The miniseries is just the latest example of the public’s search for these stories.
Recently premiered on Hulu the miniseries The Dropoutstarring Amanda Seyfried. The plot dramatizes the scandal involving the pharmaceutical company Theranos and the consequent legal process involving its founder. Elizabeth Holmes and the president of the company, Ramesh Balwani.
In summary, Theranos started with the promise of having its resources focused on the research of rapid diagnoses for various types of diseases. In 2014, it was announced that its “Edison test” would revolutionize the identification of conditions such as diabetes and even cancer, as it requires a few drops of blood, without the need for needles and with the greatest possible speed.
The announcement boosted the shares of startup, whose market value reached US$ 10 billion. However, the absence of practical demonstrations about the new test raised doubts about how effective it was, even questioning whether it even existed. On June 15, 2018, both were charged with fraud by the country’s prosecution.
It is around this scandal that the production of Star Plus proposes a reconstitution of the events in a miniseries format, even if this format is not an innovation; on the contrary, more and more content producers have bet on the so-called true crimes as a creative source to enrich your catalogues.
The term immediately gives away what these productions are: entire dramatizations about real crimes, whether famous or not. In recent years, Netflix has established itself as a reference in the production of this type of content, focusing mainly on the creation of documentaries or documentary miniseries.
Such a format, therefore, does not require the hiring of a cast to represent those involved, but only the presence of experts and those who truly had a personal connection with the crime, as well as access to a visual collection of evidence and related locations, in order to illustrate what is being explained.
It is certainly possible to credit the Making a Murderer 2015, the responsibility for this “renaissance” of productions true crime even though he was not responsible for its initiation. The search for more of this type of entertainment is also no longer limited to what companies provide, it is now produced by the public itself.
The proliferation of the most diverse channels on YouTube has consolidated the offer of entertainment for different niches, as well as a variation in the quality offered by the videos; some being of longer duration and providing detailed information, while others are shorter and adapted to the platform.
with the segment true crime it was no different. The greater competition of channels dealing with crimes produced different styles with which to explore this subject, ranging from a vlog narration with graphic illustration tools services to a prioritization of the most terrifying side of events.
This wealth of ways in which such subjects can be approached has been material for programs in the past. Around the 2000s, for example, Universal Channel presented throughout the week Medical Detectivesthis one bringing investigations of different cases from the perspective of expertise.
In a documentary style, the only constant was the presence of a narrator and the occasional contribution of interviewees who had some contact with the case, as exemplified above. On the other hand, a program that used to reconstitute what happened was the Direct linethis one made along the lines of the American Unsolved Mysteriesin which even with a fixed presenter, it still had a cast of actors and actresses to interpret the crime.
While these programs are credited with helping to solve hitherto unsolved cases, there is another side to the coin. The fact that, as the name suggests, they are productions about real crimes implies the existence, therefore, of real victims and very real survivors; the latter being directly affected by the commercialization of their tragedies.
in the article The Human Cost of Binge-Watching True Crime Seriessigned by Melissa Chan for Time magazine, it is precisely presented how these productions affect the survivors, who have to spend a good part of their lives protecting themselves and others to then have their story transmitted to millions of people, even if they have denied any authorization.
The fascination of the public that allows this revival of tragedies is well punctuated in another article, True Crime’s Ethical Dilemma written by Alice Bolin which reads: “This is what makes True Crime’s style addictive, which is the adjective that producers most seek. Voyeur’s position, the dispassionate observer, is exciting without being emotionally draining for the spectator, who watches from a safe position.
Thus, even if the concept of true crime can lead to very positive real results, of granting a conclusion to the pain of many people, it is understood that there is a cost and it is the violated privacy of several families or individuals. The ease with which the theme can be approached in different ways guarantees a lot of life to it, while the natural mystery that surrounds its narratives causes engagement.
In the age of social networks, above all, these cases generate materials for discussion in forums and theories that, even when these stories were limited to newspapers and news, always existed, keep the case alive but in a format that is much closer to a story of terror than something real and palpable.