of the true story?

Love and Death’s True Story

The same story is covered by both Love and Death on HBO Max and Candy on Hulu, but with differences in the angles taken.

In Love and Death, the story is adapted as if straight from the Texas Monthly piece, down to the headers such as “would you be interested in having an affair?” It plays into more of a retelling of the events as they were recorded with dramatic flair and performances, as a result. Candy focused more on a psychological angle with its portrayals, with Betty’s presence lingering after she was gone, a former friend killed in self-defense.

Both shows are based on the same true story, but use different sources and/or angles to execute them. But down to the simplest difference, if you’ve not seen Candy, American viewers can find it on Hulu, while international viewers can catch it on Disney Plus. Love and Death premieres on April 27, 2023, on HBO Max.

Is Love and Death the same as Candy?

While Love and Death and Candy are both based on the same true story, there are some clear differences. For one, they are hosted on different streaming services that will not likely intersect, so you’d have to have 2 different subscriptions to be able to view both. Beyond this, differences are listed below:

  • Their casts are also different, with Love and Death having a larger ensemble cast.
  • Candy is a shorter series with 5 episodes.
  • Love and Death appears to have a healthier blend of satire and drama, as Candy wound up more strictly dramatic by the end, to its detriment.
  • Love and Death is inspired by the Texas Monthly article titled Love and Death in the Silicon Prairie, while Candy approached the psychological character studies of its cast.

It’s important to note that while the casts are different, there’s a different sort of star presence involved. While the Love and Death cast features prominent Marvel and Breaking Bad cast, Candy has several stars who have made names for themselves on TV and streaming.

Related: How to Watch All Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul Episodes in Order

Candy’s portrayer, Jessica Biel has had several fascinating starring roles such as The Sinner. Melanie Lynskey, who plays Betty Gore, star of Yellowjackets and most recently appearing in The Last of Us. Pablo Schreiber, who plays Allan Gore, has previously appeared in American Gods as Mad Sweeney, and Master Chief in the Paramount Plus series Halo. The two shows have different stars and angles but tell the same story.

Elizabeth Olsen Leads Love and Death Cast

One of the most interesting casting choices was Elizabeth Olsen. While Jessica Biel certainly gave a convincing visual portrayal of Candy Montgomery, Olsen brings a certain unhinged factor to it. Despite the story concluding that Candy was found not guilty of her crimes, the show plays into how she violently seizes control over her life, with a tinge of resentment over how it’s played out so far.

Whenever she stares into the camera, a touch of fear might wash over the audience, as anybody who has seen that look on her face while playing Scarlet Witch knows things won’t end well. It’ll surely make for interesting viewing for many of her fans who had yet to see her act in a period piece/crime drama such as this.

- This article was updated on February 22nd, 2023