Watch a discredited journalist (Kate Beckinsale) try to earn her career back by entering the seedy world of gun-running as she works to prove the innocence of an imprisoned young mother. “Guilty Party” is a little-known television series on Paramount+ with a TV-MA rating. 

The single-season show stars Kate Beckinsale as journalist Beth Burgess. It follows Beth’s investigation into the murder that landed Toni Plimpton (Jules Latimer) in prison for the murder of her husband. Believing in Toni’s claimed innocence, Beth takes on the challenge of telling her story, finding her estranged young daughter, and ultimately setting Toni free. 

This Paramount+ dramedy series premiered on its home network on October 14, 2021, and the first season’s finale, episode 10, aired on December 9, 2021. The show was adapted for TV from a screenplay written by Rebecca Addelman and then directed by Trent O’Donnell (known for directing the comedy TV series “No Activity”). Rebecca and Trent served as the show’s executive producers, along with Kate Beckinsale, Sam Hansen (“Night Sky”), and several other executive producers. Even though the show is set in Denver, CO, all episodes were completely filmed in Calgary in the Alberta province of Canada.

The show has received relatively low ratings (40% on Rotten Tomatoes), but its plotline and twists offer enough entertainment to make “Guilty Party” worth a look. This article will further discuss the redeeming qualities of the show and where you can check it out for yourself.

Where Can You Watch “Guilty Party?”

As a Paramount+ original, “Guilty Party” is exclusively available with a Paramount+ subscription, which can be accessed directly through Paramount or your Amazon Prime Video account.

What is “Guilty Party” About?

“Guilty Party” is a dark comedy that explores the haphazard investigation launched by journalist Beth Burgess into the murder of Wallace Plimpton, whose wife Toni is serving a life sentence for his murder. 

In the first episode, Beth is terminated from her reporting job at the Denver Chronicle newspaper for fabricating a quote in a story. She begins working at a BuzzFeed-like online publication, where her story pitches about homelessness and other serious issues are laughed at and shut down.

Struggling to find her place at her new job, Beth catches a break when she receives a heartfelt letter from a fan, Toni Plimpton, an incarcerated young mother looking for help. Beth agrees to meet with Toni in prison and gets approval from her employer to do the story. From there, Beth, Toni, and a cast of other characters, including Beth’s husband and Wallace Plimpton’s family, all intertwine to offer an engaging mystery of whodunnit, a question that is answered for viewers by the end of the season.

Beth’s marriage with Marco, played by Geoff Stults, becomes another major plotline of the series. Episodes are unafraid to confront serious topics such as the decision to become a parent, the temptations of infidelity, and probing questions from nosy family members.

Finally, the show brings racial and cultural differences to the forefront, without ever really making race or culture the topic at hand. Kate Beckinsale as Beth Burgess is a white career woman and her co-star is Jules Latimer as Toni Plimpton, a Black convict. The racial elephant in the room is undeniable. And without giving away any spoilers, it’s also notable to mention that Toni’s associates on the outside are low-brow white boys. These unspoken differences among characters make for an intriguing story.

Is “Guilty Party” Based on a True Story?

Rebecca Addelman, the writer and creator of “Guilty Party,” has explained that her inspiration for the fictional story largely came from the popular podcast “Serial.” Although “Serial” is based on a true story, “Guilty Party” is completely fictional, written to create a true-crime story that takes a feather out of “Serial’s” cap. Any aspects that seem true or related to “Serial” are coincidental.

About the Main Cast Members of “Guilty Party”

Below is a brief summary of each main character of “Guilty Party.“

Kate Beckinsale as Beth Burgess

Kate Beckinsale as Beth Burgess

Beautiful, not-so-loveable, yet intriguing nonetheless, Kate Beckinsale playing a discombobulated Beth Burgess in “Guilty Party” somehow works. Kate is an award-winning English actress who has been starring in TV and movies for decades.

Her big break came in 1993 when she landed a role in the film “Much Ado About Nothing.” Since then, Kate has played a variety of characters in popular productions including the box-office hits “Pearl Harbor,” “Van Helsing,” “Underworld,” “Total Recall,” and many others.

