Cheap content for content’s sake, this is a mediocre true-crime series to avoid.
This review of the Netflix series Catching Killers season 2 does not contain spoilers.
Over the years Netflix has become synonymous with the true crime genre, this is after all their bread and butter. The likes of Making A Murderer, The Staircase, and Tiger King have fascinated viewers worldwide, becoming global hits for the streaming giants. There are even big-budget adaptations of The Staircase and Tiger King due out later this year. The public just can’t seem to get enough of these tales of murder and manipulation. But as always with a huge success there comes overkill and burnout. Catching Killers may just be a consequence of this true-crime fatigue.
The show continues with the same, unchanged format used in season 1, three murder investigations stretched over four episodes. Each episode is strung together with a mixture of your standard crime reconstructions, retro news clips, and again very average interview setups. For some reason the police are interviewed against a black backdrop, surrounded by off-putting, slanted light fittings. Is this supposed to be unsettling? There is just no way of dressing this up, Netflix has delivered really basic, the bog-standard true-crime fare here, for a second time around. Cheap content for content’s sake.
Cases covered in this short season include the BTK (Bind, Torture, Kill) Killer, who is loosely portrayed in Netflix’s Mindhunter, the Phoenix Serial Shooter and the Toronto Village Killer. Like in season 1, there is just one major murderer in the line-up. Last time it was Aileen Wuornos, who Charlize Theron became in 2003’s Monster, this time around it’s the BTK Strangler. The use of a big-name serial killer may draw you in, but there is not much here to appease any die-hard true crime fan.
Footage of infamous crime scenes and detailed police reports are scored with offensively cheesy music. The police officers involved talk candidly about their cases, recapping the murderer’s previous victims and style of killing, with the story unfolding like this, steadily working towards an arrest. The true-crime here is in taking a seemingly enthralling tale of twisted homicide and heroic detective work, then turning it into a boring, tension-free docuseries. How can serial killers and even cannibals be this tedious?
The only slither of excitement comes when the killers are finally arrested and we get our first glimpses of the murderers via CCTV footage, yet this isn’t worth the hard slog to get to such an average ending. This is a series that never deserved a sequel in the first place and achieves nothing new or exciting in its follow-up season. Filler of the most mediocre kind, this is not worth your time.
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