Let’s face it: You’re going to binge watch a lot of shows in 2016 (don’t try to deny it – it’s part of your life now). But, if you want to do it right, you need to start with this one:
Making a Murderer.
Set aside a weekend in your diary right now and prepare to become obsessed. I watched one episode and didn’t leave my house until I had finished the whole thing. It’s that good. Here’s everything you need to know:
What is it, exactly?
Making a Murderer is a ten-part true crime documentary series filmed over 10 years. It’s being compared to the now famous Serial podcast and HBO’s The Jinx (also two things you need to get on asap if you haven’t already). Critics are raving about it (it’s pretty much got five stars across the board), and soon, everybody you know will be talking about it.
What’s it about?
It follows the story of Steven Avery, a man who was falsely accused of a brutal rape in 1985. Thanks to DNA testing, he was exonerated in 2003, having spent 18 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. As the filmmakers Moira Demos and Laura Ricciardi point out, it seems likely that law enforcement and prosecutors intentionally convicted Avery of the crime in 1985, even though they knew he was innocent. Why? Because he was poor, had a bad reputation in the community and enemies in the police force. Basically, it was easier to arrest Avery than look for the man who actually committed the rape.
In 2005, Avery decided to sue those responsible for imprisoning him, which is where things start to get really freaking interesting (not to mention dodgy).
Not long after launching his case against local law enforcement in 2005, Avery was arrested again, this time for murder. He was put back in prison, less than three years after being released from his 18-year stint, and a lot of people think that the timing of that arrest was suspicious. You see, most of the people who had Avery falsely convicted of the rape in 1985 were still working in law enforcement, and any evidence that they had intentionally put the wrong man in prison was going to be devastating to both their reputations and careers, so there are many people who believe that Avery was arrested for the 2005 murder to stop him from suing. That’s what the documentary is essentially about: Was Steven Avery framed for a murder he didn’t commit, in order to stop him from suing the police department, or is he just a cold-blooded killer who deserves to go to jail?
This documentary covers every detail of Avery’s case from the moment he was arrested in 2005 until 2015, and there is some MAJOR dodgy stuff going on in that police department. You won’t believe how corrupt the system can be, and you’ll really feel for Avery, a man who grew up poor, is barely educated and didn’t seem to stand a chance. Yet, some of the evidence against him is so compelling, that it’s hard not to think he may have actually committed the crime.
Okay, you’ve convinced me. Where can I watch this thing?
All ten episodes are streaming right now on Netflix. (And I meant it when I told you to set aside a weekend – you’re not going to be able to stop watching.)
Any viewing advice?
Yes. DO NOT GOOGLE THE CASE WHILE YOU ARE WATCHING. There is a lot of information about Steven Avery and his case on the internet, and you WILL be tempted to google. Don’t. This documentary was painstakingly produced over 10 years, and it’s worth the viewing experience to go in cold. I rarely gasp out loud at television, but while watching Making a Murderer, I couldn’t stop. You’ll be desperate to know the fate of Steven Avery (and other members of his family who are tragically pulled into the situation), but it really is worth waiting until the end. And, just like Serial and The Jinx, this is the kind of thing you’ll want to pick apart with your friends and family. My sister and I were watching around the same time, and we spent hours texting each other things like: “OMFG WHERE ARE YOU UP TO? You won’t BELIEVE what just happened arrrgggghhhh!!!!” (Usually followed by her reply of: “Don’t tell me you bitch! I have kids! I can’t sit around watching TV like you!”) You will be obsessed. (My sister sacrificed sleep to watch it, just so she could like, you know, continue feeding and caring for her children during the day.)
Will this turn me into one of those annoying people who tries to get everybody to watch the TV show they’re obsessed with?
Yes. Yes it will.
NOW HURRY UP AND WATCH. I’m desperate to talk to more people about this show.
You can check out the trailer for Making A Murderer here: