In the writings of Nanfu Wang Thoughts About a Murderer, the town of Beatrice, Nebraska, is still suffering from the 38-year-old problem. Six people were convicted of raping and murdering a woman in 1985, but DNA evidence exonerated them decades later. The six-part HBO series that chronicles an extended miscarriage of justice focuses on a unique urban approach: A community theater held a planned reading of court documents and records. It’s storytelling as a form of therapy and, in one of the year’s best TV offerings, the exploration of our insatiable need for true identity theft, often expressed in voyeuristic terms, can be healing for those most associated with tragedy, and for us. human wounds.
Throw in thousands of examples of true-crime cases that have resulted in the acquittal of innocents (The Thin Blue Line, Serial) or target offenders (The Jinx, I will go into the Darkness), and you can assure yourself that it is a brand dedicated to the public good. That may be assumed, that you have not seen Peacock Joe vs. Carolereckless and unnecessary efforts to spend money on the success of King TigerIt’s such a unique phenomenon that Netflix has released dozens of series you probably didn’t know (or care) existed.
We are in an era of true-crime, or at least true-crime teeter-totter, on TV, in which the quality of the genre, its popularity and its potential for award recognition are rarely consistent.
On the other hand, watch out for the limited series/anthology category at this fall’s Emmys. There are certainly definitions of true crime that can be compounded Dopesickdescribes one of the many deadly crimes perpetuated (if not caused) by Big Pharma, or The Dropout, documents one of the many (mostly non-fatal) crimes perpetuated (and possibly caused) by Big Tech – the miniseries that won awards, respectively, for Michael Keaton and Amanda Seyfried. The biggest prize, however, was won by Mike White’s HBO anthology The White Lotusin which a fictional murderer was framed for the crime of stealing suitcases and the only “truth” was that rich people are bad.
There was a real representation of deep-rooted fraud in the Emmy system – making nominations The Staircaseprinciples of noms e Under the Banner of Heaven – but it was easy to point out to the wronged prize-winners, from those who once laughed Joe vs. Carole and it’s easy to mock the Renée Zellweger latex showcase Something About Pam. The sequel to two Emmy juggernauts, Ryan Murphy’s Impeachment: American Criminal Historyit was mostly an afterthought.
But don’t cry Ryan Murphy! Because if the “lack of recent Emmy achievements” is on the one hand, the other side is a one-two punch for the terrible names. Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story and the common names The guard. In a few weeks, Murphy went from being the headliner to “What did Netflix get out of the zillion-dollar megadeal?” to the”Dahmer and The guard blockbusters like this are meant to be franchises, because that’s what Ryan Murphy does and he does it well. “
Monster It was a hit, but will that translate into an award contender? Evan Peters is an Emmy winner, and no one will question the strength he brings to the title stage, while Niecy Nash has received consistent raves as one of the best. Monster episode, perhaps the only one that lives up to its purported desire to make a series about the real victims of Dahmer’s crimes, not just a sideshow, a piece of fraud. About The guardit seems that most people nearing the end of the series are looking to forget it, not honor it.
Sigmund Freud never studied the therapeutic value of true guilt, but he wrote about it Wiederholungszwang, or compulsive repetition, in which people have an unconscious tendency to repeat their most harmful or distressing decisions. This is Murphy’s job-long MO and one of the most common practices on television. (It’s not just in the criminal area. How many Los Angeles Lakers records and articles does America need in 2022?)
At least with true fraud, there is a sense of success to keep repeating and correcting. The Staircase was it one of the greatest docuseries ever made? Why not try the written version! King Tiger was anyone talking about him for two weeks when the world was shut down? Let’s do a scripted series and another two years later! Dahmer was a word-of-mouth sensation, joining Netflix’s extensive roster of serial killer programming. Two weeks later, it was one Dahmer docuseries ready to start, with no direct connection.
And replication can be platform agnostic. The latest poster boy for the useless TV ouroboros is Jan Broberg’s mysterious story, Peacock’s overlong story, well done. A Family Friendwhich was not directly from Skye Borgman’s Netflix documentary He was kidnapped in Plain Sight, even if the story is the same and Borgman is involved in both. Fortunately, Peacock released his fellow doc, Family Friend: True Evil. Remember Hulu’s Candy, with Jessica Biel as 1980s ax murderer Candy Montgomery? Emmy voters didn’t. But prepare for HBO Max to take matters into its own hands Love and Death.
This means we are only a few years away Thoughts on Murder: The Seriesa story written about a filmmaker making a documentary about the community making a drama about a terrible disaster that shook a Nebraska town.
This story first appeared in the November standalone issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.