Dirty John is out on Netflix internationally after having initially been shown on BRAVO in the US. This show is like You only set 20 years later in life. Based on a true story, season 1 is one crazy ride. Read our spoiler-free review and watch it on Netflix!

Dirty John is out on Netflix internationally now. It was initially shown on BRAVO in the US and should be on Netflix in the US as well, but this seems to have been delayed a bit. Right now, everyone and their grandma seems to be talking about season 1 of Dirty John. And we can certainly understand why.

Not only is Connie Britton (American Horror Story) brilliant as always, the show is based on a true story. And I’m just a sucker for that!

Overall, this series is one big cautionary tale. I don’t know much about the real case, but a documentary about this is coming to Netflix, so I soon will.

Recommended reading: Review of the Oxygen documentary Dirty John: The Dirty Truth – out on Netflix now – which covers the true story >

If you like You, then you should like Dirty John as well. I know many people found the Joe Goldberg character from You charming (though I do not understand why), and I really hope that won’t be the case with John Meehan.

You set 20 years later in life

The comparison to You is obvious since both that show and Dirty John is about a guy who seems charming but is actually a creep. Both are stalkers and will stop at nothing to get what they want.

The big difference is the fact that Joe Goldberg (You) wanted the person. John Meehan (Dirty John) simply wants what he wants. It’s never people. Instead, it’s drugs, money, and power.

You might like: Read our Season 1 review of You which is also on Netflix now >

For me, You caught my interest immediately do to the narrator style. With Dirty John, I was intrigued by episode 1, but not exactly hooked. From episode 2, I started to get more curious. With episode 3, I knew I absolutely had to watch the rest of season 1 as soon as possible.

This guy, Dirty John, is one hell of a scary (and crazy) guy!

Dirty John – Season 1 – Netflix Review

John Meehan makes Hulk look gentle

The star of Dirty John is Eric Bana, who shows a very dark and scary side of himself. He portrays dirty john himself, John Meehan.

Remember, Eric Bana was the guy who portrayed Hulk back in 2003 when Marvel was starting to push out movies. Since then he has done both action (King Arthur: Legend of the Sword) and fantasy romance (The Time Traveler’s Wife).

In Dirty John, he is just straight up scary!

As John Meehan, Erica Bana gets to portray a real-life person who is eerily reminiscent of Ted Bundy in his ways. Many would describe him as charming and lovable. But this is always just an act.

Recommended for you: If you think Ted Bundy is a charmer, watch The Ted Bundy Tapes on Netflix for a reality check >

He cares only about himself and really isn’t as smart as he thinks he is. See, exactly like Ted Bundy. Okay, fine, John Meehan isn’t a serial killer in the sense that Ted Bundy was. But not because he values human life much. It’s probably just that other kinds of pain and torture float his boat more.

The casting and characters in Dirty John

For me, Juno Temple (Horns) is brilliant as the daughter of Connie Britton’s character. As Veronica “Ronnie” Newell, Juno Temple is a force of nature. She’s a spoiled brat at first but also determined as hell. Her character can be described with just one line from episode one: “I don’t deal with people. People deal with me!”.

Unfortunately, there’s something off with the character Terra Newell, the younger sister of Ronnie. She’s portrayed by Julia Garner, who I adore from the series Ozark (Netflix) and the indie horror drama We Are What We Are (2013).

In Dirty John, she’s using a strange baby girl voice and her character is gone for episodes at a time. It’s all very weird and a waste of the talent Julia Garner possesses.

However, we do also get Kevin Zegers (Fear the Walking Dead) in a key role and Judy Reyes (Scrubs) as a badass Private Investigator. There are plenty of cool characters and great actors to keep this story exciting all the way through season 1.

Watch Dirty John on Netflix – now or later!

I know I haven’t mentioned Connie Britton much in this review, but she is (of course) pretty damn brilliant. Unlike many other of her recent roles, this one is a bit more laid back and soft spoken at first.

Of course, she is portraying a real-life person, Debra Newell, who has participated in PR for the Dirty John series. So you can find plenty of pictures with Connie Britton and the real Debra Newell standing side by side. This should be an indication that the portrayal is satisfactory to the one being portrayed.

In case you don’t know too much about the story, I really don’t want to give away anything. Just watch Dirty John whenever you get the time or chance. It’s one hell of a cautionary tale!

Season 1 of Dirty John was released on Netflix internationally on February 14, 2019.

Some listed it as being out in the US as well, but this seems to have been postponed due to it having been aired on Bravo. Whenever you get the chance to watch it, go for it!

Make sure you also read our review of the Oxygen documentary Dirty John: The Dirty Truth which is also out on Netflix now. Find our review of The Dirty Truth documentary about John Meehan here >

Details

Creator: Alexandra Cunningham
Stars: Connie Britton, Eric Bana, Juno Temple, Julia Garner, Jean Smart, Keiko Agena, Kevin Zegers

Plot

Dirty John, starring Eric Bana and Connie Britton, is an eight-part true crime anthology series based on the Los Angeles Times podcast of the same name. This sexy, provocative and harrowing real-life thriller follows the true events of an online dating relationship turned dangerous that rocked headlines and shocked the world.

Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina

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Review Date
Reviewed Item
Dirty John – Season 1 [Netflix]
Rating
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