If you’re not watching the Audience Network’s Mr. Mercedes, it’s probably because you have no idea what the hell the Audience Network is. It’s worth sussing out, though, as David E. Kelley’s adaptation of Stephen King’s not-so-great Mr. Mercedes trilogy is worth a watch, if only for the ways it’s improved upon the source material.
Brendan Gleeson, who stars as retired detective Bill Hodges, brings a gravitas to the old-timer that’s missing in the prose, while Kelley and his team have made some bold creative changes that expand the world. Holland Taylor’s Ida, for example, brings a new perspective, as does Breeda Wool, whose Lou Linklatter is given a much more fascinating arc in the series than in the books.
Lou’s character is front and center in the below trailer, which finds her in prison for her role in the saga of Brady Hartsfield, the Mr. Mercedes killer. Brady is out of the picture, but his spirit continues to haunt both her and Hodges, who finds himself wrapped up in a crime that’s built around, of all things, literature.
When beloved local author John Rothstein is found murdered, Hodges, Holly, and Jerome, along with local police, must track down his killer. But this case is more complex than the cold-blooded killing of an American icon. Unpublished novels of Rothstein’s were stolen from his home, and they are worth millions. As the case unfolds, the trio learns that although Brady may be gone, his depravity lives on in the lives of his victims.
Interestingly, this season is actually adapted from the second book in the trilogy, the events of which unfolded on page while Brady was in a coma. Mixing things up makes sense onscreen, as it’s unlikely that Harry Treadaway would’ve been content to just lay in a hospital bed for an entire season.
Anyways, watch Mr. Mercedes. It’s good. It returns for its 10-episode third season on September 10.