Maybe we are spoilt by great formats but this was not an enticing crime documentary at all — it’s a snooze fest.
Netflix’s World’s Most Wanted season 1 was released on the platform on August 5, 2020.
It feels like every month Netflix releases a similar documentary series. World’s Most Wanted is their latest; as the title suggests — it documents how the most dangerous criminals were caught. We’ve seen it all before and this is hardly a marker for ‘outstanding’ in terms of the genre but it will at least pique the interests of those who have a unique curiosity in organized crime. Netflix’s World’s Most Wanted are the most extreme cases all rolled up into 5 chapters.
Of course, what’s fascinating about this documentary series is the audacity of what these criminals got away with. Each episode gives us a flavor of how difficult it is catching infamous crime lords that infest our world. It’s easy to forget that these types of people do not exist just in film and TV and they are a part of society. The opening episode discusses Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada Garcia: the Head of the Sinaloa Cartel.
As a general observation, it’s always fascinating how well crime lords manage to evade authorities for so many years; they seem to have a knack for making their organizational structure so difficult to sus out that they are difficult to find. Authorities always look helpless on the surface, ironically spending millions of dollars to find someone who is illegally making millions of dollars — the economics are almost satirical.
But after Netflix recently released Fear City: New York vs The Mafia, the last thing loyal Netflix subscribers needed was a dry, dull format relaying facts to how criminals were caught. The former was such an exciting and tense series that was critically acclaimed that releasing World’s Most Wanted season 1 feels like a throwaway documentary series just for the sake of it. It’s definitely a step-down. Maybe we are spoilt by great formats but this was not an enticing crime documentary at all — it’s a snooze fest.
Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.