Jules Latimer as Toni Plimpton

Jules Latimer as Toni Plimpton

Her character as Toni in “Guilty Party” is the first on-screen role for TV newcomer Jules Latimer. This young Julliard graduate started out as a theater actress in New York, showcasing her acting and musical talents in productions such as “Romeo and Juliet,” “Twelfth Night,” and “Anthony and Cleopatra.”

Since getting her TV break with “Guilty Party,” Jules has also landed roles in an upcoming Netflix documentary called Rustin, which is scheduled to be released sometime in 2022, as well as “Fire Country,” a new CBS television series that will premiere in the Fall of 2022.

Laurie Davidson as George

Laurie Davidson as George

Laurie Davidson is an attractive English actor whose American accent and tough-guy characterization make for a great George in “Guilty Party.” Before landing this role as Toni Plimpton’s criminal acquaintance and Beth’s key source on the outside, Laurie’s original claim to fame was the leading role as a young William Shakespeare in TNT’s 2017 television series “Will,” which lasted for a 10-episode first season. Laurie has also appeared in the two 2019 films “The Good Liar” and “Cats.”

Andre Hyland as Wyatt

Andre Hyland as Wyatt

Wyatt stands out right away when you meet him in “Guilty Party,” thanks to the dedication and acting talents of Andre Hyland (and his notable mullet). But unlike his gun-smuggling criminal character, the real Andre has a sophisticated career history with an impressive resume that includes directing Sundance Film Festival projects, starring in an Amazon series, and working in various roles for Comedy Central. 

In addition to his film work, Andre also enjoys a successful career in visual artistry. He works under his artist name, Buddy Lembek, and has showcased his fine art and graffiti work in various exhibitions, including shows at London’s Institute of Contemporary Art and the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA).

Geoff Stults as Marco

Geoff Stults as Marco

Although his role in “Guilty Party” is small, Geoff Stults as Marco brings an important angle to the series, playing Beth’s husband while she navigates the fallout of becoming a discredited journalist. Geoff is a Colorado-raised actor who has been in the profession for decades, getting his start at only seven years old in TV commercials.

His big break into a television series came when he landed a recurring role in 2002 on “7th Heaven” as Mary Camden’s boyfriend. He has also appeared in memorable roles for the TV shows “October Road” and “Happy Town.”

Alanna Ubach as Tessa Flores

Alanna Ubach as Tessa Flores

Alanna Ubach expertly portrays the ruthless TV news anchor Tessa Flores, who antagonizes Beth Burgess throughout season one of “Guilty Party.” Before landing this supporting role, Alanna had already racked up a long filmography, particularly known for her role as Queen Tulip on the Hulu sitcom “Crossing Swords.”

Alanna has also appeared in several major films, including “Legally Blonde” and “Meet the Fockers,” additionally voice acting in “Coco,” “Rango,” and “The Spectacular Spider-Man.”

Tiya Sircar as Fiona

Tiya Sircar as Fiona

Tiya Sircar is a successful Indian-American actress known for her on-screen acting and voice acting talents. She has gained fame for her roles in various “Star Wars” productions as well as the 2016 comedy TV series “The Good Place” and the 2019 Netflix movie “Good Sam.”

Tiya Sircar as Fiona plays a small but important role in “Guilty Party.” Fiona is Beth’s new colleague at the publication where Beth has landed after her termination from the Denver Chronicle. Fiona’s character offers a fresh balance of good judgment and discernment in contrast to Beth’s more spontaneous behavior and continual blunders.

Will There Be a Season 2 of “Guilty Party?”

As of July 2022, Paramount has yet to announce any information about a potential second season for “Guilty Party.” However, with the way season one ended, the story is begging for a follow-up season. Considering the timeline of production and release, if a season two does get the green light, the earliest it would likely be released is in 2023. No official premiere dates are currently available. Stay tuned to BuddyTV for updates.

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Rebecca Swanson

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV