I know I’m late to the ‘Making a Murderer’ party but finally about a month after everyone else finished this Netflix series I’ve caught up. If you read my blog often you’ll know I watch far more films than I do TV shows. I find TV shows a big commitment and I hate the lack of closure that episodes bring you. I am getting better though as last year I managed to watch both of the Marvel Netflix releases, ‘Daredevil’ and ‘Jessica Jones’. Both were great so could ‘Making a Murderer’ continue this strong run of Netflix shows?
Other than the fact that EVERY one was talking about it I was drawn to the series partly due to its structure. The series is broken down into 10 episodes all around 1 hour in length. The series is a documentary and I’d never seen one be broken up like this in order to create a series, this both intrigued me but also put a little doubt into my mind as to whether or not it would be my kind of thing. One day I just went for it, starting these series is often the hardest thing for me, and within a couple of weeks I had completed my viewing. The documentary focuses on the life of Steven Avery a man from Manitowoc County who is the victim of several very serious allegations throughout his life and his battle to prove his innocence. Straight off the mark I have to comment that this documentary is obviously quite biased towards Avery and his defense, the makers of the documentary clearly believe that Avery is innocent and it has come out that several key pieces of evidence that would implicate Avery have been omitted. As a result I would have to conclude that the documentary maybe isn’t as factually well-rounded as it seems. Saying that the arguments and evidence highlighted throughout the 10 episodes are very obviously significant to the case and deserve the screen time that they get.
The story of Steven Avery is one of such rarity and uniqueness that I can certainly see why it warrants a 10 episode documentary. The events that have happened around Avery, regardless of his level of involvement, are just so insane. The story is always interesting and for the most part it is presented in this fashion also. These events have clearly gripped their audiences with endless theories surfacing online about who committed the crimes, who planted evidence and who is innocent so in this regard the documentary has been a success. Chances are anyone who has watched the documentary will have their own theories and much discussion can be born out of this, which is one thing I love a film or TV show to do. I felt that the investigatory phase of the documentary was the best section to the series, these episodes always seemed the most varied and left the audience with the best cliffhangers. Once the trial episodes begin at first they are pretty engaging but after 2 or 3 they do become slightly more repetitive and didn’t grip me the same way that the earlier episodes did. However, this never really becomes too much of an issue because of the short nature of the series, although a few of the episodes could have done with shortening their running times. Thankfully the final few episodes regain the attention and suspense that they so brilliantly created at the start of the series.
‘Making a Murderer’ has definitely highlighted an incredible story, one that is filled with so much speculation that everyone’s viewing experience will most likely differ slightly. With a good combination of video clips, recordings, photographs, news reports and interviews the documentary is very well put together, even if a little biased towards Avery. You will be gripped for the majority of the episodes with some around the middle possible jeopardising this but only ever so slightly. Somehow I don’t think we’ve heard the last of this story, I could see this being made into a film or new evidence emerging. For the meantime though there is so much to discuss and this is what I loved most about this documentary.
Rating – 8/10
Thanks for reading this review and please let me know what you thought about the series! Leave a comment below or drop me a tweet over at @HCMovieReviews.