Blood Ties: Secrets and the lies people tell their family

What is this about?: In the wake of their parents’ death El and Michael discover the world of secrets their father was willing to hide, and what their mother was willing to do to bring those to light.

What else is this about?: This isn’t a podcast, as much as it’s a podcast-show-audiobook thing. I don’t even know how to describe it properly, but it was wildly entertaining and I was hooked.


When Eleonore and Michael Richland (played by Gillian Jacobs and Josh Gad) lose their parents unexpectedly in a small plane crash, they must choose between two very different paths: honor their father’s legacy as a world-renowned cardiologist and health care magnate — or risk everything for the truth. From Wondery, the makers of “Dirty John,” “Dr. Death,” and “Over My Dead Body,” comes the first season of a new six episode scripted drama. Starring Gillian Jacobs (Community, Love), Josh Gad (Frozen, Book of Mormon), and Amy Landecker (Transparent).

Blood Ties is a podcast-audioshow-mystery — but basically, however it’s defined, it’s just wildly entertaining. And there’s even a trailer for it.

The story follows El and Michael in the wake of their parents’ death. Their father, Peter is a revered doctor who changed and saved so many lives with his medical innovations. But before that he was an accomplished surgeon — who was a serial rapist and his secrets are about to be exposed.

However, more than his reputation, everything he built is now at risk if his secrets come out (even after his death) and there are those in his company who will strive to keep it all under wraps.

This is a remarkably character-driven story that follows El and Michael as they are torn apart by their parents’ secrets. Michael has been working towards coming out from under his father’s shadow, but moving away from his family has kept his own secrets under wraps until now.

And El wants very much to hold on to her mother, and if she can’t, she’ll be her mother’s daughter, fighting to undo the wrongs her father did — as much as she loved him.

Peter Richland looms large over this series and his family, and you quickly realise that the guy is the entitled genius who took whatever he wanted, and destroyed whoever stood in his way. Michael isn’t his father, but there’s a shade of ruthlessness and desperation to him that puts him on close path to be his father’s son.

In the space of 6 very short shows, a family’s secrets come to light, and with that the chasms between El and Michael. The siblings start close, banding together in the wake of their parents’ loss. You get the impression they were the only ones each other had, because their father was too busy being a great surgeon, and their mother was supporting him. But whereas their mother’s actions give El a chance to stand on her own two feet, Michael gets pulled back into his father’s shadow.

And the ending — whew. They went there and threw a twist in the tail that opened up the potential for season two so much. Given that this is the first season, I cannot wait to see what happens in the next one!


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