ColumnistsDaragh Keany

I’ve never experienced TV viewing quite like Making a Murderer

I’ve never experienced TV viewing quite like Making a Murderer

There is only one thing I can talk about this week and that is the shockingly gripping Netflix show – Making a Murderer.

Relax people –THERE ARE NO SPOILERS HERE

Never in my life have I feared online spoilers or trigger happy pals keen to discuss the show that is a worldwide phenomenon.

On Monday afternoon (after my colleagues almost unwittingly spoiled a few things for me) I found myself calling home to discuss the possibility of watching all four final episodes of the series so that I could comfortably return to work on Tuesday knowing it would not be spoiled for me.

I have had massive plot twists ruined for me in the past and I was determined to absorb the undulating drama of this fascinating documentary without knowing a single thing. So from Sunday I went dark. Facebook and Twitter were disabled. It seems drastic, but I’ve never experienced TV viewing like it.

Due to the nature of Netflix, all ten episodes of Making a Murderer were released simultaneously. And due to the nature of everyone having time off over Christmas – viewers around the world became engrossed in Steven Avery’s court cases like nothing they have ever seen before. 

We (potentially millions of fans worldwide) collectively, and almost instantly, became legal experts in forensic science. As the ten-episode documentary unfolded we found ourselves shouting at our TVs or computers as the minutia of the case was revealed through a series of press conferences and remarkable court footage.

We flipped. We flopped. We demanded justice. We declared innocence. Then we considered guilt. We then professed innocence again. And all those emotions could have been true of any single episode.

We found ourselves wanting to hug certain characters. We found ourselves wanting to sucker punch others. We took sides. Then we took the other side. We created conspiracy theories in our head before dismissing them with the next piece of evidence. We got angry. We swore. We were tired because it was 1am and we needed sleep but we were not willing to leave the finale until the following day.

We wanted desperately to go online and search brand new places, people and objects but we reneged in order to preserve the as-it-happens thriller.

Within minutes of the closing credits rolling for the very last time my Google search history read: ‘Manitowoc Sheriff’, ‘Kratz’, ‘Avery’, ‘Wisconsin DOJ’, ‘International Recording Artist’, ‘Innocence Project’, ‘Brendan’ and ‘Making of Making a Murderer’.

Over the subsequent days I read everything that I had previously ignored. Plus, I now know that I will be glued to Sky Atlantic show The Jinx from January 23rd when it is released on Sky Box Sets.

Any regular reader of this column will know that I am obsessed with TV. Breaking Bad took over my life when the final two seasons aired and shows like West Wing, 24, The Sopranos, The Wire and Game of Thrones are the basis for a lot of my columns and everyday discussions with colleagues, pals and family.

But there are TWO huge differences about this show over any of the above mentioned shows. Firstly – we got the entire series in one go, allowing us to binge over Christmas, which gathered pace thanks to social media.

Secondly, and most importantly, Making a Murderer is NOT a work of fiction. This is as real as it gets. The access achieved by the film makers is remarkable. If the plot was pitched to a movie company it would be thrown out for being too absurd.

Even though they exclusively have Orange is the New Black, House of Cards, Narcos, Bloodline, Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, Prison Break, Jessica Jones and thousands more TV shows and movies to choose from – this show alone is worthy of your €7.99-per-month subscription.