And the shows now emerging may be the most troubling and important yet.
Long dismissed as lowbrow, exploitational and, in some cases, pornographic pulp, the genre that fed our guilty fascination with Charles Manson, the Black Dahlia and the alarming number of “nice, normal” men who kill their wives/girlfriends/fiancees is suddenly being taken seriously.
The success of the podcast “Serial,” the FX drama “The People v. O.J. Simpson” and multiple docuseries, including “The Jinx” (HBO) and “Making a Murderer” (Netflix), have raised true crime from the lowbrow populism of “Forensic Files,” “Homicide Hunter” and “Dateline.”
Not content with the increasing darkness and moral ambivalence of scripted crime drama, television writers and audiences began going straight to the source.
Not since Truman Capote wrote “In Cold Blood” has nonfictional brutality been the center of so much artistic treatment, used as a fulcrum for our need for authenticity and social awareness — and our desire to