Ryan Murphy is probably one of the biggest investments that Netflix has done since it has been dedicated to the production of originals… and we cannot say that the move is turning out too well for them —and, in fact, I am aware that “their best series” is not saying much—: ‘ The Politician’, ‘Ratched’ and ‘Hollywood’ promised much more than what they ultimately delivered.
In this case, we can say that this year’s harvest is quite favorable: although his role was executive producer, ‘The Andy Warhol Diaries’ is fabulous; Y ‘DAHMER – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story‘ is an absorbing entry into true crime.
Created with Ian Brennan, ‘DAHMER’ It has ten episodes in which it tries to unravel the figure of the psychopath in what could well be a new season of ‘American Crime Story’ if it weren’t for the fact that on the one hand we are on another platform and, on the other, the FX series focuses on cases of well-known people.
There is a mania in true crime, which is that, normally, it does not waste much time with the victims of the subject in question. There are always exceptions, of course, but what writers are usually more interested in is either the “biopic” or the research. That’s why it’s even refreshing that Murphy and Brennan want to get under the skin of the victims.
This, especially when Jeffrey Dahmer has already been extensively explored in fiction and in documentaries. The first episode (of the ten that make it up), in this sense, delights in courtshipin tricking the victim into what we are becoming aware of, both him and us, that time is running out.
But the series does not forget that the series is about the one who swings the knife and bets a lot on the masterful interpretation of Evan Peters. Both direction and actor avoid giving Dahmer a glamorous aura as much as possible, offering a somewhat more dehumanized portrait than what we sometimes look for in a drama.
Something that also happens as the miniseries progresses. If normally exploring the origin serves for us to see a whole sea of gray when understanding the traumas and circumstances that forged the character, the script is practically merciless with its impassive protagonist and his affiliates.
A portrait of victims and psychopath
There is also a purpose that we see the whole picture. We already know that Murphy and company they like to navigate the wrinkles in the fabric of society (especially in the LGTB territory) and those who somehow understand their privileges and use in their favor what a priori can marginalize them.
Thus, it is quite revealing to see how Dahmer he gets away with being arrested from time to time for, say, knowing how to use the cards. Knowing what excuses to tell and what to tell the police that they were doing “gay things” was going to make them uncomfortable. There is, in fact, a situation in the second episode that you can’t believe.
In fact, it is those details, here and there, that moderately reveal a Murphy that is much more restrained and sober than usual. A restraint that, although welcome in terms of the chosen tone, continues to be somewhat disappointing because the result is somewhat more conventional and less vibrant than expected.
Which does not imply that ‘DAHMER’ is not worth seeing. A remarkable example of true crime which is as forceful as it is truly absorbing and disturbing in its merciless portrayal of the killer.