TV Review: Making a Murderer

Monday 18 January 2016 by

 

Making a Murderer, TV, Netflix, Documentary

The latest Netflix craze getting everyone talking is Making a Murderer. Imagine the TV version of the Serial podcast, and you’re in the region. Making a Murderer is a documentary telling the story of Steven Avery – a man wrongfully accused of sexual assault and attempted murder. After spending 18 years in prison for it, he is freed, and vows to sue the police force of Manitowoc for wrongful conviction. But it is not that simple – soon, Avery is accused of murder.

The 10-part documentary tracks Avery through his childhood and wrongful conviction and on to the murder and trial. If you Google the trial, you’ll know the result, but I will warn you of spoilers now in case you don’t want to find out the result…

Avery, along with his nephew, is convicted for the murder of Teresa Halbach. But the documentary exposes the flaws in the American justice system, much like Serial, and you find yourself growing in frustration. I’m not going to make an argument about whether or not Avery is guilty (viewers are split in that respect), although I’m inclined to believe there is a lot more to the story than we are given, or even that the prosecution put forth.

There is something about true crime that grips the imagination. Serial knew it, and Making a Murderer knows it too. It makes you flip flop between guilty and not-guilty. It makes you question and doubt and sucks you in. I even felt tearful during the nephew’s trial (you’ll understand why when you watch it).

I am fascinated by the judicial system – both in the UK and the US, and it continues to astound me how much it is still down to the angle of the argument. The same is here – and there is an astonishing story to accompany it. How much of it is true remains in the eye of the beholder, and I think that is why these kinds of documentaries hold such fascination. A seek to understand, to decipher. Avery’s case holds several mysteries, and every viewer feels like it’s their chance to unravel them. Everyone has an opinion – everyone feels enlivened by the case and wants to draw a definite conclusion.

There is no conclusion to Making a Murderer, as with Serial, and that’s what makes it so addictive – because it’s a story unfinished. This is a compelling documentary and one that will capture the imagination, and no one will end up without an opinion!

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