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A look behind the numbers for ‘The Last Thing He Told Me’

Angourie Rice and Jennifer Garner in "The Last Thing He Told Me." The suspense drama is now Apple TV+’s most-watched limited series ever.Erin Simkin/Apple TV+ via AP

“The Last Thing He Told Me,” the suspense drama starring Jennifer Garner, is now Apple TV+’s most-watched limited series ever. Also, the seven-episode show is the streaming service’s No. 3 title of the year so far, following only “Ted Lasso” and “Shrinking.” In general, it has performed better than Dennis Lehane’s “Black Bird” and Gary Oldman’s “Slow Horses,” two of Apple TV+’s finest.

I’m impressed with the numbers, helped no doubt by the fact that it was based on a best-selling book and by Garner’s appeal. But I was less impressed with the adaptation of Laura Dave’s novel, as it goes through its familiar moves. I felt I’d seen it done on TV before, and with more tension, as the requisite twists unfold before the big (unsurprising) reveals and resolution.


The show wrapped up last week, so you can binge it if that’s your inclination. The story, in which a husband disappears, leaving his wife and daughter to investigate, didn’t have the kind of momentum to keep me wondering what would happen. But the ratings didn’t weaken across the season, so perhaps — horrors! —  I’m in the minority here.

Matthew Gilbert can be reached at matthew.gilbert@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.