“Making a Murderer” proved to be the Dom Perignon of binge TV options for many showbizzers during the holiday break.
The ten-part documentary series about Steven Avery, a Wisconsin man who is believed to have been framed for the 2005 murder of photographer Teresa Halbach, has generated a storm of glowing reviews and discussion on social media about Avery’s fate. A Netflix rep said Sunday that at present there are no plans for the streaming service to feature any updates or additional material on Avery’s saga.
Outrage stirred since the docu series bowed on Dec. 18 has led to online petitions calling for his pardon, including a Change.org effort that had nearly 111,000 signatures as of Sunday evening. The detail in the docuseries from filmmakers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos has led to a chorus of critics calling for disciplinary actions against prosecutors in Wisconsin’s Manitowoc County and broader reforms of the criminal justice system.
The response to “Making a Murderer” recalls the reaction to HBO’s “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst,” a docuseries on a suspected murderer that aired last February and March. The details exposed in that series contributed to Durst’s arrest in March for the 2000 murder of his friend Susan Berman, a case long considered cold by Los Angeles police.
“Making a Murderer” drew plenty of attention from Hollywood insiders, which is sure to add fuel to the fire behind deep-dive documentary series looking at questionable prosecutions and long-forgotten unsolved crimes. It also raises the prospect of a foot race among producers to develop a narrative take on Avery’s story.
Ricciardi and Demos spent a decade documenting the case. Avery has a criminal record, but he was exonerated in 2003 after serving 18 years for a rape that he did not commit. Two years later, he was back behind bars following Halbach’s murder.
“Making a Murderer” champions to date range from Ricky Gervais and Zach Braff to YouTube star Pewdiepie. Here’s a sampling: