Peacock’s Apples Never Fall: Fictional or True Story?

Peacock’s ‘Apples Never Fall’ is a mystery drama series that focuses on the Delaney family, which consists of Joy and Stan, and their four children — Amy, Brooke, Troy, and Logan. On the outside, they appear to be a content family but the reality is entirely different. Owners of a long-running tennis academy, the popular family’s entire world turns upside down when a young and wounded woman knocks on their front door. Following the retirement of tennis coaches Joy and Stan, the former suddenly vanishes, which causes an uproar within the family members.

As the Delaney matriarch can’t be found anywhere, her husband and four adult children try to re-examine the history of their family. When the four children delve deeper into their parents’ marriage, they discover some secrets that were kept away from them. Created by Melanie Marnich, the family drama show features compelling performances from a talented ensemble cast, comprising Annette Bening, Sam Neill, Alison Brie, Jake Lacy, Georgia Flood, and Conor Merrigan. ‘Apples Never Fall’ showcases some of the harsh realities of family dynamics as well as the reality of disappearance cases, making many viewers pose the question — is the Peacock show based on real life?

Apples Never Fall is Adapted From Liane Moriarty’s Novel

‘Apples Never Fall’ is adapted from Liane Moriarty’s eponymous novel, which is inspired by some real-life experiences and situations. The writers, Lijah Barasz, Joe Hortua, Kimi Lee, Melanie Marnich, and Gianna Sobol, collectively focus on several themes, such as complicated familial relationships, deception, and the result of keeping secrets. Also the author of ‘Big Little Lies’ and ‘Nine Perfect Strangers,’ Liane admitted that a few true crime podcasts and a news article led her to craft the gripping tale of the thriller novel.

Image Credit: Vince Valitutti/Peacock

When Liane was gifted a new pair of headphones, she used it to immerse herself into the world of true crime podcasts during lockdown. She explained to The Sydney Morning Herald, “Sadly there are multiple cases where a woman goes missing and the husband is the chief suspect in her murder. He is invariably described as a loving father and that just got me thinking about how would I feel if my mother went missing and everyone was saying my father had possibly murdered her.” Such true stories, which she learned about via true crime podcasts, played a huge role in the writing of ‘Apples Never Fall.’

As for being inspired by some news articles, Liane told the Penguin, “…there was one particular newspaper article I read about an elderly couple who let a young woman into their house, who said she was a domestic violence victim and she then committed some crime. I was intrigued by the idea of the poor elderly couple thinking they were doing the right thing by letting her in.” The show, as revealed by the showrunner Melanie Marnich, is not entirely “a mirror image of the novel.” Certain aspects of the original tale were modified while translating it to the show.

Melanie told NBC, “I decided to change a few of the character relationships, occupations, added a few people to enrich what was there and to really push … the character part of it and the mystery.” Despite the changes, the spirit of the novel is retained and Liane has been supportive of all the changes that are made for the series. Melanie revealed, “She came to the table reading of the pilot last March and we’ve been in touch. She just watched the first five and she loves them.”

What’s more intriguing is the fact that the Academy Award nominee Annette Bening, who portrays Joy in ‘Apples Never Fall,’ also found some inspiration to portray her role from her own familial life. Just like her character, she is also a mother of four and is the youngest of her siblings. There were several instances during the shooting of the Peacock show when Annette was reminded of her own childhood. While shooting the scenes where her character sits down for dinner, she was flooded with memories of the things that happened at the dinner table at her house. Using nicknames for characters also helped to keep the family dynamics authentic and make it seem real. Thus, it is only fair to say that the story of ‘Apple Never Fall’ might be fictional but some aspects of the tale are derived from real life. a

Read More: Apples Never Fall: All Locations Where the Peacock Show is Shot