Facebook Watch’s ‘Sacred Lies: The Singing Bones’ review

The anthology series successfully mixes fantasy and truth to tell a grim yet affecting tale.

First off, what is Sacred Lies: The Singing Bones?

Sacred Lies, an anthology series on Facebook Watch, is premiering their second season this week. The title, Sacred Lies: The Singing Bones, hints at a story revolving around skeletons, and that’s pretty accurate. The show follows a 17-year-old girl named Elsie (Jordan Alexander), the incarcerated man who she believes is her father, Peter (Ryan Kwanten), and an armchair detective named Harper (Juliette Lewis). 

Elsie’s spent her life in foster homes after being abandoned by Peter when she was three. While she’s trying to find out more about her past, particularly her mother, a murder case unfolds. Harper, looking into old cold cases of murdered young women, unearths (literally and figuratively) something big that could possibly lead to whoever murdered two young women. As more information is uncovered, all signs seem to point to Peter as the murderer. But what happened fifteen years ago isn’t as simple as it appears…

The series includes two True Blood alums, Kwanten and Kristin Bauer van Straten, who plays Elsie’s foster mother Shannon. She played Pam de Beaufort in the HBO series. Other familiar faces include Emily Alyn Lind from Doctor Sleep, Siobhan Williams from Deadly Class, and Kimiko Glenn from Orange is the New Black. 

Image: Facebook Watch

An honest mystery with fantastical undertones

The short story that partially inspired the second season is “The Singing Bone” from the Brothers Grimm. It tells the story of a pair of brothers who go to kill a boar terrorizing a kingdom in order to win the princess’s hand in marriage. The younger brother successfully kills the boar, but his older brother tricks him.

He kills his younger brother, hides his body, then claims the prize. Later on, a man finds a bone under a bridge and makes a horn out of it. When he blows his horn, the story of the younger brother’s fate comes out. The older brother is killed for his crime. Finally, the younger brother is buried peacefully. 

Along with that, the story is inspired by real-life murder cases. In Sacred Lies: The Singing Bones, a fifteen-year-old cold case of a Jane Doe is reopened when Harper finds a second body hidden in a tree. This kickstarts an investigation that connects to Peter and Elsie and a strange history that slowly comes to light. 

Image: Facebook Watch

Why you should tune in

The dark anthology series has plenty of honest mystery. Each episode is about a half-hour long, yet they manage to create twists and turns that keep you engaged and watching. All the actors as amazing, as expected, but particularly newcomer Alexander, who plays Elsie. Juliette Lewis depicts trauma and resilience in Harper, and Kwanten’s Peter will have you constantly switching back and forth on whether you trust him or not. 

You should definitely tune in for The Singing Bones, but it’s also worth it to catch up on the first season. While the two seasons are only connected in theme, the first was adored by critics and fans alike. If you like The Singing Bones, you’re certain to appreciate the creepy cult tale that features in season 1. 

Alongside all of the intriguing characters and story on screen, Sacred Lies has the ReFrame stamp distinction. This is awarded to television productions that hire female-identifying people in four out of eight key areas, including: writer, director, producer, lead, co-lead, speaking parts, department heads and crew. It’s an honor that few television productions receive, and definitely worth being mentioned here. 

Image: Facebook Watch

The series is produced by Blumhouse Television, with Raelle Tucker (True Blood, The Returned) serving as showrunner. Executive producers include two-time Emmy-winner Scott Winant (Fargo, My So Called Life), as well as Blumhouse Television’s Jason Blum, Marci Wiseman, and Jeremy Gold

Sacred Lies: The Singing Bones premieres the first three episodes this Thursday, February 20th, at 12pmPT/3pmET on Facebook Watch. A new episode will be available every Thursday. 


Devon Forward

Devon is an artist, writer, and current student of film/television development. She loves anything science fiction or fantasy, and her favorite show is Charmed, which kick-started her obsession with powerful yet imperfect female characters. You can usually find her somewhere analyzing a tv show or reading a good book. On Twitter @dev4wrd

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