Netflix is investing heavily in redefining television production, and one major asset they have to convince you that it’s worth the effort is their groundbreaking series ‘Making a Murderer’.
A documentary of the most dramatic kind, this ten-part special takes you on a journey through the life of Steven Avery, a Milwaukee man jailed for 18 years for a crime he didn’t commit, only to wind up being charged with murder weeks after release. An immaculately presented series, each episode slowly unravels an increasingly unbelievable tale of crime, corruption and small-town scandal, a true story that at times makes you question how it could possibly be real.
Steven is either hero or villain, robbed of his innocence and the people around him, portrayed as both reckless and victimized. Do you side with Steven, and believe he isn’t capable of murder after an 18-year jail sentence? Or do you believe that Manitowoc County, the local police force who appear to be doing everything they can to find a way to keep Avery in jail, can have their actions justified?
‘Making a Murderer’ – filmed over a 10-year period – doesn’t fall in to the trap of taking sides. There is no presenter battling to remain impartial, no individual who is cast as the pantomime villain. The police are shown to be both brutal and incompetent, but also keen to earn justice for both victims and their community alike. Steven, a conflicting character, can be seen as both charming and deceiving.
Like the best crime dramas, the beauty of this documentary is that it works hard to show you as much as possible, adding pieces to a jigsaw that make you question what you thought you believed. At the beginning of an episode, you may be convinced that someone is guilty; by the end, you’re rooting for the opposition. There are even times when you’re rooting for lawyers and political figures, and others where you’re demanding justice and raging against the machine.
This is a top-tier water cooler topic of conversation, offered up as ideal binge-watch material. Add this to your must-watch list, and access exclusively on Netflix.