Dirty John: The John Meehan Story (2018)


The John Meehan Story
Dirty John

Critics Consensus

Dirty John might not live up to the thrills of its source material, but Connie Britton puts on a clinic with her interpretation of true crime treachery.



Critic Ratings: 34


Audience Score

User Ratings: 172

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Air date: Nov 25, 2018

In the series premiere, successful and beautiful Debra Newell meets charming and handsome doctor John Meehan; she's quickly swept into a whirlwind romance, much to her daughters' dismay.

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Air date: Dec 2, 2018

Debra and John revel secretly in their newlywed bliss, as Veronica, Terra, and Toby hatch a plan to prove their suspicions about their mother's new man.

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Air date: Dec 9, 2018

Debra discovers John's criminal record. In the past, John starts his first family.

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Air date: Dec 16, 2018

Debra confronts John in the present, while we learn more about Arlane's past.

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Air date: Dec 23, 2018

John gets clean for Debra. Terra learns John's back. John puts his sister through the ringer.

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Air date: Dec 30, 2018

Debra makes a decision about John. In Ohio, John captures the attention of Detective Dennis Luken.

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Air date: Jan 6, 2019

An inside look into how John operates while Debra tries to move forward.

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Air date: Jan 13, 2019

John and Debra's relationship comes to a head in an unexpected way.

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Air date: Apr 14, 2020

A first look at season two.

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Dirty John: The John Meehan Story Videos

Dirty John: The John Meehan Story Photos

Tv Season Info

Debra Newell (Connie Britton) is a successful and wealthy interior designer. She is also a single mom to son Trey (Jake Abel) and daughters Veronica (Juno Temple) and Terra (Julia Garner). Despite four failed marriages, Debra remains on the lookout for love using various dating apps. Through these apps, she meets and falls in love with a doctor, John Meehan (Eric Bana). John has secrets, however, and Debra's life threatens to unravel once she starts finding out about them. Season 1 of "Dirty John" also stars Jean Smart as Arlana Hart, Joelle Carter as Denise Meehan-Shepard, and Sprague Grayden as Tonia.

Cast & Crew

Connie Britton
Debra Newell
Eric Bana
John Meehan
Julia Garner
Terra Newell
Juno Temple
Veronica Newell
Jean Smart
Arlane Hart
Jeffrey Reiner
Richard Suckle
Executive Producer
Charles Roven
Executive Producer
Mark Herzog
Executive Producer
Christopher G. Cowen
Executive Producer
Connie Britton
Executive Producer
Eric Bana
Executive Producer
Chris Argentieri
Executive Producer
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News & Interviews for Dirty John: The John Meehan Story

Critic Reviews for Dirty John The John Meehan Story

All Critics (34) | Top Critics (17)

Eric Bana is terrific as Dirty John, so sexy and appealing yet creepy too. He combines those qualities perfectly: you really can believe that when he focuses attention on you, you can hardly resist.

Feb 14, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Temple's choice to play her as stuck-up and righteous makes the circumstances of the show both more believable and more interesting.

Jan 15, 2019 | Full Review…

Viewers might be suckered into wanting to know exactly who this guy is, but the vanilla, passive depiction of his primary victim dulls any empathy for her struggle.

Nov 26, 2018 | Rating: C- | Full Review…

There is some pleasure in watching the inevitable unfold, particularly since the cast is solid. Britton is, as usual, a sympathetic lead, even if her character is written to be shallow.

Nov 21, 2018 | Full Review…

Where Dirty John is perhaps most revealing is in its understanding of how people's pasts, their traumas, their beliefs and their desires cause them to behave in the strangest ways.

Feb 22, 2019 | Full Review…

This might only be something that audiences who followed the podcast or were aware of the story Dirty John is based on can fully enjoy. [Full Review in Spanish]

Apr 4, 2019 | Rating: 2.5/5 | Full Review…

Dirty John may not be quite as gripping as the LA Times podcast, but it's another step in the validation of a medium that is witnessing a golden age.

Mar 15, 2019 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Not bad for a pulpy true-crime yarn.

Feb 20, 2019 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

For a series rooted in fact, Dirty John is strangely flat and artificial. It resembles a cheesy Hallmark Movie of the Week, dragged out to eight hours.

Feb 20, 2019 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

It has the feeling of a photocopy of a photocopy, or a shot-for-shot remake. Fascinating, but hamstrung by our changing relationship with truth and fiction.

