Scoop tells an honest and heartfelt true story with detail, patience, and maturity.
This review of the Netflix series Scoop Season 1 does not contain spoilers.
Journalists have a bad reputation, for the most part, thanks mostly to the habitually dishonest tabloid press and the TMZ vultures who hide in celebrity gardens. Most of the mainstream media is lies – and not just of the insidious conspiratorial sort, but often just straight-up mistruths designed to sell papers and farm clicks.
People forget, then, that journalism is the lifeblood of the news. Every fascinating exposé you’ve ever read was brought to you by a journalist. Every despot and kingpin ever toppled was defeated, at least in part, by the pen, wielded selflessly by a reporter whose commitment to the truth superseded their sense of self-preservation.
Scoop Season 1 review and plot summary
The Netflix series Scoop, adapted from the memoir by former crime reporter Jigna Vora, Behind Bars in Byculla: My Days in Prison, is about how the complex world of print journalism intersects with crime, law enforcement, and the judicial system, and the steep price that must sometimes be paid in pursuit of the truth.
Vora’s name is changed in the show. Here, she’s Jagruti Pathak (Karishma Tanna), the deputy bureau chief at the Mumbai-published newspaper Eastern Age, who is framed and arrested for the murder of Jaideb Sen (Prosenjit Chatterjee), a fellow crime reporter based on J Dey, who was shot dead in 2011.
After eight months in jail and seven long years of legal battling, the charges against Pathak/Vora are eventually dropped. In Scoop, director Hansal Mehta unpacks the inner workings of industry and culture that conspired to frame an innocent woman and make her efforts to clear her name so arduous.
This is a deeply human drama featuring an abundance of noteworthy performances, but the secret to its inevitable success – the attention it has garnered thus far speaks to a major hit for the streaming platform – is its tone. Abandoning the sensationalism that is typically associated with print media and the melodrama often associated with narrative entertainment, Scoop finds a just-right middle ground where it’s earnest and heartfelt without being manipulative, accurate and detailed without being dry, and engaging moment-to-moment without losing emotional and ethical heft.
Is Scoop good or bad?
Considerations of good or bad aside – though Scoop is impressive by almost any traditional metric – this is an important story weighing journalistic responsibility against the business of journalism; the media’s need for attention in order to survive pitted against its need for honesty in order to be taken seriously.
It also has something meaningful to say about strong women in a culture designed to break them, and the power of their voices even when hardly anybody is willing to listen.
Is Scoop worth watching?
Scoop is, apparently, the first installment in a series that will tell important crime stories. Be that as it may, this first six-part outing stands on its own capably enough and must come highly recommended for fans of true crime and well-constructed drama.
Those six episodes are lengthy, to be fair, and packed with information, but it’s in service of a vital, well-told story well worth paying attention to.
What did you think of Scoop Season 1? Comment below.
You can watch this series with a subscription to Netflix.