‘Making a Murderer’ adds diversity to Netflix originals

Ella Cook

Netflix’s original documentary series “Making a Murderer” proves to be both thrilling and intriguing.

The documentary tells the elaborate story of Steven Avery, who served 18 years in prison.

Avery was released after DNA evidence proved he was not guilty in the rape of Penny Beerntsen.

While “Making a Murderer” primarily focuses on Avery’s second crime, the first two episodes only show his first offense and life after jail. This was important to the show, as it added a complete background picture of Avery before diving into the second crime.

Steven Avery was falsely accused of rape and imprisoned for 18 years. The Netflix show “Making a Murderer” tells his story in a captivating manner.
Steven Avery was falsely accused of rape and imprisoned for 18 years. The Netflix show “Making a Murderer” tells his story in a captivating manner.

Additionally, leaving out these important details in the first two episodes helps to add a sense of suspense for the upcoming episodes.

The plot can often be hard to grasp despite the show’s visually interesting aspects, including photographs and audio recordings of Avery and his family.

To compensate for the complex plotline, the show provides well-laid-out infographics to make the information clearer.

One of the best infographics was displayed when the show described the attack on Beerntsen. The graphic clearly depicted Avery’s whereabouts during the attack and the significant times in the crime, which enhanced my understanding immensely.

Despite an overall interesting plotline, some episodes are certainly more enjoyable to watch than others.

While the first episode focuses on the exoneration of Avery through DNA evidence, the series digresses into Avery’s second arrest for the murder of Teresa Halbach.

Even with the infographics that aid the viewer in understanding the plotline, there are moments in the show where the language can be difficult to comprehend, including the justice system terminology used.

Because of the sophisticated language, the series requires full attention from the viewer in order to fully grasp the story.

At times, photos shown on screen are too graphic. One particular scene in the first episode, describing the rape of Penny Beerntsen, shows close-up pictures of Beerntsen that seemed unnecessary and too gory to show on camera.

Even with an intriguing plotline, there are moments where the series becomes slightly repetitive and boring to watch. For example, in the second episode, many scenes consisted of Avery’s court trials, which become tedious to watch.

High pitched shrill sounds used in “Making a Murderer” add suspense to the series, similar to many other horror films.

The sounds are most effective in setting a mysterious mood when they are added to the scenes of Manitowoc County, where Avery resides. In these particular shots, the music adds to the eerie, empty feeling the town gives.

Additionally, the soundtrack shifts during the more uplifting points in the series. When Avery is finally released from prison, the music becomes much more cheery.

As pictures of Avery and his family fill the screen, upbeat instrumental guitar music plays in the background. The series is similar to the NPR podcast “Serial,” in the sense that they both go in depth into a complex crime and combine multiple sources into a cohesive story.

The first season consists of 10 episodes and is available on Netflix.