Netflix and Chill: Making a Murderer

The Collective Bloggers love a good binge watch and so we present to you “Netflix and Chill”, a series in which our newest collected contributor, Ardeospina, binge watches a Netflix Original show, let’s us know her thoughts and whether or not we should put in the time. I am excited for this series of reviews, because I’ve been wanting to watch a bunch of these shows and films, but I like to get an opinion first, before committing. Below is Ardeospina’s SPOILER FREE review. Enjoy and let us know whether you plan to watch or, if you already have, your thoughts on the show’s bingeworthiness in the comments below. 

Diva

netflix and chill

Making A Murderer Review: What The Hell Did I Just Watch?

Making A Murderer is a documentary about Steven Avery, a Manitowoc, Wisconsin man falsely accused of rape and imprisoned for 18 years. DNA evidence exonerated him, and upon his release from prison in 2003, he filed a lawsuit against Manitowoc county. Two years after his release, and in the middle of depositions for his false imprisonment suit, Avery was arrested for the murder of 25-year-old Teresa Halbach. The documentary, filmed over ten years, follows Avery’s murder trial and its aftermath.

Making-a-Murderer

If you possibly can, go into this documentary with as little prior knowledge as possible, and try to keep an open mind. Making A Murderer is a cultural hot topic right now, and articles and interviews and theories are everywhere. Try to wait until after you’re done watching all 10 episodes to fall down the rabbit hole. Making up your own mind about the case presented is the best way to watch this show. It’s also important to be on the lookout for filmmaker bias, because even though this is presented as a documentary, it’s definitely not unbiased journalism.

It’s almost a shame that the documentary is so biased because I think it could have been even more impactful if it had focused less on Steven Avery’s guilt or innocence and had instead focused on the latent flaws in the criminal justice system. And boy, are there flaws. The criminal justice system in this country is brutally fallible, and it’s horrifying to see how easy it is for human ego to catastrophically distort due process.

And now, question time:

Should I Binge This?

YESSSSSSSS!!! You absolutely should binge this. 10/10 on the bingeability scale. In fact, you WILL binge this because you won’t be able to stop watching it. Just go ahead and call off work, or skip school, or have someone else watch the kids for a day and set aside 10 hours and start watching. There is one episode in the middle that drags a bit, but it’s an important episode, so caffeinate and make sure you pay attention. It’s also a good idea to watch with someone else so you can talk through your theories and ideas and share in the WTF moments together.

Will I Be Scared Something Like This Could Happen To Me?

Yep. You certainly will. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll wonder how many people are sitting in jail right now who are innocent. I’m guessing it’s a lot more than I’m comfortable with. You may even think about the struggles minorities face within the criminal justice system. Even though this series raises serious questions about police and lawyers, I don’t think all officers of the law are corrupt and mistreat people. Quite the contrary. I think most police officers and lawyers try to do their jobs to the best of their ability. The bad seeds just seem to have a much greater negative impact. My hope is that the popularity of this documentary will help usher in some positive changes to our criminal justice system.


Ardeospina is a stay-at-home mom with two young children, a new house, and a knitting obsession. She loves binge watching TV shows and collecting yarn and IKEA storage furniture. You can find her on Twitter @Ardeospina, and if she’s not there, you can leave a message at the beep.

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4 thoughts

  1. So I just want to say that there is a difference between investigative journalists (I.E. 20/20 Dateline etc) and Documentary makers. Documentaries aren’t exclusive to journalist standards. Documentaries are made by film makers who generally do have a bias to which they use research to show. I mean you don’t see Michael Moore having his mind open to debate the character of George Bush Jr. For instance, if you look at the Jinx, it’s more clear at the beginning that the film maker’s set out trying to figure out who Robert Durst was, and have interviews about all the things that shaped his life. When evidence showed up that implicated him directly in the murder of Susan Berman it was the documentary responsibility to at least try to get a statement from him. The unintended hot mic confession was an unexpected outcome but surely this would not be a documentary that would have held as much weight if they didn’t find what they did and he made the confession he did.
    Alex Gibney wasn’t out to give a fair and balanced look into the Church of Scientology. That’s not what Documentary film makers do. They write a script before they meet anyone, but they research and research and research to get to that conclusion. There have been many documentaries that expose the problems with the criminal justice system we have in place. If you watch the Paradise Lost documentaries that was one that was very influential to the west memphis three getting out of Jail.
    Anyway, as someone who works on these kind of films I just think I wanted to put out there that Bias is natural when trying to tell a story. Documentaries and even Docu-drama’s all have their own angle. Investigative Reporting is for journalists and news stations.

    1. I definitely hear what you’re saying. I don’t expect documentaries to hold to journalistic standards, and it doesn’t lessen a documentary if they don’t. In this particular instance, however, I felt it was important to point out filmmaker bias based on reactions I was seeing on my Facebook and Twitter and from talking to friends who DID think this was an unbiased look at the trial and its surroundings. Not everyone realizes there is a difference in standards between the two.

      1. Well it’s hard to,, you know I’m big into true crime stuff. Like I listen to the Serial podcast and I watch the Discovery ID Channel a lot. But for a discovery channel it doesn’t focus on much more than the absolute worst parts of a story and leaves the “defense” out of it. It rarely if ever commentates on the Justice system… There are some stories I have watched that I have personal knowledge about and there are big facts left out. There is never a talk about systematic injustice in regard to race and poverty. What I have seen when watching the making of a murderer and the Serial podcasts and even The Jinx is that it should scare people as to how the criminal justice system works. There is another documentary called Gideons Army which is well worth watching about the issues that having a court appointed attorney brings given they don’t have funding, or enough of them to have a proper caseload to provide a proper defense. I am not advocating killers going free, but what scares me about all this stuff is that one day, it could happen to you.
        I know from reading some of the articles that the Making of a murder was a 10 year long project that they came up with in Film School..
        I know im jumping around here but It’s very hard to find out what the News actually is. Bias is everywhere. There was a long standing tradition of getting the news from Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert until their reign ended this last year.
        The documenary field keeps getting better and there are a lot of journalists that are jumping into this area but for many of us, we start with an idea and we reearch it to death until we can fund and shoot the actual documentary. Our process takes years, it’s concerning that Dateline and other shows spend far less than fact checking.
        Anyway keep up the good work 🙂 Big Fan!

  2. I used to work as a closed captioner, and I did a lot of Discovery ID shows, so I’ve seen a lot of what you’re talking about with certain programs, how they so blatantly go for the sensationalism instead of presenting, you know, actual facts. My friends at work and I used to joke about those shows and call them “The Husband/Boyfriend Did It” programs because they all felt the same. I’m sure that’s distressing to see as a documentarian.

    Thank you for being a fan! I appreciate it!

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