×

Listen: ‘Making a Murderer’ Team on Pursuing ‘Social Justice’ in Season 2

Welcome to “Remote Controlled,” a podcast from Variety featuring the best and brightest in television, both in front of and behind the camera.

In this week’s episode, Variety’s executive editor of TV, Debra Birnbaum, speaks with the filmmakers behind “Making a Murderer,” Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos, about Season 2 of the hit documentary, which returns to Netflix on Oct. 19.

Listen to this week’s podcast for free below and at Apple Podcasts:

The first season, which chronicled Teresa Halbach’s 2005 murder trial and the convictions of Steven Avery as well as his nephew Brendan Dassey, ignited a firestorm, with advocates on either side arguing vociferously over the men’s guilt or innocence — and the filmmakers say they had plenty of material worth exploring for a second season.

“We knew that this story wasn’t over,” Demos says. Adds Ricciardi, “In part two, we wanted to look at the experience of the convicted and imprisoned, two people who are serving life in prison, maintaining their innocence, and wanting to fight to regain their freedom. For us, the central dramatic question for part two was, will these two individuals succeed?”

But Season 2 presented its own set of challenges: Not only had Demos and Ricciardi, once anonymous, become stars in their own right (“We did not want to become subjects in the story,” says Ricciardi), but there’s now a worldwide laser focus on every motion filed. A basic internet search will reveal that both men are still behind bars, with their latest appeals denied by the courts.

“I would argue it’s not the whole story you can find on Google,” says Demos, who promises “major discoveries” to come. “You may know the outline, but you don’t know the story.”

And then there’s the matter of the barrage of criticism flung at them, which they tackle head on: The first episode starts with an extended, five-minute-long cold open detailing all the alleged flaws, before diving in to the myriad twists and turns that have unfolded since.

“I think one of the main criticisms we heard was that we minimized evidence that would have tended to prove Steven Avery’s guilt,” says Ricciardi. “From a storyteller’s perspective, it’s a ridiculous allegation because the greater the conflict, the greater the drama. We wouldn’t choose to minimize something that would have been stronger evidence for the prosecution.”

They insist, though, that they don’t have an opinion on the men’s guilt or innocence. “What we were doing was holding a mirror up to the process,” says Ricciardi. “We did come away with our own opinion of whether we thought the process was fair, and whether or not the state met its burden. We don’t believe that the state did. But do we have an opinion about who might have killed Teresa Halbach? Absolutely not. We have no idea.”

New episodes of “Remote Controlled” are available every Friday. Subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud, or anywhere you download podcasts. You can find past episodes here and on Apple Podcasts.

More TV

  • MAKING IT -- Season: 1 --

    TV News Roundup: NBC Announces 'Making It' Season 2 Premiere Date

    In today’s TV news roundup, NBC announced the “Making It” Season 2 premiere date and HBO Max greenlit a new docuseries from Brad Goreski and Gary Janetti. DATES Hosts Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman will return with the second season of “Making It” on NBC Dec. 2. After the show’s holiday season premiere, the show [...]

  • Luis Fonsi Erika Ender Latin Grammys

    The Second Latin Explosion: How 'Despacito' Ushered in a New Generation of Stars

    Music is an ever-evolving art, and for the Latin Recording Academy, that’s meant riding multiple waves of attention. The most recent arrived with the stratospheric success of “Despacito,” which kicked off a second Latin Explosion with full force in 2017. The Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee hit, later featuring verses by Justin Bieber, made Latin [...]

  • TV Review: 'Catherine the Great' Starring

    TV Review: 'Catherine the Great' Starring Helen Mirren

    For some, “Dame Helen Mirren playing the Catherine the Great” is all the convincing they’ll need to watch this new biographical limited series, which is perfectly understandable. The casting of Mirren in the role, which follows the Russian empress in the embattled latter years of her life, is a smart choice that proves its worth [...]

  • Ricky Martin Celia Cruz Gloria Estefan

    From Idea to Legacy: Latin Grammy Awards Mark 20 Years of Global Recognition

    The idea of creating a separate organization to honor the diversity of Latin music was a discussion that took place for years before it actually happened, but an event driven by one of pop music’s most important crossover artists solidified it. During the 41st Grammy Awards ceremony, a young Ricky Martin was scheduled to perform [...]

  • Science Fair

    Disney Plus Fleshes Out Nonfiction Slate, Including 'Howard,' 'Science Fair,' Mickey Mouse Docu

    Disney Plus further fleshed out its nonfiction content slate at an International Documentary Association showcase event Friday, as the streamer, preparing for its Nov. 12 launch, continues to flesh out its programming strategy. Among the announcements: The streamer has acquired the global distribution rights to “Howard,” the Don Hahn-directed documentary about “Aladdin” and “Beauty and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content