We all know that Netflix has great shows: Breaking Bad, The Office, Glee; should I go on? But Netflix also has an amazing range of docuseries that are not talked about enough. I’ve always loved documentaries and the great thing about docuseries is that unlike their partner they are split up into pieces, and it’s almost like your watching a regular television show. While it’s fine watching and winding yourself up in the imaginary worlds of the characters in your favorite shows, it’s also important to pay attention to what’s going on in the world right now and educate yourselves on a variety of topics. Docuseries often talk about very deep and serious issues and in the five docuseries I will list below I mention their trigger warnings so you know if the series is right for you. Sometimes if a docuseries feels a bit too heavy for me I watch one episode and then watch an episode of the lovely light comedy New Girl, to break it up a little. But remember only watch what you feel comfortable with and can handle, that’s the most important thing. So, now I present the five docuseries currently on Netflix that I think you should watch right now :)
Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich
Trigger Warnings: Sexual Assault, Human Trafficking, Suicide
Rated : TV-MA
Jeffrey Epstein, a Gatsby-like figure in New York with millions of dollars and even more connections used his cunning charisma to manipulate and sexually assaulting girls as young as 14 years old. Survivors of Epstein recount the abuse he inflicted upon them and how his girlfriend Ghilane Maxwell aided in the rise of his molestation pyramid scheme in Palm Beach. It is sickening to see how far money and power can get you in this world; after Judge Acosta dismissed the claims against Epstein in 2008 he was allowed to continue his predatory actions for more than a decade. This documentary opens your eyes to human trafficking happening all around us and if your white, rich, and powerful you can get away with the most in this world. The rape culture in our society needs to come to an end as it should have years ago. All the survivors of Epstein who came forward and exposed this man for his inexcusable actions are the bravest women I’ve ever seen and it is great to see that platforms such as Netflix are giving them a safe place to speak.
Trigger Warnings: Suicide, Animal Cruelty
Rated : TV-MA
I’m sure you’ve heard of Tiger King by now whether you’ve watched it or not. The memes going on twitter during the Tiger King craze were a hot mess but hilarious. Tiger King stars the exotic zoo owner Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, better known as Joe Exotic, and the story revolving around his arrest for hire for a murder charge. For years Joe Exotic has fought with the owner of Big Cat Rescue,Carole Baskin who owns the non-profit animal sanctuary near Tampa, Florida. Baskin claims Exotic abuses animals and she genuinely just hates the man. But the feeling is very mutual. Joe has made songs about Carole, for example, “Here Kitty Kitty.”, talks about how Baskin killed her first husband and fed him to the tigers in her zoo. Crazy, I know. He shoots blow up doll versions of Carole on his live streams and all of his outlandish zoo staff can testify to his crazy. Tiger King is worlds away from any other docuseries I’ve ever watched and in the end, it will leave you thinking, “Do people really live like this ?!”
The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann
Trigger Warnings: Kidnapping, Murder
Rated : TV-14
Four-year-old Madeline McCann disappeared one night in May 2007 from her family’s vacation apartment at a resort in Praia da Luz, Portugal. Her parents were sitting right across from the apartment in the outdoor restaurant portion of the resort with the friends they had traveled with whom had kids as well. Every 30 minutes or so one of the adults would check in on all the children and on one rotation Kate McCann saw that her daughter was gone. When news hit, it became practically a worldwide search to find the little blonde girl with a distinct birthmark in her eye. The media went into a frenzy with journalists all over the world coming to report on the case and the Portugal police had never dealt with so much media pressure before. Madeline and her family were from the U.K. so there were foreign influences in her case and everyone was trying to find her. It’s every parent’s worse nightmare for their child to go missing, especially while on vacation. What was supposed to be a happy and relaxing trip quickly turned into a nightmare.
When They See Us
Trigger warnings : Sexual Assault, Abuse
Rated : TV-MA
Harlem natives : Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam, and Korey Wise, were just teenagers when they were wrongfully accused of the aggravated assault and rape of a female jogger in Central Park during 1989. All five boys were scapegoats to the public because they were Black and Hispanic boys who “violently attacked” a white woman. Donald Trump wanted the boys to get the death penalty, they were questioned without their parents, their trials were completely unfair and the odds were stacked against them from the beginning. Every single boy apart of “The Central Park Five” spent 5-6 years in jail except for Korey Wise who ended up spending twelve years in jail. For over a decade he was brutally stripped of his life and held prisoner by this corrupted system. Ava DuVernay does an amazing job as the director of the show and the group of young actors who play each member of the story have a talent beyond words. It is imperative that we see how America’s justice system was and still is against Black and Hispanic people in our society. This series will grip you by the heart and make you tear up inside more than once by opening your eyes to see the cruel world we live in.
Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez
Trigger Warnings: Murder, Suicide
Rated : TV-MA
As NFL tight end for the New England Patriots, Aaron Hernandez was floating with money and attitude in his million-dollar mansion in Massachusetts. Then in 2013 Boston police arrest him as a suspect in the murder of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd, who at the time was the boyfriend of his sister in law. This killing also led detectives to link Hernandez to two other murders in the Boston area. In this three-episode series childhood friends give us a glimpse into the Aaron they knew, whether or not his sexuality was repressed for the life of football and if Aaron’s actions were a result of undiagnosed Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE); a disorder that causes brain damage to many football players. It’s always disappointing to see someone fall from stardom but whether or not Aaron is one you should cry for is up to you .
I am a Killer
Trigger Warnings : Murder, Sexual Assault, Abuse
Rated : TV-MA
Now on their second season, each episode of I am a Killer features a different death row inmate convicted of capital murder who gives a first-hand account of their crime. It’s bone-chilling to hear these stories from the convicted themselves and hear why they did it and how being on death row has changed their lives forever. I am 100% against the death penalty for several reasons and this docuseries puts it into a clear perspective of the ramifications of the death penalty on our society. Not necessarily a show I would binge in one sitting but rather one you could pick and choose from.
There you have it. Comment below which docuseries you think will be your next watch !