Updated: Nov 23
(Seasons 1 and 2 available on Netflix)
FTC Rating: 4 out of 5
WARNING: Contains descriptions of physical and sexual abuse
A rare look behind the headlines into the background and motives of convicted killers. Each episode of this series features a central jailhouse interview through which the inmate slowly reveals their story. Supporting interviews with authorities, professionals, jury members, family and friends (of the victim(s) and convicted) add complexity and depth to the account.
Netflix released Season 3.
Except for Episode 3 entitled “History Repeating”, the questions and interviews featured this year sadly did not move me in comparison to the previous seasons. Perhaps the pandemic and travel restrictions are to blame. However, I look forward to Season 4 as I continue to appreciate the diversity of cases and the systemic issues highlighted by the series.
-Includes interrogation tapes
-Multiple sides to the story
-Insight into the aftermath of a crime, impact on the family of the victim and the person convicted
-Filmmakers are neutral observers (although they do select which interviews to feature and which clips to play)
-Playback of audio recordings for commentary by interview subjects
-The obvious bias of certain subjects can be problematic although the views expressed are presented as opinions
-Season 2 is stronger than Season 1 because of the cases selected. I recommend starting with the first episode of Season 2 to get a good feel for the series.
-It is impossible to remain neutral when watching this series. I felt a gamut of emotions from anger to sympathy.
- I was fascinated by the structure of this series, likely due to my background in anthropology.