Spoiler-Free Review of “The Staircase” on HBO Max: Colin Firth and Toni Collette star in the latest true crime dramatization

*This is a spoiler-free review so feel free to read on!*

“She fell down the stairs…”

The Staircase premiered on HBO Max on May 5th 2022 with the first three episodes available to stream now. There will be eight episodes in total that will air weekly. The crime drama series stars Colin Firth, Toni Collette, Sophie Turner, Parker Posey, Olivia DeJonge and Patrick Schwarzenegger. Each episode runs for approximately 60-65 minutes.

Based on the true story of Michael Peterson and the suspicious death of his wife, this true crime dramatization presents us with different angles of the story. 

Here is the trailer:

The Staircase has an all-star cast, but is there enough new content here to keep its audience captivated? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

The Staircase Spoiler Free 1

Images courtesy of HBO Max

Top-notch ensemble.

I expected Colin Firth and Toni Collette to be brilliant. They are pretty much brilliant in everything so that’s a given but I was really impressed by some of the other performances. The siblings really gave believable performances and I thought that everyone added something necessary and meaningful with their roles.

Solid mystery.

If you’re familiar with the crime and the original documentary series of the same name, then you know what to expect here. However, if you’re coming into this one with fresh eyes, you may get a lot more out of it because the mystery is a decent one.

The Cons:

The Staircase Spoiler Free 2

Images courtesy of HBO Max

Slow moving and stale at times…

The performances definitely helped matters, but I struggled through these episodes. The opening was pretty strong, but then things started to move at a much slower pace. The episodes are super long so it was difficult to hold my attention at times.

So am I in or out?

The Staircase Spoiler Free 3

Images courtesy of HBO Max

I’m in about 75 percent…

The Staircase delivers with wonderful performances, but it has some serious pacing issues and I’m not sure it will be able to give us the satisfying ending we are looking for based on the outcome of the case. If you’re familiar with the original documentary series, you can probably skip it, although there are some decent moments sprinkled in.

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on The Staircase in the comments section below. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!


Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl


It was only supposed to be temporary…but when Olivia Crewe accepts a new position that seems too good to be true, she soon discovers that twelve other girls previously had the same job as her. Only none of them lasted for more than thirty days. No notice. Nothing…right before they mysteriously disappeared without a trace.

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