Watch I Know This Much is True
- 1 Season
I Know This Much is True is a limited series on HBO based on the novel by Wally Lamb. The show stars Mark Ruffalo, who pulls double-duty as twin brothers Dominick and Thomas Birdsey. Alongside Ruffalo, the series features a supporting cast that includes John Procaccino, Rob Huebel, and Kathryn Hahn.
The story of I Know This Much is True is narrated by Dominick Birdsey, a middle-aged man who is struggling to come to terms with the difficult events of his past. When the show first begins, Dominick has been called to a mental institution where his twin brother Thomas is hospitalized. Thomas is convinced that he is destined to fulfill a divine mission, and his erratic behavior has landed him in trouble with the law.
Throughout the series, Dominick's story alternates between present-day scenes of him trying to help Thomas navigate the mental health system and flashbacks to their shared upbringing in rural Connecticut. As boys, the Birdsey twins were often bullied and belittled by their peers. But their childhood trauma went far beyond schoolyard taunts. Both boys suffered physical abuse at the hands of their stepfather, Ray (played by Procaccino). As adults, Dominick has never completely shaken off the impact of his upbringing, while Thomas - who was diagnosed with schizophrenia after a traumatic incident in high school - has struggled to reconcile his illness with his spiritual beliefs.
The series is a masterclass in acting, with Ruffalo delivering a pair of performances that frequently blur the line between the two characters he's portraying. As Dominick, he is often brusque and cynical, worn down by the weight of the world. As Thomas, he is childlike, wide-eyed and adrift in a world that he doesn't fully understand. Ruffalo received widespread acclaim for his work on the series, earning both Golden Globe and Emmy nominations.
The supporting cast is also exceptional. Huebel delivers a nuanced performance as Dominick's best friend Leo, whose ties to the Birdseys run deep. Meanwhile, Hahn plays Dominick's ex-wife Dessa, whose presence in the story is complicated by a bitter divorce and the fact that her daughter was fathered by a man other than Dominick.
Although the show deals with heavy subject matter - such as mental illness, trauma, and familial conflict - it isn't without moments of levity. Scenes of Dominick and his partner Joy (played by Imogen Poots) bickering over dinner or bonding with his friend's kids provide some much-needed comic relief in what is otherwise a very intense story.
What ultimately sets I Know This Much is True apart from other dramas is its willingness to take its time. The show unfolds over the course of six hour-long episodes, and the story is given ample room to breathe. This leisurely pace allows the audience to fully immerse themselves in Dominick's world, to feel the full weight of his grief and frustration. By the time the series comes to its heart-rending conclusion, viewers will have been on a journey that's every bit as harrowing as it is rewarding.
Overall, I Know This Much is True is a powerful, moving drama that features some of the strongest performances you're likely to see on TV. It's a story about the ways in which trauma can echo through generations, about the bonds between siblings that can never be broken, and about the power of hope in the face of unimaginable darkness. If you're looking for a show that will challenge you emotionally and intellectually, then look no further than I Know This Much is True.
I Know This Much is True is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (6 episodes). The series first aired on May 10, 2020.