Dirty John (TV Show)

Title — Dirty John
Available on — Netflix, Google Play
Production Country — United States
Release Date — 2018
Businesswoman Debra Newell's life unravels when she falls for the lies and manipulation of con man John Meehan. Based on the true-crime podcast.

🪶 Story & Synopsis

Inspired by the gripping true-crime podcast and Los Angeles Times articles, “Dirty John” is a riveting American TV series that delves into the twisted tale of deception, manipulation, and tragedy.

The story revolves around the life of businesswoman Debra Newell, whose world is turned upside down when she crosses paths with the charming but deceitful con man John Meehan. Their encounter, initiated through an over-50 dating website, quickly escalates into a whirlwind romance that culminates in marriage and ultimately ends in a shocking tragedy.

Set against the backdrop of wealth and betrayal, “Dirty John” explores the complexities of relationships and the dangers of trusting too easily. Debra Newell, a successful designer, becomes entangled in a web of lies spun by John Meehan, leading to devastating consequences.

The series delves into the harrowing true story of Debra Newell and John Meehan, shedding light on the manipulative tactics employed by con artists and the devastating impact their actions can have on unsuspecting victims.

While the first season focuses on the toxic relationship between Debra Newell and John Meehan, the second season, titled “The Betty Broderick Story,” presents a separate but equally chilling narrative. This season delves into the tragic events surrounding Betty Broderick, who infamously shot her ex-husband and his new fiancée in a shocking act of violence.

Through a combination of real-life events and dramatized storytelling, “Dirty John” offers viewers a glimpse into the dark world of manipulation, deceit, and the harrowing consequences that can arise from misplaced trust.

🧑 Cast & Crew

Connie Britton, Eric Bana, Juno Temple, Julia Garner, Jean Smart, Keiko Agena, Jeff Perry, Kevin Zegers, Jake Abel

Actor Role
Connie Britton Debra Newell
Eric Bana John Meehan
Jean Smart Arlane Hart
Juno Temple Veronica Newell
Julia Garner Terra Newell
Kevin Zegers Unknown
Keiko Agena Nancy
John Karna Unknown
Sprague Grayden Unknown
Cliff Chamberlain Unknown
Jake Abel Unknown
David Barrera Unknown
Lindsey Kraft Guest starring role
Amanda Peet Betty Broderick
Christian Slater Dan Broderick
Missi Pyle Recurring role
Holley Fain Recurring role
Rachel Keller Main cast
Emily Bergl Recurring role
Lena Georgas Recurring role
Tiera Skovbye Recurring role
Chris Mason Recurring role

💬 Reviews and feedback

Imagine a dating website that promises love but delivers deception, a tale so twisted it could make your head spin faster than a carousel at full speed. Welcome to the world of “Dirty John,” where romance meets treachery in a rollercoaster of emotions and shocking revelations.

Picture this: you’re scrolling through potential matches online, hoping to find the one, when suddenly, you stumble upon John Meehan and Debra Newell’s ill-fated love story. A story so captivating, it feels like you’re on a suspenseful date with danger lurking in every corner.

From the first season that delves into John Meehan’s sociopathic schemes to the second season unraveling the chilling Betty Broderick saga, “Dirty John” keeps you on the edge of your seat with its gripping narrative and stellar performances.

Plot and Themes:

The storyline of “Dirty John” is like a tangled web of deceit and manipulation, with each episode peeling back layers of lies to reveal the disturbing truth beneath. The themes of love gone wrong and trust betrayed resonate throughout both seasons, leaving viewers questioning their own perceptions of relationships.

Acting and Characters:

  • Eric Bana as John Meehan: Bana’s portrayal of the charming yet sinister con-man is absolutely chilling. He embodies the character with such intensity that you can’t help but feel a sense of unease whenever he’s on screen.
  • Connie Britton as Debra Newell: Britton shines as the unsuspecting victim caught in Meehan’s web of lies. Her performance is raw and emotional, capturing the vulnerability and strength of her character effortlessly.

Direction and Cinematography:

The direction in “Dirty John” is top-notch, creating an atmosphere that keeps viewers engaged from start to finish. The cinematography beautifully captures the sunny Southern California backdrop while also conveying the darker undertones of the story.

Production Design and Special Effects:

The production design in “Dirty John” transports viewers into Debra Newell’s luxurious world while also highlighting the gritty reality lurking beneath the surface. The special effects subtly enhance key moments, adding to the overall tension and suspense.

Editing, Pace, Dialog:

The editing in “Dirty John” is seamless, smoothly transitioning between timelines to keep audiences hooked. The pace may be slow at times, but it builds suspense effectively, making each revelation more impactful. The dialogues are sharp and poignant, conveying emotions with precision.

