Making a Murderer

RV: I’m not a huge fan of investigative murder porn, but this documentary is different. It takes a tried and true genre and turns it on its head. No longer are the viewers just shown glimpses into a gruesome murder and the people involved in it, but instead, we are taken from the sidelines and turned into advocates for a man that is the dictionary definition of white trash. Whether Steven Avery is innocent or not doesn’t really matter. The truth of the murder is absolutely not the purpose nor the focus on this show. Instead, Making a Murder weaves a tragic narrative of a man who has never received a fair trial, and in the process exposes the audience to some very real flaws that exist in our communities and the entire criminal justice system. Too often, police officers and judges are viewed  as if they exist outside our societal bubble when in reality they could be the neighbor next door. Making a Murderer does an excellent job at showing just how flawed, and even petty, those people can be, and It’s not even that far fetched. We know most people are flawed, and that the justice system is made of those same people. To make matters worse, some of those people barely make a living wage, so it’s not a hard sell to say that local police officers could have ulterior motives to their actions. Making a Murderer doesn’t tell the whole story of the Steven Avery trial, but it does do its job. It creates a dialogue about the presumption of innocence that should have been discussed and brought up during the numerous trials before it where a innocent person was put in prison. Hell, it brings up dialogues that should have existed ever since the Salem witch trials. When will the general public stop assuming guilt before the trial?

T: Unlike my partner, I freaking love investigative murder porn. I know my obsession is borderline disturbing, but I love the raw intensity of learning about real people who have lived diverse, interesting, even disturbing lives. As Twain once said, “Truth is stranger than fiction,” and in Steven Avery’s case it is no doubt. A sordid tale comparison only to Shakespeare, this story takes you on a wild ride that spans now over thirty years.

Although it had been on Netflix over a month by the time I got around to binging this little nugget, I (unlike my partner) chose not to pursue spoilers. I found myself filled with anxiety throughout every episode and painfully attaching myself to this tragic story. But at the end of the series I just found myself ashamed – ashamed at what happens, sadly, all the time but only alights on the attention of the American people when presented via Netflix.

I recognize I cannot give it a perfect score because there is a slanted view to this story (it is Steven Avery’s story after all); however, it was able to capture problems that ultimately affect the entire American audience: poverty, abuses of power, intolerance, prejudice…the list goes on and on. From the beautiful opening sequence to the seamless story telling, this series tops the investigative murder porn collection and entertains those new to the genre. Seriously, do yourself a favor and watch it. Like meow.

4 Red Vines:  Get your PhD in Law at Netflix.

4.75 Twizzlers: I wish I could go back and watch it again for the first time. It’s that good.

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