You might be confused by the news that Dirty John, Bravo's hit adaptation of the Los Angeles Times true crime podcast, is getting a season 2. The ending of the show's first season, which followed the true story of John Meehan and the wealthy family he terrorized, did not leave many loose ends.
Though season 2 is keeping the Dirty John branding, it will have nothing at all to do with Meehan (Erica Bana) or Debra Newell (Connie Britton), and will instead pivot to an entirely new true story about romance, obsession, and violence. Here's everything we know about Dirty John's sophomore run.
When will season 2 drop?
Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story will premiere on June 2, 2020 on the USA Network, where it moved over from Bravo after season 1. Two back-to-back episodes will air that night, followed by a single new episode every Tuesday.
What is season 2 about?
As its subtitle suggests, Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story will delve into the case of Betty Broderick, the former San Diego socialite who was convicted of murdering her ex-husband and his new wife.
In the early hours of November 5, 1989, Betty entered her ex-husband Dan Broderick’s San Diego home using a key she had taken from her daughter. She fatally shot both Dan and his new wife, Linda Kolkena Broderick, with a .38-caliber revolver as they slept.
What's the backstory?
After more than a decade of seemingly idyllic marriage, Betty had begun to suspect Dan was having an affair with his office assistant, Linda. Dan filed for divorce in 1985, and so began what became known as “the worst divorce case in San Diego history.” During this time Betty drove her car into Dan’s house, defaced court documents, and left long, sometimes expletive-filled messages on his voicemail. She also claimed that Dan—who was an attorney specializing in medical malpractice—was using his legal influence to tip the scale in his favor and claim sole custody of their four children.
In her testimony, Betty said she hadn’t intended to kill the couple, and that she brought the gun with her only to get Dan’s attention. She also testified that Dan had psychologically abused her, and tried to “rig” the justice system against her during their divorce proceedings.
After her first high-profile trial in 1990 ended in a mistrial, Broderick was retried in 1991 and found guilty on two counts of second-degree murder. She was sentenced to 32 years to life in prison, and has been denied parole twice, most recently in 2017. She’ll next be eligible for parole in 2032, although that date could be moved up to as soon as 2024 depending on factors including good behavior.
Who will be in season two?
Amanda Peet stars as Betty and Christian Slater plays Dan. In flashback sequences charting the couple's college courtship and married life, Tiera Skovbye (best known as Polly Cooper from Riverdale) plays the younger Betty, while Chris Mason (Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists) is the younger Dan, and Rachel Keller (Legion) plays Linda.
Showrunner Alexandra Cunningham returns from season 1 with an all-women slate of directors, including Maggie Kiley, Meera Menon, and Shannon Kohli.
Is there any link between seasons 1 and 2?
In a technical sense, no. Although both stories take place in Southern California, the cases are a couple of decades apart, so there's no realistic way for Connie Britton's Debra Newell to wander in for a cameo. But back when season 2 was announced, Cunningham did issue a statement that draws some thematic parallels between the two sagas: "The first season of Dirty John was a story of twisted love and coercive control—and both these insidious elements are also present in and integral to the story of Betty Broderick, whom I have wanted to write about since I became a writer,” she said.
Is season 2 also based on a podcast?
No, this season doesn't come from any specific source material. However, if you're jonesing for a podcast tie-in, you're in luck, because L.A. Times just announced a brand-new podcast delving into the Betty Broderick story. The four-part podcast series, It Was Simple: The Betty Broderick Murders, launched on May 26 and features new interviews with several key players, including the Brodericks' divorce attorney, Betty's defense attorney, and the foreman of the jury that convicted her. True crime fanatics, get comfy.
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