Fair warning: When They See Us, the new Netflix miniseries from Ava DuVernay, is so deeply frustrating that viewers are literally having to take breaks from it in order to calm themselves down.
That won’t necessarily be news for longtime viewers of DuVernay’s work.
After all, her documentary The 13th, which outlined the systemic racism of the industrial prison complex, similarly communicated the lived of experience of people of colour in a way that was both essential and also deeply, almost unbearably maddening.
But even still, that doesn’t take away from how deeply, uniquely upsetting When They See Us is. Based on the story of the Central Park Five, a group of young men of colour who were accused of a crime that they did not commit, the show is a powerful exploration of the way American institutions are weaponised against the disenfranchised.
Moving from 1989, when the men were first put on trial for
This weekend Netflix is your guide to one of the craziest true crime stories of all time. The seven-part documentary series Killer Ratings tells the story of one Brazilian TV personality who was caught using real murder to boost his ratings. And if you think that’s insane, it only gets crazier from there.
Executive produced by Dinah Lord and Eamonn Matthews, Killer Ratings tells the true story of another non-English language Netflix original, Blood Pact. By using exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes footage, Killer Ratings explores how the once beloved Wallace Souza grew into becoming an accused murderer and exactly how he got away with his crimes for so long.
But who exactly was Wallace Souza? And why was his show Canal Livre allowed to get so close to so many gruesome real life
Suppose that, in a future season of Line of Duty,the reveal turned out to be that the organised crime syndicate had been using hitmen to kill drug dealers in a conspiracy with a Crimewatch presenter to raise ratings for the show. Social media would surely be filled with shark-jumping memes. Yet it is possible that such an absurd sequence of events happened for real in Brazil. This strange tale is the subject of Killer Ratings, an astonishing documentary series that has just dropped on Netflix.
At a time of moral panic over television ethics in Britain, an even more extreme example can be found in the story of Wallace Souza, host of Canal Livre (English translation “Free Channel”) , which became the most-watched news show ever in Amazonas, a state in north-west Brazil.
Souza’s shtick as a TV presenter was “defender of the
LONDON/BERLIN — The leading free streaming television service, Pluto TV, recently acquired by Viacom, is strengthening its European distribution with launches on Amazon Fire TV devices and Amazon Fire Tablets in the UK, Germany and Austria. Pluto TV’s thematically curated channels are available on Amazon devices in all three markets as of today.
In addition, Pluto TV and Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) are set to expand the service’s programming slate in Germany and Austria with the launch of new branded channels MTV Pluto TV, MTV Dating and MTV The Shores, as well as popular Nickelodeon content, marking the first time that Viacom channels debut on Pluto TV outside of the US.
The launch on Amazon Fire TV devices and Amazon Fire tablets in the UK, Germany and Austria marks a milestone in the European expansion of the ad-supported streaming service, with a significant growth in reach and number of
Based on a true story that gripped the country, When They See Us will chronicle the notorious case of five teenagers of colour, labeled the Central Park Five, who were convicted of a rape they did not commit.
The four part limited series will focus on the five teenagers from Harlem – Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise.
Beginning in the spring of 1989, when the teenagers were first questioned about the incident, the series will span 25 years, highlighting their exoneration in 2002 and the settlement reached with the city of New York in 2014.
By now, Netflix is pretty well-versed in the art of the true-crime documentary and the latest addition to their roster of grim tales is stranger than fiction.
Killer Ratings delves into the story of Brazilian television host Wallace Souza, who, in an attempt to boost viewing figures, ordered murders to be carried out.
Souza was the host of Canal Livre, a TV show broadcast in Manaus, a remote town in the middle of the Amazon.
The programme was a hit but became embroiled in controversy when one of Souza’s former bodyguards claimed the presenter was only able to make it first to a crime scene because he was responsible for the killings himself.
In 2009, the presenter-turned-politician was charged with a number of crimes, including murder and drug-trafficking and was kicked out of the state assembly.
However, he managed to evade police and disappeared, before eventually giving himself up.
A TV show is a fragile thing. The networks that air them must see a return on their investment. Otherwise, they’ll cancel the shows that aren’t making them money. That’s just the way the business works. It doesn’t matter if the show has a small, yet dedicated fan base. It doesn’t matter if the writers have established storylines that have yet to be paid off.
With more platforms for TV shows, and more shows coming and going, it is easy to miss a great show. It’s especially easy to miss a great show if it hits cancellation early in its run. Here are 10 Great Recent Canceled TV Comedies You Might Have Missed.
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10 American Vandal
This mockumentary series on Netflix parodies the kind of true crime documentary that streaming services like Netflix itself have helped to popularize – except instead of a mysterious murder case, like Making a Murderer, it’s about the search for the culprit on a college campus where 27 phallic images got graffiti-ed on staff members’ cars. When Netflix canceled the series last October after two critically acclaimed seasons, each with a 98% score on Rotten Tomatoes, the producers announced that they would be trying to sell the show to another broadcaster. However, we haven’t heard anything about that since, so it might not have landed anywhere.
