Sacred Lies: The Singing Bones has just premiered on Facebook Watch, and the second chapter of Blumhouse Television’s thriller series could be even more mysterious than the first.
In The Singing Bones, Elsie (Jordan Alexander) starts out searching for the family she’s always wanted, and winds up pulled into a disturbing plot that involves more than one murder and plenty of secrets. Why should fans go along for the ride? That’s one of the questions we asked Raelle Tucker, the creator, writer and showrunner of Sacred Lies.
Find out what she had to say about season 2 in our interview below, and make sure you check out the first three episodes of Sacred Lies: The Singing Bones, available now on Facebook Watch.
Nerdophiles: How did you approach the second season of Sacred Lies, especially since the show is an anthology? Did you learn anything from the first season that carried over to this season?
Raelle Tucker: We definitely learned a lot in the first season. We learned a lot about the way our audience consumed the show – that there was a lot of excitement to wait every week for the next episode. So we knew that we really needed to focus on strong cliffhangers, on big mystery turns that generated the most excitement, the episodes where people could gather on Facebook and talk about it and debate it. The mystery engine needed to be really, really strong, and we kept that going into our second season.
I also think that one of the things that appealed to our audience specifically, and why people are so passionate on our Facebook community about the show, is that there’s an earnestness, really sort of heartfelt sweetness underneath how dark the show is. People want to watch something that leans toward hope and looks into the dark places, but talks about how you can survive those things and how you can find connection and get through the worst things that can happen to a person.
I would say we learned a lot from interacting with the community on Facebook: listening to them talk about what they loved about the show, watching how the excitement grew in certain episodes throughout last season. And we strove to bring a lot of those elements into the second season.
NP: What does the anthology format feel like for you creatively? Is it like doing a whole new show this season?
RT: It is exactly like doing a whole new show. (laughs) You know what your show is and then you refine it, you know your actors are great, and then everything in theory supposed to get a little easier.
In a way it’s super-exciting, because you don’t fall into traps. I’ve worked on long-running television shows and by seasons three and four…you start running out of things to actually do with these people and it starts getting ludicrous. And that is not our problem. We have a limited amount of time. We have five hours, ten episodes to introduce you to characters and take them on a full journey that ends in a satisfying way. There’s a lot of pressure to get a lot in there, and to make people really attached to these characters and get to know them and care about them.
So it’s challenging on one side and then on the other side of it, it never gets old, it never gets repetitive. It’s always exciting and it’s always new.
NP: Does writing for Facebook Watch have any effect creatively that’s different from doing a series on a broadcast or cable TV platform?
RT: There isn’t a lot to consider that is different about writing a show for Facebook than Netflix or HBO or anywhere else. This is a half-hour drama, which is sort of a new structure, and that was really different because the original show I developed was an hour. We had to figure out how to squeeze this into a half-hour but still keep its really strong mystery cliffhanger-y suspense tone. Doing that in a half-hour is really challenging.
In terms of writing for Facebook, it’s basically like any other platform. But when you have a really strong, outspoken fan base, you are really conscious of wanting to include them and bring them along on your show because they are the reason you get to make your show. Their support and how vocal they are is the reason [Sacred Lies] got a second season. We have direct access to conversations with them and I really wanted to make them feel like they were included in the process of making our second season.
NP: What are you excited about when it comes to Sacred Lies: The Singing Bones? Anything people should be on the lookout for as they dive into the first three episodes?
RT: One of the things I’m most proud of, that you can really only appreciate if you actually do watch the full ten episodes, is that we tell a story. We unwrapped this mystery over the ten episodes, and even the smallest details are tied in every single episode. There are hints, there are clues, there are prompts, there are things built into every episode that build up until the final reveal of the finale. And when you’ll think you have solved the mystery at about the halfway mark of the episode, and you’ll think you understand who some of these characters really are, there are still more layers to unwrap that you’re not expecting.
The show is less of a “whodunit” mystery. It’s more of how does this happen to a person? How does somebody become this? How do these things happen? That’s more of what the mystery is and I think that’s what’s exciting, is just watching how these circumstances unfold in this really dramatic and tragic and emotional way by the end of the season. But you kind of have to get through ten episodes to really appreciate the whole way it’s all tied together.
This is an incredible time for storytelling. And with that incredible time, it’s hard to keep track of all of the really interesting, meaningful work that’s happening out there. I feel like we have we have to sort of vote with our views. We have to give time to shows that aren’t just the big front-runners that everybody’s screaming about. I hope that people really get behind the shows that they care about, because that’s how the weird, strange, magical little shows like ours are going to survive is through people just really, really being vocal about what they love and why they love it.
NP: Is there one particular talking point you hope that Facebook Watch audience starts talking about?
RT: This mystery is about the fact that in our country there are over 40,000 unidentified human remains. There are 40,000 bodies sitting in storage in our country and we don’t know who they are, how they got there, what their names are. No one’s reported them missing. No one’s looking for them. How do we get to a place where we’re so disconnected? That somebody can just disappear and we can not know their identity?
I think it’s the ultimate mystery, but it also speaks to something about our culture and our society. Right now, we’re still on our cell phones. We’re still on social media. We’re so connected to each other in all these ways, and yet we’re so disconnected that 40,000 people can lay in plastic bags and we can’t identify them, we don’t know who their families are and don’t look at [them]. That’s the center of the show that I hope people really are paying attention to and educate themselves on.
New episodes of Sacred Lies: The Singing Bones premiere Thursdays at 12 p.m. PT/3 p.m. ET exclusively on Facebook Watch.