Missing: Dead or Alive? Season 1 Review – a below average entry in the true crime genre

May 10, 2023 (Last updated: 3 weeks ago)
M.N. Miller 9
Netflix, Streaming Service, TV Reviews
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Missing: Dead or Alive? brings nothing new or interesting to the true crime docuseries genre.

We review the Netflix true crime documentary series Missing: Dead or Alive? Season 1, which was released on May 10th, 2023. 

There are so many true crime series streaming right now. It’s hard to determine which are worth watching and which are worth skipping. The key is to find a series that harmoniously blends the technical aspects of the cases with human interest stories ranging from the victims to those investigating the crimes.

Another Netflix entry into the genre is Missing: Dead or Alive?, which overanalyzes the investigation team members to the point of watering down the product.

Missing: Dead or Alive? Season 1 Review

Carolina. The series’ strength is the wide range of cases that vary significantly in terms of their results. There are 250 missing persons in “The Palmetto  State,” which is low compared to other states such as California (3,213), Texas (2,299), Florida (1,650), Alaska (1,218), and New York (1,064). But where the state lacks in numbers it seems to excel in exciting and acute cases.

The squad immediately investigates a case of a missing older adult woman, and they think her ex-military son has something to do with it. Another case involves a father looking for his missing pre-teen daughter, who has disappeared with his ex-wife. A lotto winner has wandered out without a trace.

Finally, a foster child goes missing, and the fear is she has been sold into sex trafficking.

READ: Tynesha Brooks – Where is Amirah Watson’s Mother Now?

Missing: Dead or Alive? is produced by Stuart Froude and Graeme McAulay and directed by Alex Irvine-Cox. The series is hyper-focused on one investigator, Vicki Raines, who wears her feelings on her sleeve to the point where she and some of her fellow squad members seem to be showing off or mugging for the camera.

Raines takes the job so personally that she considers transferring if she finds a missing person deceased. When a case takes a turn, most would not expect her actions at the end of the first episode to appear rehearsed when finding an essential piece of crucial evidence and when rejoicing on the phone with her fellow missing-person investigator.

The episodes are also oddly constructed, with some ending a few moments into the next and the minutes of each varying wildly in length. The first episode is the best, with a shocking reveal that surprised me, but the rest of the series pales in comparison.

READ: Where was Missing: Dead or Alive on Netflix filmed?

Far too much time is focused on the investigators than the subjects and their families. When the docuseries focuses on the subjects and their families, the show finds its footing.

Is Missing: Dead or Alive? Good or Bad?

The Netflix true crime docuseries Missing: Dead or Alive? is an average to below-average series for the streaming giant. Any true crime junkie, myself included, will have trouble getting through this.

This is simply another retread entry in the genre.

Is Missing: Dead or Alive? Worth Watching?

The Netflix true crime docuseries Missing: Dead or Alive is not worth watching until the improvements described above are made.

The series brings nothing new or interesting to the true crime docuseries genre.

What did you think of the Netflix true crime documentary series Missing: Dead or Alive? Season 1? Comment below.

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9 thoughts on “Missing: Dead or Alive? Season 1 Review – a below average entry in the true crime genre

  • May 10, 2023 at 11:33 pm

    Sloppy and shoddy detective work, could barely stomach the ignorance in the very first episode. To not even call in forensics after all the bleach on the, bars across door, string hanging from doorknob, all her stuff in the garbage, her home is emptied, and you walk all over the evidence w/out even spraying luminal or calling feds that have more knowledge and skills. Pathetic shitty work.

  • May 11, 2023 at 5:45 pm

    I totally agree. I couldn’t believe they wouldn’t collect that rug the first time, spray luminol and get definitive evidence.
    Anthony is a veteran and he needs serious mental help. The VA needs to help this veteran.

  • May 11, 2023 at 7:56 pm

    I completely agree. It was completely amateur work throughout the first episode and it was hard to watch

  • May 11, 2023 at 10:06 pm

    Honestly I thought it might actually be actively harmful. They are so sure the law has done it’s job (in the case of the child going missing with the mother) but we know repeatedly minoritised communities are failed by the state. It’s so weird how self congratulatory they are and how heavy the focus is on the detectives, kinda copaganda vibes from my view.

    Also yes agreed with the comments above about the weird handling of evidence. In the first ep they get a dog to sniff some blood to see if it’s human and then immediately after use a swap test to see if it’s human blood.. why did they use the dog? Seemingly just for show. Such weirdly set up moments like that make this so disappointing to watch.

  • May 11, 2023 at 11:15 pm

    Confirmation bias. When you assume something is true so you only focus on any evidence that confirms what you already believe. Such a waste of resources. Critical thinking seems to be missing from Rains. She needs to work on her tunnel vision before she sends innocent people to jail or to the death chair.

  • May 12, 2023 at 1:37 pm

    I will say the offers seem very genuine and caring. My only problem is with their training. Like someone eles said they should have collected evidence when they first saw the rug etc. IL
    In the episode with David Taylor, I didn’t understand why they did not look for him on the same day they found the truck. Why weren’t the dogs brought out that day? I’m not saying it would have made a difference but who knows now. I don’t know if the officers hands are tied because of how SC makes them investigate but it just seems to move at a very slow pace. They should be ale to call from where they are at an get a warrant to search. I don’t feel like it’s them but just the way SC makes them do their jobs. All in all its a good show because it let’s u see what they have to go through and how SC needs to change their law to allow these offers to move at a faster pace to find someone. Let’s hope it will help them.

  • May 12, 2023 at 1:51 pm

    I would also like to say that Vickie Rains is the best thing that happen to them. I know she would do more if her hands were not tied. Hope she stays with them.

  • May 12, 2023 at 4:49 pm

    What can I say, I would be really concerned if this Inv. would be searching for someone that is missing. That department is so so bad, they are so tunnel, when I saw that after 72h she didn’t figure out that she should call the bank ?
    They lost the carpet and didn’t do anything, bleach everywhere ?
    Rains’s mother was right, this is not the job she should be doing because she is really bad at it.

  • May 14, 2023 at 5:28 am

    Episode two is a realistic, disgusting and disgraceful example of how the justice systems awards custody to pedophiles and promotes incest. The young teenaged girl had her arm broken by the father and is being sexually abused by him yet the mother is hunted down like SHE is the criminal and the poor child condemned to her rapist, likely never to see her mother again. VILE!!!!!!!! Shame on you Netflix. I will see this made right if it’s the last thing I do.

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