Binge-watching Tips:

  • Dress Code: Grab your comfiest loungewear because once you start watching “Dirty John,” you won’t want to leave your couch!
  • Social Circle: Watch with friends or family for those jaw-dropping moments that will have everyone gasping in unison.

If you’re a fan of true-crime dramas that keep you guessing until the very end, “Dirty John” is definitely worth adding to your watchlist. So buckle up for a wild ride through love gone wrong!

Rating: 9/10

In conclusion, “Dirty John” isn’t just another true crime series; it’s a heart-pounding journey through deception and betrayal that will leave you questioning who can really be trusted in matters of love and loyalty. So grab some popcorn, settle in for a thrilling binge-watch session, and prepare yourself for an unforgettable experience!

Interesting and gripping story
Based on a true story
Well-casted actors
Exploration of love gone wrong
Good watch with intriguing characters
Creepy and engaging performance by Eric Bana
Offers a careful study of relationships
Set against the backdrop of Southern California
Attention to true crime details


  • Dirty John (TV series) - Wikipedia

    Dirty Johnis an American true crime anthology television series, based on the podcast of the same name by Christopher Goffard, that premiered on November 25, 2018, on Bravo. Outside the United States, it was made available through Netflix on February 14, 2019. The series was created by Alexandra Cunningham also an executive producer alongside Richard Suckle, Charles Roven, Mark Herzog, Christopher G. Cowen, and Chris Argentieri. The series was initially given an order for two seasons. In May 2019, it was announced that the series will be moving from Bravo to USA Network, ahead of the premiere of the second season. The second season is titled

  • Dirty John (TV Series 2018-2020) - IMDb


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    • May 1, 2019
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    • Release date
    • Country of origin
    • Language
    • Also known as
      • Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story
    • Filming locations
    • Production companies
    • See more company credits at IMDbPro

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  • Dirty John | Bravo TV Official Site

    Latest VideosAbout Dirty John

    Debra Newell (Connie Britton) has a seemingly perfect life: she’s successful, beautiful and lives in one of California’s most desirable coastal cities, Newport Beach. The only thing missing is love. So when she finally meets charming and handsome doctor John Meehan (Eric Bana), she’s quickly swept into a whirlwind romance, much to the dismay of her daughters Terra (Julia Garner) and Veronica (Juno Temple). Their fast-tracked relationship creates tension between Debra and the girls, leaving them no choice but to investigate the stranger who has swept their mother off her feet. And with a fraught family history, the backstory of Debra and her mother Arlane (Jean Smart) provides insight into why she may have been so vulnerable to John in the first place. As Debra gets drawn deeper into his lies and sinister game of psychological manipulation, it results in horrific consequences for an entire family.

⚠️ Explanation (Spoiler)

In the series finale of “Dirty John,” viewers are taken on a thrilling ride as the intense story of John Meehan and Terra Newell reaches its dramatic conclusion. The episode culminates in a shocking moment when John Meehan is left brain dead by Terra Newell, played out 18 minutes and 45 seconds into the finale. This pivotal moment marks a turning point in the storyline, as John, who has been a menacing presence throughout the series, is finally brought down.

Throughout the episode, tension builds as John remains ominously silent, creating a sense of unease and anticipation among the audience. The title of the finale, “This Young Woman Fought Like Hell,” hints at the fierce battle that unfolds between Terra and John, underscoring the strength and resilience of the female protagonist in the face of danger.

As the narrative unfolds, John’s true nature is exposed as he targets Debra’s daughters, following the advice to go after their family instead of directly confronting Debra herself. This twist adds a layer of complexity to the storyline, showcasing John’s manipulative and dangerous tactics in his final attempt to exert control over Debra and her loved ones.

The finale of “Dirty John” delivers a satisfying conclusion to the gripping story, with Terra Newell emerging as a courageous and empowered character who stands up to John Meehan, ultimately prevailing in a tense and dramatic confrontation. The series finale leaves viewers on the edge of their seats, providing a thrilling and emotionally charged conclusion to the captivating tale of deception, survival, and empowerment.

Overall, the finale of “Dirty John” is a riveting and intense conclusion to the series, offering a powerful portrayal of resilience, courage, and the strength of the human spirit in the face of adversity. The dynamic performances, suspenseful storytelling, and dramatic climax make it a must-watch for fans of thrilling and engaging television dramas.

👪 Parents Guide & Age Rating


Age Rating:

This TV series Dirty John is rated TV-14. It is recommended for viewers aged 14 and above.

Parental Guide:

Sex & Nudity:

The show contains mild sexual content. There are a few scenes implying sexual activity and intimacy, but no explicit nudity is shown.

Violence & Gore:

There are instances of violence and some blood shown, but it is not excessive or graphic. The scenes of violence are more psychological than physical.


