This year I am balancing my life out a bit by including more TV, Movies, Gaming, and not just books. These will be the reviews of some of the things I am watching (TV or Movies). I don’t have cable so all of these will come either through Netflix, Amazon Prime, Movie Theater, or Roku channels.
I streamed Making a Murderer on December 19th 2015 (Netflix knows me well! I will pretty much watch anything crime related so it was first on my “Recommended for Felicia” list). It was my birthday weekend and I was doing what I wanted which meant binge watching shows. I remember when I finished being pissed off, left with lots of questions, and thinking there has to be more to the story. Also why haven’t my friends watched it yet? Yes I know it dropped on the 18th but come on people. So I started recommending this to people and yes mostly so I could discuss it. I would warn them: “Prepared to gasp, shake your fist, be sad, and a little disappointed”. They would ask: What do you mean “disappointed”? I would just say talk to me afterwards but if YOU want to know why click on the spoiler.View Spoiler »I was disappointed because I felt the documentary did not spend enough time introducing either victim. I get this was about Steven Avery (also a victim–at least in the first case) but really the two women deserved more than they got from the film maker. I knew most of my women friends would agree. « Hide Spoiler
First thing I am always asked:
Do you think Steve Avery is guilty? I don’t know. I don’t think he gets a free pass because he was wrongly convicted once. However, I do think he deserved a far better trial.
I have watched this twice now (I re-watched this past weekend since I wanted to revisit certain sections). I was no less pissed off the 2nd time but not really about Steven Avery. The whole thing rubbed me wrong. If he is guilty, people will always question it because the gross mishandling of everything from investigation to Judge’s rulings. If he is innocent, then how much tax payers money (I don’t live in the state but my parents did for a time) went to all the things that surrounded this mess. At the very least (because as I said I don’t know how I feel on the guilt/innocence), two wrongs don’t make a right. So even if he is guilty, what is being done about the blatant and almost criminal acts of those surrounding the case. I am not talking the “supposed planting of evidence”, I am talking more the handling of Brendan Dassey. The clear inexcusable behavior of the handling of this clearly developmentally challenged boy who deserved, at the very least, to have representation (and not that idiot he had) at every stage of this investigation.
In other words: I am sure that his nephew deserves way better AND someone to watch out for HIS best interest. As pissed off as I was at the actions of the Judge, the handling of the case, and the seemingly “I made up my mind” attitude– it really was the treatment, handling, and obvious manipulation of Brendan Dassey that pissed me off. Steven Avery had been through it once. I am sort of pissed off at him for not demanding that Brendan be better represented. If not for his nephew, then for his own freaking skin. About the only person who appeared to have Brendan’s back was his mom and that poor woman was swimming upstream with no clue of direction. As much as we would like to think children are adults, in this case it was obvious that Brendan is operating from behind the curve and really just wanted to please whomever he was talking too. Who knows what parts of his story were real or just something he said to please the person in front him. He needed someone that would get him with a therapist–someone who knew how to wade through things till the truth came out. The railroading of this boy got my heckles up.
Do I think this was good from a documentary POV?
I thought the pacing was off but it was compelling subject matter. It was about 2 episodes too long. In fact, on re-watch I did a lot of fast forwarding through the parts that were either duplicated and/or just flat out boring. That being said, kudos to the film makers for having the patience and tenacity to follow something like this for so many years. You could really tell they cared about their subject matter.
About Making a Murderer (from wikipedia):
Making a Murderer details the life of Steven Avery, a Wisconsin man whose family owned an auto salvage yard in Manitowoc County. In 1985, Avery was arrested and convicted of the sexual assault of Penny Beerntsen, despite having numerous alibis. After serving 18 years in prison, Avery was exonerated with the aid of the Innocence Project, when the DNA in the case was matched to another man guilty of crimes in the area. After Avery was released from prison in 2003, he filed a $36 million civil lawsuit against Manitowoc County and several county officials associated with his first arrest. Soon after filing the lawsuit, he was accused of the murder of Teresa Halbach, a photographer who was last seen on the Avery family property to photograph a minivan for sale.
Making a Murderer explores issues and procedures in the Manitowoc County sheriff’s department that led to Avery’s original conviction. It suggests the county officials had a conflict of interest in participating in the investigation of Halbach’s murder. Brendan Dassey, Avery’s nephew, was also accused and convicted as an accomplice in the murder. The series depicts his trial as well.