Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe: Season 1 (2015)

Season 1
Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe

Critics Consensus

Offering few revelations, The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe treads the same well-worn path as many other Monroe biopics, despite an admirable performance by Kelli Garner.



Critic Ratings: 11

Audience Score

User Ratings: 0
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Air date: May 30, 2015
Air date: May 31, 2015

Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

Marilyn Monroe's private life, including her relationship with her mentally ill mother, is dramatised.


Kelli Garner
as Marilyn Monroe
Jeffrey Dean Morgan
as Joe DiMaggio
Emily Watson
as Grace McKee
Eva Amurri
as Young Gladys

Critic Reviews for Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe Season 1

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (5)

Garner convincingly captures the ill-fated, love-craving blonde bombshell while Sarandon summons up more than a one-note character and Morgan brings DiMaggio back to prideful, brutish life.

Jun 1, 2015 | Rating: B | Full Review…
Top Critic

It's little more than a fragmented series of sketches stitched together by an ineffectual structure.

May 26, 2015 | Full Review…

Sluggish Monroe biopic depicts a complicated private life.

Jun 2, 2015 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

If you're hoping for insights into Monroe's life that you've never heard before, you're almost certain to be disappointed, but if you're looking for a sexy, nuanced lead performance and a few other highlights? There are reasons to watch.

May 30, 2015 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

In portraying a unique star who's been impersonated by scores of actresses, Kelli Garner manages to bring a freshness to her interpretation of Monroe that never feels like caricature.

May 29, 2015 | Full Review…

The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe is a glum retread of Monroe's legend, with a flat script by Stephen Kronish and direction by Laurie Collyer who gives it all a funereal, depressed tone even when Monroe's career is at its height.

May 29, 2015 | Full Review…

It never fulfils the promise of its title, but it still delivers enough to make it worth the investment of a few hours of TV-watching time.

May 29, 2015 | Full Review…

Kelli Garner gives a virtuoso performance as Marilyn Monroe, enlivening Laurie Collyer's cluttered, superficial biopic.

May 26, 2015 | Rating: 5/10 | Full Review…

Laurie Collyer takes all of the known facts for granted through choppy, abruptly episodic direction.

Jun 1, 2015 | Full Review…

The greatest of (non-natural) blondes deserves much better than this.

May 29, 2015 | Full Review…

Part of the allure surrounding Monroe, of course - who would be 88 if she were still alive - is that she remains frozen in time, an ageless icon of Hollywood glamour.

May 28, 2015 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe: Season 1

  • Jul 02, 2018
    I've been a huge fan of Marilyn since I was kid so of course I jumped at the opportunity to watch another show about her but it was a mistake watching this. The acting is terrible. To me it seems like they just pulled a girl off of the streets who looked somewhat like Marilyn and gave her the role. I never write reviews and I actually went out of my way to make an account on here just to write this review, so that should tell you how bad I think this is.
  • Jun 03, 2015
    The real winner in The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe is Kelli Garner. She's sold out to Monroe in every aspect - and probably the best portrayal of the Hollywood bombshell to date.
  • Jun 01, 2015
    going watch this now :)
  • May 29, 2015
    What I got to say about the first part of "The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe" is starting off on a weak start for my opinion. The performances by the cast is okay for the most part. "Kelli Garner's performance as Miss Monroe is not believable at all. That's not a good thing. The directing and screenplay is okay at this point. The cinematography is fine. Finally the score is fine. "Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe" for my opinion is exalting to the real idle Marilyn Monroe truly is.
  • May 12, 2015
    I never felt so uncomfortable watching a movie (SAG screening on May 10) . It was almost entirely about negative episodes in her life, plus they were clumsy instead of subtle. In the '50s and early '60s, the love scenes with future husbands DiMaggio and Miller would have been more delicate. I doubt if she tore off DiMaggio's clothing. DiMaggio was more sensitive and shy than was portrayed by Jeff Dean Morgan, a handsome and aggressive "leading man." Jack Noseworthy looked more like an awkward college student than a psychiatrist. His scenes were especially blundering. I question the authenticity of scenes with Marilyn in a straightjacket and DiMaggio beating her. Other audience members said they liked the movie, but only because this is the type of movie you're "supposed to" like -- an exposure of a tragic figure. And where was the exposure? It was all things that we knew, except for some scenes that probably didn't even happen.

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