HOLLYWOOD—This new Peacock series “Apples Never Fall” totally has me hooked. I am pleasantly surprised that the streaming serviced dropped all of the episodes, and I love that ability to watch from one episode to the next where it is such a guilty pleasure. This has an all-star cast with some acting talent beyond anything I’ve seen from a TV drama in a very long time. I mean you have multiple Oscar-nominee, Annette Bening who has been so overlooked to a degree that I cannot fathom. She is incredible here.

She is joined on this elaborate mystery with Sam Neill, Jack Lacy, Essie Randles, Conor Merrigan Turner and Allison Brie. I’m trying not to spoil too much because I want to give you a small slice so you watch and then focus on figuring out the narrative that is unfolding. It involves the Delaney family led by tennis players and stars Joy and Stan Delaney.

They have entered the stage of retirement and when the audience first meets them they are celebrating a big party in the Florida community with their four kids, Logan (Turner), Brooke (Randles), Troy (Lacy) and Amy (Brie). From the outside, it all looks and feels perfect, but all is not as it seems. There is indeed tension in this family and with each episode we start to see those cracks and the family secrets start to come to the surface.

None of the kids are similar; Brooke and Logan tend to have this attachment to dad that is odd. They fear him but respect him and are always grappling for his love. Amy is a free spirit and trying to figure out life and has had some struggles but is strongly connected to her mother. While Troy is the money maker in the family; he has it, plenty of it, but he is known as a cheater that resulted in a divorce from his wife Claire. Not to mention his relationship with his father, Stan, is quite contentious at times.

First thing that is important to point out is that Stan has a bit of a temper, and he becomes the focal point when his wife Joy goes missing after a bike ride. What is interesting about all this? There is a strange woman who shows up in the Delaney residence asking for help, her name is Savannah (Georgia Flood). Her disappearance is immediately suspect, but Joy is very open and wants to help the world, Stan is a bit guarded. They help this woman who has ‘claimed’ to gotten into a fight with her boyfriend and escaped his clutches.

Why not call the police ASAP requesting for help? I know I would have done that, but not the Delaney’s, they allow this stranger to stay in their home for a period of time. Something to pay attention to is the fact that the series jumps between the past and present. That is not always an easy feat to accomplish, but the writing and direction is so fluid and smooth, you barely notice it and it does so in a way where the story forces you to continue to think. You are trying to solve this mystery before the mystery is revealed.

We know Joy is missing, but what we don’t know is whether she has been murdered, kidnapped or if Joy is doing something her family and the audience would have never expected. “Apples Never Fall” is a near perfect mystery that gives crumbs, and those crumbs are so juicy and entice you in a way that you salivate for more. Then everyone becomes a suspect in Joy’s disappearance as evidence comes to light and secrets are exposed.

I refuse to spoil any intel after episode number one, but the subsequent episodes each highlight a distinct character and it’s important because the narrative is connected to each character, and it is simply brilliant. We are seeing a family implode in the midst of a crisis and it makes you as a viewer to start to look at your family and question things. Is there a thing as a perfect family? What secrets do we have in our family that we are willing to protect to the depths of this Earth? No family is perfect and “Apples Never Fall” puts the spotlight on that dynamic front-and-center and it is so compelling to watch.

This might be the best guilty pleasure in television that I have experienced in the last decade or so, and that is saying something. The series is based on the novel by Liane Moriarty. I’m going to have to do some research on Moriarty because this adaptation has me riveted. Trust the end is going to surprise you but go into watching this series with no knowledge or spoilers because each episode is going to deliver, I can promise you that.