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Series / Burden of Truth

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Joanna Chang (left) and Billy Crawford (right)

Burden of Truth is a Canadian legal drama series. It airs on the CBC and stars Kristin Kreuk and Peter Mooney. Kreuk serves as executive producer alongside Ilana Frank and Jocelyn Hamilton. The series' first episode aired on January 10, 2018.

The series begins when Joanna Hanley returns to her hometown of Millwood to settle a case in which several girls have fallen ill for mysterious reasons. With the help of former classmate Billy Crawford she uncovers the truth about the source of the girls' illness and the truth behind her father making her leave Milwood.


Tropes that appear in Burden of Truth include:

  • Abusive Parents: Billy's father was physically abusive to him and his brother. He abandoned them when Billy was only eight-years-old.
  • Amoral Attorney: Joanna's father David Hanley. Even ignoring the dirty tricks he pulls as a lawyer, there is also the fact that he made Joanna's mother stay away from her by threatening her with deportation and had an affair with a Gerrilyn Spence when she was underage.
  • Asshole Victim: The second season revolves around the murder of David Hanley who had gained a lot of enemies in Millwood.
  • Beta Couple: Owen Beckbie and Diane Evans are the beta couple to Joanna and Billy's alpha couple.
  • Dirty Cop: Sam Mercer, the chief of police in Millwood. He takes bribes and is shown to be racist towards Indigenous Canadians. Owen exposes his corruption leads to him losing his job and going to jail for two years for the murder of an Indigenous man.
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  • Falsely Reformed Villain: Sam Mercer in season 3. In the first episode, he claims he wants to earn forgiveness for his crimes but he is shown to still harbor racist attitudes towards indigenous people. He is also revealed to be running a blackmailing scheme which has Diane as one of the targets.
  • Nom de Mom: Starting from the end of season 1, Joanna starts using her mother's maiden name Chang in light of her father becoming a Broken Pedestal for her.
  • Sibling Team: Joanna and Luna Spence after it is discovered that David Hanley is their biological father.
  • Sins of the Father: In the first episode, Joanna gets punched in the face by a woman at a bar. She later learns that the woman is the sister of a woman her father had an affair with.
  • Small Town, Big Hell: The first season has the main protagonist, Joanna, returning to her hometown of Millwood to defend a pharmaceutical company being accused of causing numerous girls in the town to fall sick. It is ultimately revealed the source of the girls' sickness is the town's steel mill. Joanna also learns that she has a half-sister via an affair her father had with a woman who was underage at the time.
  • Sympathetic Adulterer: Diane had an affair with a co-worker because she felt neglected in her first marriage. She regretted it and the show does acknowledge what she did was wrong but still portrays her in a sympathetic light.
  • Token Minority Couple: Owen Beckbie and Diane Evans who are Indigenous Canadian and Guyanese-Canadian respectively.
  • Token Trio: Joanna (Chinese), Diane (Guyanese) and Kodie (Indigenous Canadian) were this in high school. Diane stated they bonded over being the only non-white girls in school.
  • Trauma Button: Luna's brief time in prison was a harrowing experience for her. A simple security search causes her to suffer a panic attack.


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