Is Netflix’s Missing: Dead or Alive Real or Fake?

May 11, 2023 (Last updated: 3 weeks ago)
Louie Fecou 6
Netflix, News, Streaming Service
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Is Netflix’s Missing: Dead or Alive Real or Fake? We discuss the true crime series and examine whether it was scripted or real. 

It seems that as far as true crime goes, it was only a matter of time before a series like Missing: Dead or Alive? would appear. The show has four episodes and four different stories. However, how the show has been constructed means that stories are open-ended and often bleed into the following episode.

The show follows a team of investigators, focusing on Vicki Raines, who wears her heart on her sleeve and presents the events for the viewer. Missing: Dead or Alive? is produced by Stuart Froude and Graeme McAulay and directed by Alex Irvine-Cox.

The trouble with the show is the deliberate mix of true crime drama and the production values of a scripted TV show. While watching the case unfold, you are initially surprised by the candid nature of the show.

The viewer is privy to the police officers going about their duties in a way that seems different from other shows of this type. Every scene is scored with music, there are plenty of camera angles, and if the officers find a burned cell phone, we are there at the same time when it happens.

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

The people involved also spend much time sharing their inner monologues with the viewer while driving or staring into the middle distance.

It gives the show an overly dramatic tone, and honestly, things seem a little uncanny valley, leading many viewers to ask whether Missing: Dead or Alive is real.

What is Missing: Dead or Alive? About?

The show follows the missing people investigations in The Palmetto State, South Carolina. Although the number of cases in the area seems low, the cases seem intriguing, and we follow the action on the show as it happens.

The show also takes time to expand the characters of the officers involved in the cases.

Is Netflix’s Missing: Dead or Alive Real or Fake?

The true crime series is real, but it seems that the production team is so keen to make this more unique than other shows that there are points where it feels staged or scripted.

It is an odd feeling to watch and hard to describe. If you are interested in this subject matter, you can check it out for yourself and then let us know what you think.

The fly-on-the-wall nature of the show threw me, but as I watched, I often felt that we were watching a hybrid of true crime and lousy drama.

Is Missing: Dead or Alive Scripted?

We could argue that there are a lot of scenes within the series that seem scripted. Perhaps a scene hasn’t worked, and the director had prepared something more appropriate for the characters to say in a re-shoot.

This is hypothetical, though, I have no real insight into the show’s production, and there may be a lot of unscripted natural reactions, but I get the feeling a lot of the show was also scripted.

Why would people believe the series is fake?

While the subject matters are so sad, I understand how some people could watch this show and think it is fake. The easy access that the camera crew seems to have with the interactions that occur, including different angles within a scene, is sometimes jarring.

The line delivery sometimes comes across as overly dramatic or poorly delivered, and the music is intrusive too.

I suppose when The Office first aired in the UK with Ricky Gervais, there were many, many people and critics that thought it was real and a fly-on-the-wall documentary.

Once again, I will ask you, dear reader, to check it out and let me know what you think.

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6 thoughts on “Is Netflix’s Missing: Dead or Alive Real or Fake?

  • May 11, 2023 at 9:35 pm

    Avid true crime viewer here. I’m really trying to like it, but it’s falling short due to the camera angles, awkward dialogue, and too much sheer happenstance.
    I was questioning it starting early in the 1st episode, and the officer was thumbing through photos, which could be evidence, without gloves. Oof

  • May 12, 2023 at 6:05 am

    I thought it was fake so I googled to see if anyone else thought it was fake, too and I found this website. This is THE WORST documentary on Netflix BY FAR!!! It was terribly made for sure.

  • May 12, 2023 at 3:04 pm

    Im fairly sure its fake. I cant find the news reports from the Amirah Watson case

  • May 13, 2023 at 3:13 am

    Its ass. Save yourself the time. They shouldn’t be able to market this as anything other than a drama.

  • May 13, 2023 at 9:00 pm

    It is horribly made. I watched it for all of 3 minutes before fast forwarding with my jaw hanging open, then stopped it and came online as it seemed at best scripted and maybe mostly staged. I had mental images of a production team being sent out to find a quiet under-resourced PD that would play ball.

    This is the worst kind of tv made for people who think they like true crime but have no idea. I actually thought it was this other US missing persons show which is actually good. The only reason to watch this is to laugh at how bad it is, but you cant even really do that as its real people.

  • May 24, 2023 at 11:48 am

    It was painfully bad. I can’t believe that they’re allowed to outright lie about the authenticity of a show. It’s obvious that it was fake and there was some bad community theater actress in it. I allowed myself to watch until the very end of the first story to see what happened. The fact that she just happens to go to that address and runs into the missing woman really pissed me off. Yes I was glad to see her alive but then it made me realize how fake the whole thing was. I didn’t even bother watching any more episodes. It’s disgusting.

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