Monday, 4 January 2016

An End To The Holiday Bingeing. Or is it?

Okay so the holidays are over; we've just taken down our Christmas decorations (I know it's early but we're going away later in the week); the chocolates, biscuits and cakes (all gifts I hasten to add) have been eaten and the wine rack is looking decidedly empty so it's no more bingeing (apart from exercise classes and healthy foods) for us now for a while.

No more bingeing that is apart from binge-watching. As well as pigging out on unhealthy food and drink over the break we've done a fair bit of TV watching. We live in an age where there's so much choice on TV and so little time to watch it that if you want to watch a series there's really little option but to plonk yourselves down in front of the screen and not get up until the final credits roll.

We did this with Amazon's The Man In the High Castle a few weeks ago.It was very good but sagged a little at times. During December we caught up with The Walking Dead which is also extremely good but seems to be going round and round in circles and yesterday it was three episodes of The Affair - Maura Tierney's performance as a drunk and stoned mum in one of those episodes was worthy of an EMMY -absolutely perfect - better than Leonardo Di Caprio in The Wolf Of Wall St. 

But by far the biggest binge was this weekend when I went through Netflix and made a long wish-list. The highest rated offering was Making A Murderer which has an incredible rating of 9.3 on IMDb (you will realise how high this is when I tell you that Citizen Kane is rated 8.4). So we sat down at about five o'clock on New Year's Day and at midnight we finished episode seven. This documentary is the most compelling thing I have seen. It echoes the podcast Serial which took the world by storm a year or so ago in that it investigates a real crime but, whilst Serial was effectively 'radio' Making A Murderer was highly visual.

We finished the final three episodes on Saturday and I am not going to spoil it for you and go into details about what happens. I will simply say that it is masterfully done and raises so many questions about the efficacy and honesty of a police force and justice system that I can only describe it as sensational. The series was made over ten years and the makers must have had hundreds of hours of court footage as well as all of their own interviews and observations. We as viewers had just ten hours and my only reservation is that I trust that we were not manipulated by anything that the documentary makers left out. Apart from this one proviso, this is draw droppingly brilliant television. Get bingeing. It will outrage, sadden, and horrify you in equal measures. Well done Netflix.

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