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Understanding Netflix's obsession with crime

If you are one of the loyal streamers of Netflix, your homepage must also be overwhelmed with true crime stories. Why are they so popular? What makes Netflix so obsessed with the genre? Is there really a committed audience to this content?

Although the streamer is filled with diverse content, crime dramas deserve special mention. Whether it is based on true stories or not. Whether they are docuseries or fictional recreations. Netflix currently excels in the genre. The extent that currently, the most popular series of the genre is Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story. Along with others like American Murder: The Family Next Door, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, or fictional ones like 13 Reasons Why and many alike. 

Why though? What is the truth behind the unhinged obsession of viewers with these shows? Is it honestly the obsession surrounding murder or is it something more? According to Huffington Post’s research on the viewer psyche, one is inherently inclined towards being a detective. Do what we do best, be curious. 

These shows, such as Mindhunter, which has been an audience favourite for so long, make sense. Viewers go on a journey to understand the ways in which the darkest minds of the world work. This is achieved by following the journey in the early days of the FBI’s Behavioural Science unit.

Accompanied by Detective Holden Ford, played by Jonathan Groff and his partners Bill Tench (Holt McCallany) and Wendy (Anna Torv). In spite of it being released almost five years ago, this show continues to make headlines for its sheer simplistic brilliance and attention to detail. Watch the trailer for Mindhunter here! Currently streaming on Netflix here!

Other shows of this stature apply the same strategy to tickle the detective in our minds. Including ones produced by Netflix. The craze for crime dramas is not a new one. But rest assured, there has been a resurrection of the genre, and Netflix plays a great role in it. As long as one does not get too attached to criminals or internalise their feelings, viewers can watch without fear

That being said, overproduction and consumption of such shows do tend to desensitise one to violence. However, rest assured watching Making a Murderer will not make you one. Research has proved watching these shows often repulses viewers to similar behaviour and makes them more aware. 

Does this mean Netflix is glorifying criminals? Quite the contrary. The aim is to reflect on the possible reasons why any individual can reach these limits. Almost all the shows represent how important mental health is, and that necessary help has the potential to save many lives.

If you are a puritan or a genre newbie, here are some Netflix true-crime dramas to drool over for the next weekend. Do not miss out on these audiovisual marvels! Want to watch more? Here is a list of the best true-crime series running on the streamer right now!

  • The Keeper 
  • American Murder: The Family Next Door
  • Conversations with a Killer: The John Wayne Gacy Tapes 
  • Worst Roommate Ever 
  • Unsolved Mysteries 
  • House of Secrets: The Burari Deaths 
  • Inside the Criminal Mind 
  • Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel