When it comes to the medium of film, as viewers and critics, we need to realise that it is the newest form of storytelling. The film takes from life, and film adds to life. Therefore, stories that have been inspired by true life attract spectatorship. To live through a fabricated reality of what once was. The chance to grasp a moment in time that has already passed but made evergreen through our nearest screens.
The point is that shows based on true stories gain more traction and are equally critically received. All because the auteurs of the story are present irrespective of the production. But the presentation of a true story makes a big impact. Not only because one is narrating someone else’s story but shows will now represent their own truth. True crime series has been gaining points for a while now. However, true stories have also started climbing the hierarchy of film and television now.
Netflix has invested itself to narrate stories through films, docuseries, and fictional reproductions. Given that the streamer has been on a decline, branching out its production side to this fresh new world has been deemed profitable. Plenty of the true story genre has gained a loyal audience base and remained to trend on Netflix charts for the longest time. Therefore, today we will be discussing shows belonging to the former genre that are serious must-watches.
Five incredible shows based on true stories
5. The Watcher
Based on the real-life incident at the Broaduses, The Watcher follows the trajectory of a family being watched by something or someone unknown. A family happy and contended in itself moves into a new house, the house of their dreams. Soon they are encircled by the eerie presence of over-eccentric neighbours and start receiving rather odd letters from someone who identifies as The Watcher.
The show follows the family’s difficult time with the presence of the unknown and how they kept receiving such letters to the extent that they had to sell their house and move out.
The Watcher currently streaming on Netflix. Watch the trailer for the new show here!
4. Inventing Anna
Inventing Anna covers the real-life con German Heiress Anna Delvey who fools the majority of the New York Socialites with her wicked smart brain. She manages to trump some of the biggest organisations, including financial ones, to believe she had an abundance of wealth being kept from her.
The story follows star journalist Jessica Pressler’s account of the whole ordeal, portrayed by Anna Chlumsky as Vivian Kent. This limited series, created and produced by Shonda Rhimes, is truly a brilliant piece making a social commentary on a multitude of layers rather than simply presenting us the life and trial of a con artist.
Inventing Anna now streaming on Netflix. But first, watch the trailer here!
This semi-autobiographical piece written and starred by Ryan O’Connell is one of the most unique ones of the genre. Like in his memoir, of course, he also plays Ryan, who is a gay man with cerebral palsy.
The protagonist decides to get away with his true identity as an accident victim and seek the life he envisioned for himself. However, after years of working from home and texting people, he finally decides to shoot his shot to change over his life. Produced by Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons, Special is definitely a special series none of us should miss. The dry wit will be enough to sway you off your feet, an absolute gem of a show. The show has been heavily underrated but deserves a special mention under this category for sure.
Special currently streaming on Netflix. Watch the trailer for its newest season here!
2. The Spy
Based on the real-life story of Israel’s most renowned spy, Eli Cohen, who was chosen to infiltrate Syria. He takes up the identity of a Syrian national living in Argentina. Using his identity as a means to enter Syria, the story encapsulates the presence of a great patriot.
The Mossad spy’s story is covered from the days nearing 1967 until the Six-Day War between Syria and Israel. The trajectory captures Eli’s past in Egypt as an army rejects infiltrating the Syrian Ministry of Defence. Sacha Baron Cohen does an incredible job as the lead of this endearing show.
The Spy currently streaming on Netflix here. Watch the trailer for this marvel of a show here.
1. When They See Us
The story pans back to 1989 when a jogger was raped and assaulted in New York’s Central Park. Soon after, five teens from Harlem were taken in for questioning and wrongly convicted for crimes they did not commit. Following a quarter of a decade, the show captures everything wrong with the American justice system.
The horror of reality, how the quintet maintained their claim of innocence, and how they spent decades trying to get themselves exonerated. The fact that they only reached a settlement in 2014 whilst unravelling a system that is simply flawed. A chilling story of lives lost for the wrong by the right. A must-watch.
When They See Us currently streaming on Netflix. Watch the trailer for this wonder of a show here.