If you have been missing Anna Paquin on your television screen since the end of True Blood, you are in for a real treat. That's right, the woman who brought Sookie Stackhouse to life will be stepping into some detective shoes for her newest role in WGN's Bellevue (creators: Jane Maggs and Adrienne Mitchell). The series is a Canadian creation on WGN that follows the case of a missing transgender teen in a small mining town in Canada. As the description on WGN's website states, the town had been previously visited by a serial killer and there are fears that he may have struck again. But, is Bellevue based on a true story?
Well, from all accounts, it doesn't appear that the specific events in Bellevue are based in reality. There are no official marketing statements it's a true story, which is a pretty strong indication that it doesn't have basis in a real life. After all, most series would push the "based on a true story" angle really hard in advertising the project because it always seems to draw people in out of pure curiosity alone.
It is, however, reminiscent of a lot of crime dramas (The Killing and The Fall) in the sense that there is a missing person that could be linked to some previously heinous crimes that remain mysterious to a small, creepy, and often rainy town.
From the WGN website, the series description of Bellevue reveals that, fiction or no, there is going to be a lot of drama packed in between the mystery and possible murder. The synopsis is as follows:
Welcome to “Bellevue” – a small town with big secrets. Twenty years ago the murder of a young woman traumatized the community. Now the killer is back. Or is he? When a high school hockey star wrestling with his gender identity goes missing and all signs point to foul play, Detective Annie Ryder must unravel all the pieces to this gripping mystery before her own life falls apart.
One of the interesting things that will likely make this series much more believable and grounded is the fact that by all accounts, Paquin's character Annie is a realistic and flawed character. She isn't a robot cop or a stereotype, but instead she is struggling with real issues that would potentially face anyone, especially a woman, in this field. Her character is a mother of a preteen daughter and is dealing with an on-again and off-again romantic relationship with her ex all while trying to track down a missing teen. It's the kind of assignment that could spill over to affect her home life, and vice versa.
It is important to note the relevance of the story in Bellevue as well. It may not be a direct inspiration from any specific case, but the themes ring familiar in a general sense. The plot for this debut season revolves a missing transgender teen who is a successful hockey player. It challenges the stereotypes about gender identity that this current political and social climate has brought to the forefront. And, with violence against the transgender community on the rise, as reported by The New York Times, this kind of situation is ultimately, tragically all too real.
Although it isn't based directly on any one true tale, Bellevue certainly resonates in this current climate we are living in. Not to mention that fans of eerie missing persons/murder mysteries will be excited to virtually visit the town of Bellevue with all its fascinating dark secrets. And Anna Paquin, of course. Tuning in for her alone would likely be a smart idea. After all, Sookie wasn't a real character either, and she was no less interesting to watch.