Rachel Paige
April 06, 2015 1:03 pm

The true story of Lizzie Borden sounds like a made-for-TV Lifetime movie. A woman kills her father and step-mother in a brutal murder with an ax, and the police at the time can’t figure out if she really did it. That’s the true story of Lizzie, who lived in Fall River, Massachusetts in the late 1800s. Her father and step-mother were murdered, and she was blamed for the crimes. But, due to lack of evidence, and contradictory accounts of the attack, Lizzie never went to prison. She was first indicted, and then later acquitted, returning home a free woman.

The idea of turning this twisted story into a Lifetime movie was a pretty awesome and natural fit, and that’s exactly what Lifetime did last year with Lizzie Borden Took An Ax — which starred our girl Christina Ricci as Lizzie. Well, the only thing better than a two-hour movie about Lizzie is an eight-episode mini series about Lizzie. And that’s where The Lizzie Borden Chronicles, also on Lifetime, picks right up.

In this new series, we meet up with Lizzie after the end of the trial, as she’s trying to live her life in Fall River. But everyone in town is 100% terrified of her and Lizzie is relishing that kind of anti-attention. When one little girl tells Lizzie that she’s not afraid of her, Lizzie responds, “Then you haven’t been paying attention.”

Keep in mind that while the story of Lizzie Borden is true, and Lizzie Borden Took An Ax is based on the true story, The Lizzie Borden Chronicles takes full creative liberty to create a fictional world for these real people. It works. The show suggests that Lizzie was out for blood with everyone who scorned her. And for the sake of drama and a suspenseful mini series, we’re totally willing to suspend our disbelief and believe that she was indeed an ax-wielding woman until the end of her days.

This is all made possible by the fact that Christina Ricci returns to play Lizzie and she’s nothing short of perfection in the role. She is pensive and reserved, but she stares at everyone with gothic daggers. She’s a small woman in a big dress, with a big hat, and a big umbrella, and she’s terrifying

The first episode is actually slightly historically accurate, showing how Lizzie and her sister, Emma, moved from their former home (where the murders took place) to a new, bigger house a little ways away. But that is where the historical accuracy ends, as soon after Lizzie murders someone new. I’d say ‘spoiler alert’ but we kind of knew that was coming.

Honestly, the show might as well be called How To Get Away With Murder In 1892. It’s the right mix of crazy, campy, and totally binge-worthy. You need to add it to your must-watch list right away.

Image via here.

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