If there's one element of the fabric of popular culture that has been most potent this year, it has been the Netflix documentary Making A Murderer. Marking the zenith of a contemporary true crime zeitgeist, Making A Murder not only shocked viewers but kept many fans reeled in when the ongoing criminal case took a surprise turn in August. Now, its status as a hit documentary is sealed after earning four Creative Arts Emmys over the weekend. Racking up serious recognition and, by extension, praise in the directing, writing and editing categories, Making A Murderer's lauded position in the Netflix lineup proves that this story was one worth telling. Even better, that a second season is not only needed but also justified.
What drew many of us even into Making A Murderer's web were the murky circumstances surrounding Avery and the fact that this was an ongoing case. The carefully woven and edited story are two of the show's production elements that received Emmy's nods; they act as a testament to intersection of the ripeness of the material with the fanatic reception from viewers. Rightfully so, directors Moira Demos and Laura Ricciardi earned directing awards, too. These awards in particular are standouts because these are two fearless female directors taking home the plaudits and bravely using film as a form of social justice. Moreover, these four Emmy's also give credence to the fact that Making A Murderer was a story that needed to be told and will still need to be unpacked in its next season.
America has been spellbound with the story of Steven Avery and the murder of Teresa Halbach since the premiere of Making A Murderer. After true crime hits like The Jinx and Serial, Making A Murder fulfilled the public's penchant for what could lead a person to get so deeply entwined with a heinous act. With Avery's nephew Brendan Dassey making headlines for a possible release for wrongful conviction, the buzz around Making A Murderer has been revived once more. We've been agog with the questions that have arisen from these events, proving that our twisted love affair with Avery's story is far from over. Questions of culpability, the validity of evidence and even whether or not confessions were forced all come to the forefront once again. And, yet again, the public has a macabre chance to play armchair detective, further illustrating just how entwined the spheres of crime and entertainment truly are.
So, while Season 2 is currently in production, we should take a moment to fully understand the impact of awards for a show of this kind. While the popularity of the documentary has arguably had an influence on the case and Avery, the Emmy awards for the telling of this story signify just how powerfully a true crime story can influence an audience.
Images: Making A Murderer/Netflix (2)