Crime Diaries: Night Out provides another slick true-crime series with a slightly more accessible subject and tone.
You might remember Crime Diaries: The Candidate from midway through March. It was a relatively well-received — by outlets including this one — Spanish-language Netflix Original Series, inspired by true events but created with a fair helping of artistic license. Today, by a different creative team but with a similar mandate, Crime Diaries: Night Out arrives on the streaming giant with an eight-episode season and a presumably more broadly appealing real-life case to explore.
That case is the mysterious disappearance and subsequent suspicious death of Luis Andrés Colmenares Escobar, a college student who vanished from a Halloween party in 2010. While initially ruled as a suicide, the case was later reopened and taken to a controversial trial; you can see the ordeal might make a compelling basis for a series, I’m sure.
And that’s the advantage of Crime Diaries: Night Out, which is of a similar quality to The Candidate in its writing and craftsmanship, but has the wider appeal of a teen-focused, (mostly) apolitical tragedy which one assumes will be of more interest to a casual true-crime audience. Once again subtitled, the series is nonetheless chock-full of the universal anxieties, relationships, and traumas that one associates with young adulthood. Combine that with a bizarrely elaborate criminal trial full of mysteries and revelations, and you have all the hallmarks of a binge-tastic true-crime series that’ll likely court a wider viewership than a political thriller.
As ever, this isn’t new territory, but true-crime is a genre which revels in its familiarity, in part so the specific differences of each case stand out more starkly against the formulaic backdrop. There have been no shortage of international Netflix releases recently which deal with similar themes, subjects, and styles, including such shows as Quicksand and Baby, but Crime Diaries: Night Out slots neatly among them as another respectable addition.