Netflix has got it going on with really smart and thoughtful shows, I must say. I don’t really watch TV series much, but whatever offerings I’ve seen from Netflix have all been quality stuff. With the same confidence, I began watching Making A Murderer, a real-life thriller incident; the show spanning over ten years in the time-line. So, how good is it?
Steven Avery was a 23-year-old man convicted of rape and attempted murder in 1985, and was sentenced for thirty years in prison. But eighteen years into serving his sentence, DNA testing of the crime-scene evidence conclusively proves Avery’s innocence, and in fact proves that another convict was guilty of the crime Avery was jailed so long for. Looking into the case also shows many discrepancies in evidence-gathering and investigation by the police, and the corrupt nature of the local law enforcement is exposed. Avery is finally released in 2003.
Understandably pissed-off at the county police, Steven Avery sues them for $36 million, and begins preparing for the lawsuit. But within a few months, Avery is once again the prime suspect, this time for an even bigger crime, that of murder. The show takes the viewers through this high-profile case which made national headlines during its day, with the circumstances being all the more bizarre this time around. And this time, the county police seem to have caught him cold. What really happened? And who is the murderer? These are only a few of the questions we viewers are faced with at the beginning of the show, and some of them have not been answered, yet.
This show is a documentary of the events that transpired before and during the case, with the show looking mainly at the defense argument for the case. And as such, Making A Murderer makes use of only real-life footage, ranging from news clippings to court proceedings to interrogation and investigation footage. Not to forget the voice-overs and comments from the actual players in the case; the prosecution, the defense lawyers, the defendant Steven Avery and his family members, the witnesses and such. I like the fact that none of the events have been actual footage by the makers, as it really helps in maintaining the authenticity of the show. Also it must have saved the makers a lot of money, but that’s another matter entirely and is not worth our consideration.
And let’s get down to the business end of it; is the show any good? You bet. This is probably the best show I’ve seen in recent times, and if I have to compare, it is as intense as the final two seasons of Breaking Bad. In fact, Making A Murderer is so intense in its content that you’d want to binge-watch the whole show. However this is almost impossible as emotions take over the viewers all the time, and may leave you too pissed-off at some of the incidents and the people, to the point where you really will need a break from the show. Also, kudos to the screen-writers for maintaining the pacing of the show at a swift, trotting pace,so to speak. In these kinds of shows, it is very easy to mess up and drag out some events, or rush through others, but I’m glad to see the show not fall into the same old trap.
Overall, I would say Making A Murderer is one of the best shows I’ve ever watched until now. Those of you guys who want to believe in the criminal justice system, please watch this show at your own peril, as your trust may find itself getting eroded by the happenings.
RATING : 10/10
– effective use of live footage
– intense and atmospheric
– great pacing
– will probably make you lose faith in the justice system