If your binge high is over after watching Miss Marple: Nemesis and now you are chasing that feeling, check out this list of shows.
The crime drama returns to the Land of 10,000 Lakes and rediscovers its best storytelling self.
Throughout the six episodes of Fargo Season 5 screened for critics, the series isn’t exactly subtle. From opening the season with an on-screen graphic defining “Minnesota Nice” as neighbor attacks neighbor during a school board meeting to Sheriff Roy Tillman (Jon Hamm) staring up at a campaign billboard of himself, the show loudly states its theses at the viewer over and over.
However, it never feels like creator Noah Hawley has lost control of the storytelling. It’s methodically over-the-top. The audience is on a roller coaster, but they can feel the quality of the engineering keeping them on the tracks. In other hands, this approach can feel alienating or blunting. Fargo Season 5 benefits from meeting Hawley’s signature energy with a game cast and impressively insightful art direction. As a result, the series turns in its best offering since Season 2’s near-perfect effort. Continue Reading →
The Vanishing Triangle
The Vanishing Triangle takes its name from media shorthand for an approximately 80-mile area in Eastern Ireland. For almost 20 years, from the late 70s to the late 90s, the Triangle suffered through several unsolved crimes. The victims, women ranging from teens to in their thirties, disappeared at an alarming rate. Additionaly, several murders of women in the area during the period were frequently linked in the press. Some speculated a serial killer's (or serial killers's) involvement, but the Gardaí—Ireland’s national police—never made such a declaration. As The Irish Times noted, “the ‘vanishing triangle’ phenomenon [is] a media creation rather than a Garda theory.” Continue Reading →
The Fall of the House of Usher
The most gripping moment in 2022’s Academy Award-winning documentary All the Beauty and the Bloodshed is when members of the now disgraced Sackler Family, whose pharmaceutical company manufactured and marketed the highly addictive painkiller Oxy-Contin, are ordered to attend a virtual hearing in which they're confronted by families who had been impacted by the drug. Listening to tragic stories of accidental overdoses, birth defects, and young men cut down in their prime due to a prescription medication that had been promoted as safe and non-addicting, the Sacklers could not look more bored, even slightly annoyed. It’s a chilling reminder that extreme wealth often results in a loss of empathy, if not one’s entire soul. Continue Reading →
Seeing creators pull together disparate threads into a cohesive whole can often feel like a magic trick. “Oh, that woman on the train platform was the same one waiting outside the bodega. I get it!” and all that. For the attentive viewer, it can feel like an affirmation of one’s thoughtful focus. For the more casual audience members, it can impress and beguile. Push it too far, though, and one might feel less rewarded and more led by the nose. Full Circle dances on that line before stumbling, too far, into EVERYTHING is connected territory. Thankfully, several strong performances and director Steven Soderbergh’s gift for conveying immediacy through his imagery prove enough to redeem the series’ far too nicely wrapped up with a bow conclusion. Continue Reading →
I'll Be Gone in the Dark
Nearly a year after the series aired on HBO, there is a new episode of I’ll Be Gone In The Dark, a docuseries based on Michelle McNamara’s book of same name. This time around, the epilogue serves as a coda, bringing the story of The Golden State Killer (and the root McNamara’s obsession) full circle. Continue Reading →
If anybody could find something new to add to pop culture’s fixation with serial killers and true crime, it would likely be David Fincher. Se7en announced him as a major director while Zodiac revealed him as a master. The Fincher style – dark lighting and sickly colors, obsessive attention to detail, unblinking looks at violence – has served as a template not just for other movies, but also for TV shows of both the prestigious and potboiler variety and for the ever-increasing number of investigative podcasts and Netflix documentaries. In 2017, Fincher returned to the serial killer subgenre by taking his project Mindhunter to the streaming service. Continue Reading →