Making a Murderer: Eighteen Years Lost (Netflix Documentary Series)
December 20, 2015 12:38 PM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

When Steven Avery is freed after serving 18 years from a wrongful conviction, his search for justice raises questions about the authorities who put him behind bars.

The subject of “Making” is a Wisconsin man who was convicted of rape and other crimes in 1985, served 18 years in prison but was exonerated by new DNA evidence. Two years after his release, he was charged with murder in a new case.

Ten hours filmed over a period of ten years, this unnerving whodunnit is Netflix's first big entry into the "True Crime" documentary genre.
Fans of the Serial podcast as well as The Jinx may have found their next addiction in Making a Murderer.

The first episode has been released on Youtube.
posted by TenaciousB (16 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I have to say it started a bit slow for me as there is a lot of background about the community itself and the the Avery family, but I was I completely hooked by the end of the first episode.
On number #4 now, and I don't know if I should post more episodes here, because I do not want to give away any spoilers at all. I'm not even reading the titles of the episodes I haven't seen yet.
posted by TenaciousB at 12:44 PM on December 20, 2015

I agree that it started sluggish, I almost quit but it picks up quickly. I just finished episode 8 and it is very good. I hope Netflix does more of these. Off to finish...
posted by pearlybob at 4:37 PM on December 20, 2015

I had difficulty staying engaged during this first episode. It didn't seem different enough from a million other 20:20-type shows, and I find talking heads soporific at the best of times. It also seemed to drag on forever... I think tighter editing was needed.

The other thing that made it difficult for me to engage was how unlikeable I found Avery and his family, which of course demands self-examination given the context. But I found it really hard to get over how much they downplayed the fact that he ran a woman off the road and threatened her with a gun, and threw a family pet into a fire.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 6:43 PM on December 20, 2015 [3 favorites]

We're 5 episodes in and totally hooked. Wow.
posted by palegirl at 12:30 PM on December 21, 2015

I finished this episode thinking, "this is a fascinating case, but how are they going to get 9 more episodes out if it?"

This episode felt kind of like the necessary background they just wanted to get out of the way. They speed through the facts of the first case, like they know it's just the set up that gets us to everything that happens next.

All of this to say, if you watch just this episode and feel less than impressed, stick with it at least one or two more.
posted by meese at 12:44 PM on December 21, 2015

The other thing that made it difficult for me to engage was how unlikeable I found Avery and his family, which of course demands self-examination given the context. But I found it really hard to get over how much they downplayed the fact that he ran a woman off the road and threatened her with a gun, and threw a family pet into a fire.

I can't disagree; I finished the first episode with the vague feeling that I just wanted to take the entire county and banish it to another Earth where they can just all be horrible without anyone else having to deal with it. Without spoiling, though, Episode 2 is the pivot, and from Episode 3 onward it really takes off in a much stronger and different direction.

You never lose that feeling about Steven Avery, but the type and magnitude of monstrous behaviour being shown by other parties through the course of the series definitely makes a low-IQ person with poor impulse control the... lesser villain of the piece.
posted by Shepherd at 7:07 AM on December 22, 2015 [5 favorites]

The people in this are just awful. I hate humans.
posted by snwod at 10:55 PM on December 22, 2015

I'd really like to discuss this show, but maybe there would be more participation in a whole-season thread than in individual episode threads? I just was reading the recaps and comments at A.V. Club and I noticed that a whole lot of people binge-watched this. I watched the first eight all in a row and then the last two this morning.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 6:40 AM on December 23, 2015 [3 favorites]

I'm about 2/3rds through now. Agree that a whole-season thread would work well for this discussion.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 6:39 PM on December 23, 2015

There was a post on this on MetaFilter proper five days ago.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:32 AM on December 24, 2015

Agree that a whole-season thread would work well for this discussion.

Oh gosh, it didn't occur to me that was allowed! My first Fan Fare post- sorry guys!
posted by TenaciousB at 6:39 PM on December 25, 2015

No, that's fine! Season-only posts are a new thing they added. And it's hard to gauge beforehand how much interest there will be for individual threads and whether a full-season post might be better. And you can do both, anyway. So no harm done. The only thing is that I can't figure out if I or someone else should go ahead and make the whole-season (or series, probably, unless they do another if there are new developments) post at this point.

There's some interesting stuff not mentioned on the show that's discussed in the thread on the blue, as well as stuff I've read elsewhere. And this show, even though it's a documentary, is similar to The Jinx in that there really is a problem with spoilers, as weird as that seems. I'd not read anything at all about the case before I started, and I made sure that I didn't learn anything else about it until after I'd watched the last episode. I was fortunate in being entirely ignorant of the people and events in The Jinx, too. (And for that matter, the two documentaries The Overnighters and The Stories We Tell), both of which also contain some unexpected stuff that you don't want to know before you watch. So sometimes ignorance really is bliss, I suppose.)

Which is to say that single-episode threads in this case are maybe a problem, given that even more than usual, many people are binge-watching the show and much of the things that people are likely to want to talk about will involve stuff that happens in later episodes. So that's one reason why a whole-season thread might be better. Although if someone is watching this in a more leisurely manner, they'll be better served by episode posts. It's a conundrum.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:48 PM on December 25, 2015

I put up a post for the entire first season (I hope I'm not stepping on your toes here, TenaciousB).
posted by triggerfinger at 9:56 AM on December 26, 2015

Just watching this myself. As a Wisconsin native, I'm embarrassed to admit that I had not heard anything about this. Maybe somewhere in the back ground I heard some mention, but nothing in particular sticks out.

I'm bothered as well about the "petty" crimes that aren't so petty. As Mr. [ICNH] said, how are they going to make this guy sympathetic? But it reminded me of the serial rapist police officer that was preying on poor, black woman, many who had a history of illegal behavior and run-ins with the law.I 'm certain there are many Steve Averys out there; people who might be sorta criminal but get chewed up by the machine either when a suspect is needed or over stupid grudges.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 10:27 PM on December 26, 2015

I just finished episode three... there are many people among the rural poor who come to the big city for court cases, health care, conventions, fairs, et cetera... who have just the most dramatic and vehement distrust of any official institution. Watching this series so far has made it clear for me that you don't have to be black or hispanic to feel like the powers that be are out to get you... yikes.
posted by midmarch snowman at 12:52 PM on January 2, 2016 [2 favorites]

We've got a toddler so can't binge watch stuff - I'd definitely appreciate per-episode threads in the hope of avoiding spoilers. I'll definitely read the full season thread when we finish, but that'll be a while yet.

I really enjoyed the first episode, I've always liked this kind of crime documentary. But the last few minutes of the episode really suddenly swung it in a different direction.
posted by wilberforce at 2:48 PM on January 2, 2016

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