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The “true crime” subgenre shouldn’t go out of style anytime soon and gained a strong boost with the successful A Mulher da Casa Abandonada, podcast by Sheet presented by Chico Felitti.
In the vast universe of streaming, “true crime” has been successful for some time, whether with documentary series, such as “Making a Murderer”, with fiction productions, such as “The Thing About Pam” (originally a podcast), or cases famous, such as that of OJ Simpson.
In common, they all address not only the crime, but the investigation process and its possible flaws.
American Crime Story
Producer Ryan Murphy is one of the main creators of the series that delves into landmark crimes involving celebrities. The first two seasons fit more into the “true crime” genre: the first, with the backstage of the trial of the star OJ Simpson, accused of killing his wife; and the second, which focuses on the story of the assassin of fashion designer Gianni Versace. Season three deals with Monica Lewinsky’s affair with Bill Clinton, who nearly overthrew the US president.
Available on Star+ (10 episodes per season)
The Evandro Case
The murder of a six-year-old boy in the countryside of Paraná brought the country to a halt in the 1990s. The documentary series recovers not only the history of the crime, but the equally shocking investigation, which includes political revenge, false stories of witchcraft, illegal arrests and torture. The miniseries is part of the successful eponymous podcast by Ivan Mizanzuk.
Available on Globoplay (9 episodes)
Brutal Pact – The Murder of Daniella Perez (coming soon)
At the end of 1992, Brazil was shaken by another crime that remains in the popular imagination, the murder of Daniella Perez, daughter of novelist Gloria Perez. The young actress was killed by her co-star in the soap opera “Corpo e Alma” Guilherme de Pádua and his wife Paula. The five-episode documentary series promises to reveal “new facts in unpublished testimonies”.
On HBO Max, starting July 21
David Thewlis and Olivia Colman are a friendly, penniless and hopeless English couple living in Paris. When he calls his stepmother to ask for financial help, he decides to also reveal that he had buried the bodies of his in-laws in the house where he lived in England, which ended up opening an investigation. The miniseries is conducted with touches of humor.
Available on HBO Max (4 episodes)
The Disappearance of Madeleine McCain
A mystery still unsolved that has gained space in the world press. In 2007, English girl Madeleine McCain, 3 years old, disappeared from the room she slept in, at a resort in Algarve, Portugal. Her parents were having dinner at a restaurant a few meters from the apartment where the child was sleeping. The 2019 series reconstructs the pre- and post-crime days, listens to authorities and resort goers in the period. Madeleine’s parents did not give new statements to the production (they appear in recovered audios), for fear that the production would interfere with the investigation still ongoing.
Available on Netflix (8 episodes)
The Tiger Mafia
There are so many curious characters that it’s almost hard to believe that this is a documentary series, but it is. Chief among them is Joe Exotic, who called himself “the king of tigers” for raising many felines, among other animals, for his zoo. Joe clashes with Carole Baskin, who claims to be a protector of animals. Had critic in Sheet who liked it… and there were critics who hated it.
Available on Netflix (7 episodes in the first season and 5 in the second)
Making a Murderer
A landmark documentary of “true crime” brings the story of Steven Avery, convicted in the 1980s for a rape he did not commit. The film shows the errors of the process, reversed after a DNA test proved Avery’s innocence after 18 years in prison. However, at the end of the series, he is arrested again on charges of killing another woman. The second season shows the attention that the case received due to the success of the series, when an important lawyer decides to take the case and tries to reverse the new accusation.
Available on Netflix (2 seasons)
The Thing About Pam
The six-episode miniseries tells the story behind the murder of Betsy Faria, in 2011, in a sensationalist tone. At first, the husband is found guilty of the crime and is even arrested. Later, the investigation turns to the neighbor and friend, Pam in the title (played by Renée Zellweger). The series was born after the case was widely discussed on a successful podcast in the US. Read Luciana Coelho’s review.
Available on Star+ (6 episodes)
This is one of the most relevant documentaries in the “true crime” genre and it focuses on the investigation of the death of Kathleen Peterson, who apparently fell down the stairs in her home. Her husband, Michael Peterson, who called 911, quickly becomes a prime suspect. Showing all the difficulty of investigation, French director Jean-Xavier de Lestrade returned to look for Peterson at three different times. So, there are seven original episodes, released in 2004, plus two episodes from 2013 and another three, from 2018, packaged as a single miniseries.
Available on Netflix (13 episodes)
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
A young woman who can’t control her powers arrives from a parallel universe and gets help from Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) to escape a creature. With no experience in the mysteries of the multiverse, Strange seeks out Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen), but encounters a dangerous enemy. Disney+ cleverly uses elements of its exclusive series in the midst of Marvel movies. Here who contributes to the understanding of the plot is “WandaVision” — but you don’t need to have watched it. Directed by Sam Raimi, the same as the first trilogy of “Spider-Man”.
Available on Disney+ (126 min.)
The Terminal List
After nearly his entire team is killed in an ambush in Syria, SEAL Commander James Reece (Chris Pratt) returns home. Afflicted with severe headaches and mental confusion, he suffers an assassination attempt that slips into his family. He then begins to make a list of possible perpetrators of the crimes, which he believes are related to the mission in the Middle East. The series sometimes resembles “Jack Reacher”, but stretched into eight long hours. The first episode is directed by Antoine Fuqua, also one of the producers.
Available on Prime Video (8 episodes)
Single Drunk Female
In the very first scene, Samantha (Sofia Black-D’Elia) arrives drunk and late for a meeting at the firm in New York, is fired, blames the patriarchy and unintentionally assaults her boss. Thus, the 28-year-old protagonist is forced to go back to live with her mother in the suburbs, attend alcoholics anonymous and recognize that she has a disease. The humorous and easy-to-watch series (less than half an hour episodes) is packed with likeable characters and works better than “Mom”, also with an addicted protagonist. Nostalgic 80s will have fun with Ally Sheedy (“Clube dos Cinco” and “The First Year of the Rest of Our Lives”) in the role of the mother.
Available on Star+ (10 episodes)
With her marriage in crisis, Lady Di heads to an outlying estate to meet the royal family, including her children, for Christmas parties. The days that follow are decisive in Diana’s future. From Pablo Larraín, the same director of “Jackie”, “Spencer” is minimalist and more concerned with showing the ghosts of the Princess of Wales than with historical reenactment. Kristen Stewart was nominated for an Oscar.
Available on Prime Video (117 min.)
tip for free
The fictional series is part of the material revealed in the documentary “The Staircase”. In this dramatic version, Colin Firth plays the husband accused of the crime and Toni Collette plays the dead woman, who reappears in several flashbacks. The cast also includes Sophie Turner (“Game of Thrones”) and Parker Posey (“Lost in Space”).
Available on HBO Max (8 episodes).
Anatomy of a Scandal
The series has nothing to do with the government of Boris Johnson, although it tells the story of a British minister who finds himself in the middle of a sex scandal. The country’s premier, a friend of his since university, stands by him, but what was an out-of-wedlock affair evolves into a rape allegation with echoes in the minister’s and premier’s past. The focus is on the female cast, with Sienna Miller (the betrayed woman) and Michelle Dockery (the prosecuting attorney).
Available on Netflix (6 episodes)