Social media peer-pressured me into watching “Making a Murderer.” In fact, social media peer-pressured me into buying a Netflix account and watching “Making a Murderer,” and now my wife wants to starting watching old episodes of “New Girl.” I fell into the trap because I saw headlines on Twitter of articles I refused to read until I watched the show that suggested the film makers receive Nobel Prizes for what they were able to do with the show.
Now that I’ve watched the 10-episode, 10-hour “documentary” about Steve Avery, a man who was falsely accused of a crime he spent 18 years in prison for, only to be released and charged one year later with first-degree murder, I don’t feel satisfied. I wanted to have a hard stance one way or the other about whether or not he did it, and the truth is I still don’t know. No matter how entertaining “Making a Murderer” might have been, I want to feel like I got something out of it for dedicating 10 hours of my life to learning this guy’s story. If I went to the gym and spent 10 hours there, I’d want to see some results, or at least feel like I’m on my way to seeing them. Watching “Making a Murderer” is like going to the gym for 10 hours and just looking at the equipment and making sure it works.
The online world is on fire with this documentary, which really only presents Avery’s side through following his family and his lawyers around as the case finds it’s way to the present day. People are calling on President Obama to issue a presidential pardon for Avery, as two separate petitions have been sent through whatever channel those petitions are sent. I think the same people who needed something to fill the void the first season of “Serial” left (sorry season two) have latched on to “Marking a Murderer.” There is now a militia of couch detectives that are seeking justice and are tweeting hot fire until they feel vindicated. And the truth is, I don’t blame them. Again, ten hours of concentration is no easy task for this generation of millennials.
In the end, the best thing I can say is that yes, I watched “Making a Murderer.” I can renew my pop culture card and carry on a conversation with the hip kids at the party who want to debate the merits of the prosecution’s case.
“But where was the blood, man? If he did it, then where was the blood?”
I should be clear. I didn’t dislike “Making a Murderer” at all. In fact, I enjoyed my time watching the show and trying to make up my mind on the “if not him than who?” aspect of the show. My only regret is that the intellectual gains I was hoping to get from watching the show are as lacking as my biceps from having sat on the couch for ten hours this weekend.