This supernatural comedy starred Adam Scott and Craig Robinson. They played two guys who have nothing in common. However, through wacky circumstances, they partner up to check out paranormal activity in Los Angeles. Scott and Robinson are hilarious in their own right. They had brilliant chemistry in the show, so it was a shame that the series was canceled, even if the show itself wasn’t perfect. When the first season aired, Rotten Tomatoes’ critical consensus described it as “a promising work in progress.” Unfortunately, Fox wouldn’t let the show fulfill that promise and canceled it shortly after the season 1 finale aired.
8 The Mick
The reason that the thirteenth season of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia took so long is that two of the show’s stars – Glenn Howerton and Kaitlin Olson – were starring in their own new shows. Howerton began starring in A.P. Bio, which is still airing on NBC, while Olson took the leading role in The Mick. It’s a sitcom about a party animal who takes responsibility for her rich sister’s kids. Her sister took off to avoid white-collar prosecution. The early signs of cancellation appeared when Fox’s season 2 order had a reduced episode count, and the final nail of the coffin came last May when the network officially ended the series.
7 I’m Dying Up Here
Showtime canned this comedy-drama series, which was executive-produced by none other than Jim Carrey, after two seasons. I’m Dying Up Here is set during the 1970s on the L.A. stand-up comedy scene during its most booming and exciting period.
Some sharp young performers, such as Ari Graynor and Clark Duke, played the group of comedians in the show. The great Melissa Leo played comedy club owner Goldie Herschlag, who mentored the characters’ comedy careers. Mitzi Shore was the basis for this character. She was the co-founder of the Comedy Store who shepherded Carrey’s own stand-up career when he started out.
ABC’s Speechless gave disabled people some much-needed representation in the media. The producers actually cast an actor with cerebral palsy named Micah Fowler to play the disabled lead character. This sounds like a given, but countless able-bodied actors have hopped into wheelchairs to play disabled characters. The show also had some Hollywood star power with Minnie Driver playing Maya, the mother character, who takes pride in making people feel uncomfortable about her son’s disability. Unfortunately, ABC canceled this progressive sitcom this year after airing its third season.
4 Great News
It’s a well-known fact that Tina Fey originally wrote the pilot for 30 Rock about the team behind a cable news show, but NBC executives could see that she was drawing on her SNL experiences and encouraged her to follow that angle instead. Years later, with her newfound clout, Fey would executive-produce and recur in a sitcom about a TV news show. It’s called Great News and it’s about a segment producer whose new intern is her mother. Sadly, NBC canceled Great News after just two seasons, but you can still watch the 23 episodes that did get produced.
Tig Notaro is one of the greatest comic minds on the stand-up scene today, and this is reflected in the Amazon Prime original series that she created with Diablo Cody, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of Juno. Notaro’s standup comedy is famous for her hilarious deadpan delivery. This carries through into this sitcom and her character in it in a wonderful way.
Notaro herself is the basis for the lead character. The series’ premise and supporting cast are also very autobiographical. Unfortunately, despite the show receiving stellar reviews, Amazon canceled the series after two seasons of six episodes each.
1 Santa Clarita Diet
Netflix’s bloody horror comedy Santa Clarita Diet might not have been its most-viewed show, but it did have a dedicated fan following. And it was a good show, starring the terrific pairing of Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant as a married couple whose idyllic suburban life is marred by a cannibalistic parasite. That’s why it was such a shame earlier this year when the streaming service decided to cancel it after three seasons. It ended on a huge cliffhanger, so the third season finale is a little disappointing following the cancellation. It’s still a great show that’s absolutely worth watching.
Netflix has made a name for itself as the home of some brilliant documentaries – Making a Murderer, Our Planet and more have kept us glued to our (computer) screens.
And that is set to continue as the streaming platform announces four new true crime documentaries, set to be released over the coming month.
The true crime mavens among you have probably already watched The Confession Tapes, which pretty much does as it says on the tin – explores confession tapes by those accused of crimes. The twist? Everyone accused of murder in the show later backtracked on their confession.
It’s more than just a look into the minds of alleged killers – it’s a fascinating exploration of what makes a confession viable and believable. Series Two will come to Netflix on 21st June.
“I kill therefore I am” sang the late Phil Ochs, the Vietnam War-era protest singer. And throughout the history of media, writers, directors and producers have more than lived up to that credo.
With every generation, we think the next thing — be it comics, movies, television or video gaming — is the cause of growing teen and adult aggression and violence, whether real or imagined. Moral panic from politicians, hardly the epitome of ethicists, blows through like midday rains across the Caribbean. Yet some of that hard rain may hurt like hail.
The Book of Ecclesiastes tells us that “there is no new thing under the sun,” and it may be that our seemingly unquenchable appetite for stories of mayhem echoes our perception of life itself, which 17th century English philosopher Thomas Hobbes summed up as “nasty, brutish, and short.”
In the greatest story ever told, when Mel Gibson brought Latin back to life