Feb 19, 2019 | Full Review…

For all the sensational elements of this story, it's a realistic and empathetic look at abuse, manipulation, and courage.

Jan 14, 2019 | Full Review…

What's also scary is the paradox that Bravo's extended narrative presents.

Jan 2, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Dirty John: The John Meehan Story

  • Jun 01, 2021
    Not horrible, not great. Julia Garner plays her part as if her character were 14 years-old.
  • Aug 18, 2020
    I think it was great. Actors and actresses did a terrific job. It's very interesting, very tense and I got hooked up straight from the first episode.
  • Jul 17, 2020
    It's difficult for me to like a TV show. It has to be well written and has to be entertaining. The reality aspect of the show was spot on It has great twists throughout the entire show, very entertaining and well played.
  • Jun 29, 2020
    Julia was brilliant in Ozark, but lacklustre in DJ. Directing, script, & camerawork of DJ are not excellent. Debra is played poorly.
  • Jun 13, 2020
    interesting story...
  • May 07, 2020
    Great topic and one that needs to be discussed more often. As a survivor of narcissistic abuse I am baffled that not one single reference was made to John's psychosis/psychological condition- A NARCISSISTIC, ANTI-SOCIAL, PSYCHOPATH. Just go ahead and say it Hollywood!! It's almost as if they tried to romanticize his disgusting, parasitic behavior, and at the same time make the woman come off as plain stupid and desperate. Really? An intelligent, successful, go getter - that friggin stupid? Lies. I know she fought back, argued, cried, and broke things. Who wrote her part? Get rid of him. Her character was not believable, but the circumstances she went through were very much so. The producer / director could have focused more on the emotional pain and psychological torment she surely went through dealing with this predator. Instead, they played around with the topic, over sensationalizing the romance. There were also some really long drawn out ridiculous scenes about a bunch of nothing that turned me off. I think the director did an awful job casting those 2 annoying sisters with those horrible high pitch squeeky voices. It drove me absolutely crazy to the point where I cursed them out from the sofa. I nearly stopped watching because of how irritating they both are and sound in this series. I absolutely adore Julie Garner in Ozark. She is my number one character in that show so I do not know why I hated her in this series. Maybe the film makers forced her to speak in a ridiculous voice in this series, but no way. It's just bad, worst than your worst valley girl bad. Deep in this series is an incredible story and it was told well at times - however, there's a lot of senseless fluff throughout the episodes subtracting from what could have be an informative, powerful series. It's obvious the people in control of this story are not well connected to this topic / issue. You can feel the disconnect in the lay out. More people should be aware of this insidious, very difficult to describe type of narcissistic abuse. It should be a crime to scheme, plot on, hi-jack, and financially, emotionally & psychologically abuse an intimate parter. I hope one day there will be laws established to lock people like Dirty John up long before they cause so much damage. I took 2 stars off for the dumb scenes that made no sense at all & for forcing me to endure the sisters voices. The older sister was just horrible to look at and listen too - unbearable, self-centered, boring, over the top, bad acting. And htf was the mother walking down the hospital hall in slow motion, blond hair flowing, skin glowing when she should have been breaking down doors, crying & holding her snot to get to her child after the incident toward the end?? It was stupid scenes like this one that made me very suspicious about the filmmakers. My 4 yo can cast a better group for a series about narcissistic abuse. How could 2 great female actresses do so poorly in this series?? And the guy playing Dirty John was so ugly to me. He has this strange sunken mouth that doesn't fit the rest of his face - like a reptilian. He did an excellent job manifesting an abuser - very scary & convincing. He had the perfect look for creepy abuser & held this series together. It was a plus to look back into John's childhood & the scenes when he met this woman. It shows us how heartless monsters are created & released into society with express intent to hurt others. We have to do better. It starts at home.
  • Apr 11, 2020
    Stetched out waaaay too long.
  • Mar 22, 2020
    Quite enjoyed it, well filmed and great cast! Looking forward to season 2
  • Feb 23, 2020
    I honestly think this was a solid show. It's insane as a man to think there are other men out there that are this insane and "stalkerish." A good plot overall and I would have given this a higher rating, BUT...The ending wasn't that great. Predictable and not much excitement but since it's based off a true story, I guess the producers couldn't do much about it. It kept me engaged the entire time and I did think it was a good show overall. It's definitely an eye opener to how crazy some people can be!
  • Feb 10, 2020
    Sad story, terribly adapted to a series. Poor writing with normally talented actors who were awkward and unbelievable.

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