While true crime books have been hugely popular for a long time, it’s really only in the last few years that the genre has become one of the most addictive things to watch on TV. In general, fans of procedural crime and murder case investigation had to make to do with fictional shows such as CSI, or feature-length movie documentaries liked those pioneered by Errol Morris. But the huge success of the Netflix production Making a Murderer in 2016 bridged both worlds. By taking the episodic format of procedural shows and applying it to a fascinating real-life murder case and trial, it created one of the year’s must-see series.
Its popularity inevitably led to a flood of true crime shows on Netflix. It would be a mistake to suggest that the streaming giant invented the true crime series–it obviously didn’t, and some of its best offerings pre-date both Making a Murderer