Con­nie Brit­ton falls for the most con­niv­ing of con men in Bravo's DIRTY JOHN

ABC Soaps In Depth - - Behind The Scenes - — Kelli M. Lar­son

“It could hap­pen to you.” That’s the mes­sage that DIRTY JOHN strives to get across. Based on the pod­cast by Los An­ge­les Times re­porter Christo­pher Gof­fard, the Bravo drama — de­but­ing Sun­day, Novem­ber 25, at 10 p.m. EST — is about De­bra Newell, an in­te­rior de­signer (played by NASHVILLE’s Con­nie Brit­ton) who gets hor­ri­bly hood­winked by the man she thought was her Prince Charm­ing. Showrun­ner Alexan­dra Cun­ning­ham sets the stage.

“De­bra is a self-made mil­lion­aire with dozens of em­ploy­ees and a large fam­ily who loves her, but there’s some­thing miss­ing,” the EP sug­gests. “She’s search­ing for love.”

A Vil­lain In Hero’s Cloth­ing

Di­vorced four times, De­bra is de­ter­mined to find a more wor­thy part­ner and Eric Bana’s John Mee­han seems to fit the bill. Dur­ing their date, Cun­ning­ham pre­views, “De­bra’s first im­pres­sion is that he’s a very hand­some doc­tor — a self­less per­son who has spent a lot of time us­ing his med­i­cal tal­ents to ben­e­fit peo­ple in war-torn coun­tries.”

The con­ver­sa­tion flows, and sparks fly, but John makes a pre­sump­tion of in­ti­macy that De­bra finds off-putting. Alas, his sub­se­quent mea culpa earns him a sec­ond date, de­spite the ob­jec­tions of De­bra’s per­cep­tive older daugh­ter, Veron­ica. “Veron­ica doesn’t suf­fer fools!” Cun­ning­ham laughs. “John rec­og­nizes that and re­gards her as his en­emy from the very first mo­ment.”

Warn­ing Signs

Rightly so. Ron­nie wastes no time shar­ing her sus­pi­cions with younger sis­ter Terra. But De­bra, happy with her new

lover, al­lows her­self to be swept off her feet over the se­ries of days and nights that she spends with John. In the blink of an eye, they take their re­la­tion­ship to the next level. “When you’re get­ting the re­in­force­ment that you want, you don’t want to ask the ques­tions that might burst the bub­ble,” Cun­ning­ham ex­plains. So, although John’s flashes of tem­per, con­trol is­sues and a cu­ri­ous way with money wave red flags in front of De­bra, all that the smit­ten woman sees “is a pa­rade.”

Truth And Con­se­quences

In the sec­ond episode, the cou­ple re- turn from a life-chang­ing trip with a shock­ing se­cret. Mean­while, Veron­ica hires a pri­vate in­ves­ti­ga­tor to dig up dirt on John, and what she’s poised to learn about the swindler is filth­ier than any­one could’ve imag­ined!

When it comes to re­ally know­ing John, Cun­ning­ham says De­bra“is a lit­tle too cap­ti­vated by the ro­man­tic, fairy-tale qual­ity of love to take her time.”

De­bra’s mom (Jean Smart) and daugh­ter Ron­nie strug­gle to see eye to eye about John.

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