In “The Girl From Plainville,” premiering Tuesday on Hulu, Elle Fanning plays Michelle Carter, who became infamous in 2015 when she was indicted on a charge of involuntary manslaughter for encouraging her boyfriend, Conrad Roy III, to kill himself.
Michelle and Conrad, called Coco by his family, met in real life on vacation in Florida; they lived not terribly far from each other in Massachusetts but conducted their subsequent relationship remotely, mainly through texts, a flurry of words out of which they built a disastrous bubble.
Like most such series in the Hook ‘Em and Hold ‘Em streaming era, it is, at eight episodes, longer than it needs to be, but individual scenes are well written and well played, with a minimum of filler.
The tone is neither sensationalistic nor judgmental. It looks good. It touches the main factual bases, with customary adjustments for narrative convenience.
If some of its dramatic contrivances raise questions, or feel a little ridiculous, it’s not hard to understand the thinking behind them.
Notably, text exchanges between Conrad and Michelle are enacted by the characters face to face — in one another’s bedrooms, on a country road at night against a chorus of crickets, on a pier and so on.