Dahmer was two things for Netflix: a series that sparked a massive backlash over how it handled the story of the serial killer and his victims. And one of the most watched series of all time, up there with the likes of the last season of Stranger Things.
Now, what lesson do you think Netflix drew from these two developments?
Netflix has greenlighted two more seasons of “Monster” after the massive success of Dahmer for the network, which will focus on other famous serial killers. While the killers involved have not been announced, John Wayne Gacy seems like an obvious choice, given that he’s already featured in Dahmer, as was Ed Gein. BTK and Ted Bundy also appear to be two potential options.
The news makes perfect commercial sense, with Dahmer heading towards a billion watch hours, proving that true crime is as popular as ever, a trend that extends far beyond Netflix. However, it certainly looks like Netflix is trying to piece together a cinematic world of serial killers.
This is kind of the ultimate example of “give the people what they want”, though, given that this wouldn’t have happened if Dahmer’s viewership had been this huge. It’s probably more of a community commentary than it is about Netflix, and again, the fascination with serial killers isn’t a new phenomenon, given the countless other shows, movies, and documentaries we’ve seen of even the same 5-6 serial killers over the years.
However, there is something to be said about how the selected view treats the material. Mindhunter, for example, was David Fincher’s Netflix series that featured real serial killers, but the focus was on the FBI and stopping them, rather than the killer themselves. While Dahmer tried to focus on the victims and police misconduct, Ryan Murphy’s quotes after the fact that they tried to reach the families of the victims and no one responded felt empty, and conflicting about what the actual victims’ families said.
If I had to bet which killers would get the monster treatment, it’s likely that Gacy and Ted Bundy, who already have a Netflix documentary series in conversations with the Killer series, will be alongside Dahmer himself. The two would be very different, with Gacy being a psychopathic clown, and Bundy a “magic” guy who has already sparked many discussions about Hollywood and the glorification of the media. We’ll see what Netflix will actually announce, and what the reaction will be to the news.
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