Original Run: October 7th, 2004 – June 8th, 2018
Created by: Jean-Xavier de Lestrade
Directed by: Jean-Xavier de Lestrade
Written by: Jean-Xavier de Lestrade
Cast: Michael Peterson, various
Canal+, Netflix, 13 Episodes, 44-55 Minutes (per episode)
I heard people rave about this documentary series a few years back. Since I’ve recently been binging the shit out of Netflix true crime documentaries, I figured that I should finally give this one a watch.
Well, I was really underwhelmed by it and I think it’s just another case of hype blowing something up to an unrealistic level.
I will say that the story here is damn compelling and there are a lot of holes in the investigation or so it would appear, based on how this documentary reveals the details.
However, it’s the presentation of this series that made it somewhat of a bore to get through.
This follows the investigation and spends a lot of time in the court room during the trials. However, most of the show is shot and presented reality TV style, following around all the members of the family and legal team, as they constantly pontificate on that day’s activities and developments. It’s just not that interesting when you realize that all of the accused killer’s kids (minus one) are going to believe his innocence no matter what.
“Not my dad! There’s no way he could do that! I know my dad!”
“Did you know he had gay sex with male prostitutes?”
“What? I didn’t know my dad was gay! But he could never kill my mom! I know my dad!”
I also feel like this documentary was obviously biased towards the family and towards the sentiment that author-possibly-turned-killer, Michael Peterson, was innocent. Looking into that after watching this for myself, there are a lot of other people that feel like this was a biased documentary and that it omitted things that didn’t support its narrative.
In the end, I was initially captivated by the story but from a production standpoint, this wasn’t as polished and well-paced as the more recent Netflix true crime documentaries. I also don’t feel confident in the details provided by this documentary.