Trial By Media season 1 review – mixing crime with our unhealthy bond with the media

May 10, 2020 (Last updated: January 16, 2023)
Daniel Hart 0
Netflix, TV Reviews
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Netflix documentary series Trial By Media season 1 - true crime


Trial By Media season 1 is worth the watch and stands out in Netflix’s hub of true crime content.

Netflix documentary series Trial By Media season 1 will be out on the platform on May 11, 2020.

Political commentators are alarmingly quick to point out our unhealthy relationship with the media. Fake news or “check your sources” is flung like mud to disarm their opposition. The fact of the matter; our relationship with the media is the same as it always was — it’s just extremely scalable due to the unlimited space social media provides us.

Trial By Media, Netflix’s latest true crime documentary, reminded me of an old saying I was hammered with by adults when I was young — “Don’t believe everything you read in the papers”. That statement was given to children to teach them to be responsible. To be accountable, to fact-check.

I often wonder why the same does not apply now just because the news is on a screen rather than on a piece of paper.

Trial By Media defines our crippling human nature to be awed by a dramatic court trial and the news stories that surround it. America tends to grandstand high-profile cases, which generates better ratings — crime is entertainment.

It’s no surprise that documentary series’ like Trial By Media exist. The provocative Netflix series pulls apart cases and shows clear evidence of how the media has made an impact on the verdict.

For example, the opening episode breaks down a case of a man that revealed his crush to a straight friend on “The Jenny Jones Show” and how days later a murder occurs. Trial By Media brings in the experts to highlight how the media influenced proceedings, made the courtroom into a TV show, leading to questions about talk shows’ culpability for people’s actions.

The 6-part docuseries is in no apparent order, with Netflix opting for a choose and select format — Trial By Media is insightful and, ironically, exciting to watch. I had a “shower thought” midway through the series — it’s strange how a vicious crime produces a trial which then produces entertainment which then also produces more content for true crime enthusiasts. It’s an ecology that we sadly enjoy, even if you don’t like to admit it.

Trial By Media season 1 is worth the watch and stands out in Netflix’s hub of true crime content.

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