Profanity in this series is very sparse and mild. Throughout the series, there are occasional use of words like “Damn,” “Goddam,” “God,” and “OMG.”

Alcohol, Drugs & Smoking:

There is limited portrayal of alcohol and drugs in the series, but it is not a prominent feature of the storyline.

Frightening & Intense Scenes:

There are some intense and suspenseful moments in the series, but they are not overly frightening.


Parents should be aware that this series is rated TV-14 for its content and may not be suitable for children under 14 years old without parental guidance.

📺 Streaming and where to watch

streaming service extra information
Netflix Dirty John TV show can be watched on Netflix. When love becomes twisted, and trust turns into manipulation, anything can happen — including murder — in this true-crime anthology series.
Google Play Dirty John TV show is available on Google Play. Based on the articles and breakout true crime podcast from Los Angeles Times reporter Christopher Goffard, Bravo’s scripted event series ‘Dirty John’ tells the true story of how a romance spiraled into secrets, denial, manipulation, and ultimately, a fight for survival for an entire family.

❝ Quotes and Cult

  • I took the gun inside the house so he would listen to me. If he wouldn't listen to me, then I was going to kill myself!
  • There are those who consider truth universal. Those people are not trial lawyers. Or, scratch...
  • I would LIKE to say that I'm not the crazy one. He is.
  • Betty.

🤖Dirty John Reddit Talks

Dirty John TV Show Reddit Summary

Story Inspiration and Background

The Bravo series “Dirty John” is based on a true story and the hit Los Angeles Times podcast of the same name. The story follows the relationship between Debra Newell, a wealthy interior designer, and John Meehan, a con artist who posed as a doctor. Their whirlwind romance led to marriage and tragedy.

Reviews and Opinions

The series has received mixed reviews, with some praising its gripping storyline and others criticizing its pacing. One viewer remarked, “I actually really liked ‘Dirty John.’ Both seasons had a very interesting and gripping story.”

Podcast Availability

The original Dirty John podcast is available on Spotify.

Critical Analysis

Some viewers have questioned the accuracy of the series, wondering how much of it is based on fact and how much is fictionalized. Others have criticized Debra Newell’s portrayal in the series, calling her “crazy dumb.”

Mind-bending Entertainment

“Dirty John” has been compared to other mind-bending TV shows and movies, suggesting that it offers a captivating and thought-provoking viewing experience.

Debra Newell’s Perspective

Debra Newell has spoken out about her experience with John Meehan and has criticized the series for its portrayal of her.

John Meehan’s Story

Several Reddit threads provide in-depth analysis of John Meehan’s story, including his criminal record and his manipulative tactics.

Discussion Threads

  • Dirty John discussion:1
  • Check out Dirty John Season 1: 2
  • Finally listened to Dirty John: 3
  • Just a rant on Debra Newell: 4
  • I didn’t like “Dirty John” SPOILER ALERT … AVOID POST IF …: 5
  • Dirty John (2018) was pretty neat: 6
  • Dirty John – Ep 3. “Remember It Was Me” Discussion: 7
  • Can we talk about Dirty John?: 8

Top discussions

❓ Frequently Asked Questions

Is Dirty John based on a true story?

Yes, Dirty John is based on a true story. It narrates the story of John Meehan and Debra Newell, whose two-month romance led to marriage and then tragedy.

What parts of Dirty John are fictionalized?

While Dirty John is based on true events, some aspects are fictionalized. For example, the portrayal of Debra’s family in the series differs from reality.

Are Season 1 and Season 2 of Dirty John connected?

No, Season 1 and Season 2 of Dirty John are not connected. Season 1 focuses on the story of John Meehan and Debra Newell, while Season 2 delves into the tale of Betty Broderick.

What is the true story behind Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story?

Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story is a dramatization of the real-life events involving Betty Broderick, who infamously shot her ex-husband and his new fiancée in 1989.

🔀 Recommended Movie and TV Show

  1. Dirty John: Anthology series based on true crime stories, focusing on the manipulative con-man John Meehan.
  2. The Thing About Pam: A true crime series involving a murder investigation with unexpected twists.
  3. Dr. Death: Based on a true story, this series follows a surgeon’s malpractice and the consequences.
  4. A Wilderness of Error: Investigates a murder case with conflicting evidence and questionable convictions.
  5. Murder for Hire: Intense storytelling similar to Dirty John, exploring criminal plots for hire.
  6. Unbelievable: A dramatization of a real rape case with a focus on investigation and justice.
  7. The First Wife: Spinoff from Dirty John, delving into another shocking true story.
  8. The Act: True crime series depicting real-life events of deception and manipulation.
  9. Killing Eve: A thriller series with a cat-and-mouse game between a spy and a skilled assassin.
  10. You: Psychological thriller series following the life of a charming but dangerous bookstore manager.

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