I'd be lying if I said Netflix doesn't give enough love and affection to crime documentaries in their library of over a thousand shows. I'd also be blind, considering a good portion of the catalogue evolves around the touchy subject. But, evidently, Netflix do seem to have a special bond with crime dramas and murder mysteries. Now, whether that's a good thing or not – you'll have to tell me. Either way, there's no denying Netflix's thirst for criminal mastermind binge-worthy seasons. That's apparently a running theme they've been sticking with since the launch of the streaming service. But, why? It's not like we all have a soft spot for serial killings. Or, maybe we do, I don't know.
Well, it's rare that a mystery or thriller surprises me with almost all of its twists, but the second season of You, now streaming on Netflix, did just that. And with the same wit and style that lit up the first season, maybe even more. All of which adds up to a highly, often immensely, enjoyable second season of this literate and introspective serial killer.
What Makes a Murderer is a Channel 4 documentary series exploring an age-old myth: Are murders born killers? The series is co-produced by Dragonfly and UnderworldTV, a TV production company made of ex-criminals and crime experts. At the moment of this writing, it has aired the entire 3 episodes.
Escape at Dannemora is a 7 episode real-life prison escape thriller TV series written by Brett Johnson and Michael Tolkin and directed by Ben Stiller (Night at the Museum). Starring Patricia Arquette as Joyce ‘Tilly’ Mitchell who worked as the manager at the prison sewing shop. Benicio del Toro as Richard Matt and Paul Dano as David Sweat who were lifers at the prison as well as workers at the sewing shop and that’s where the drama starts.
Throughout the 21st century there has been a rise in the lazy, formulaic crime procedural spearheaded by CBS that has seen a rise in dull, rather cookie-cutter television filled with bland performances and wholly expected narrative outcomes. This was an unexciting transition for the broadcast television landscape but with the rise of streaming these shows are generally passing out of favor now that audiences have so much more choice. These shows' ratings dwindle due to the fact that there's no incentive to watch a show live anymore when the narrative outcome is so unsurprising, and there's a dearth of other options available to watch. To achieve success with this sub-genre, these tiresome conventions must be challenged and subverted; otherwise, people will lose interest. From its first episode, The Sinner achieves this immediately. A conventional procedural may open with the victim meeting their end and then the remaining minutes of the episode follows the team of protagonists doing their job so the criminal is caught and everything is wrapped up tidily, ready for next week's episode. While it's true that the show's opener shows the crime committed very soon into the first episode, the circumstances are changed and the narrative conventions are upended. As we see the perpetrator of the crime commit the criminal act before us there is no question of who, and she is quickly apprehended so there is no rush to capture the criminal either. Instead the focus is on why this inexplicable crime was committed as it appears that there is no circumstance apparent that would lead protagonist Cora Tannetti do such an act to a man she has no apparent connection to. The crime itself surpasses our expectations by being actually shocking in a genre that has become so exploitative. There's also such a palpable atmosphere when Cora repeatedly stabs an unknown male on a family day out to the beach in front of numerous spectators and her own infant child. Whoever selected the song "Huggin' & Kissin'" by Big Black Delta has a gift for selecting such evocative and moody music that becomes more emphatic every time it's played throughout the series. This song is a striking cue that brings back much of Cora's repressed turmoil that wounds her so tightly and the majority of the narrative is about her resurfacing her own suppressed traumas so that she can make sense of her inexplicable crime.
With only one episode remaining of the current season, the created Batman prequel series Pennyworth edges ever closer to the season finale. The ninth episode, the Rob Bailey-directed “Alma Coogan,” picks up the story shortly after events depicted in the previous installment.
Did you catch the serie's penultimate episode? It’s the perfect setup for the series finale.
The latest episode of Bruno Heller’s Batman prequel period drama Pennyworth picks up the story the following morning.
Gideon Raff is best known for Homeland, soon to begin its final season on Showtime. In its first few seasons—its best few seasons, by far—Homeland told the story of an American who was brainwashed in Iraq, to hate Americans and identify with terrorists, who returns to the US as a war hero and moves to within a heartbeat of the Presidency. It was all fiction, of course, but...
After a two week break, the latest episode of the Bruno Heller-created Epix original series Pennyworth landed Sunday, Sept 8th 2019. Picking up the narrative immediately after where the previous episode left off, Martha Kane (Emma Paetz) arrives home to find Thomas Wayne (Ben Aldridge) waiting for her. It came as a surprise to find him in her residence. Even more surprising, according to Thomas, Martha and his sister Patricia Wayne (Salóme Gunnarsdóttir) have been missing for three days.
Season 2 of Mindhunter has just been released, and it has been much anticipated. The first season was done in such a great fashion that many fans of true crime shows immediately enjoyed the first season, and were praying for a second one—and after a long wait, we now have it.
My wife and I very much enjoyed the first season of Mindhunter, but, whew, the second season was much better—more compelling—in just about every way, except one.