More docs to watch on those rainy days

A couple of weeks ago I shared my recent inability to focus on anything fictional.

For whatever reason, the trend continues, leaving me searching my various streaming services for more entertaining documentaries.

As a rule, I’ll watch one about almost anything — the two exceptions being 1) sports and 2) music. I just can’t make myself care about either.

Of course, films about murder, police procedure, or rare and incurable diseases go to the top of the queue. But really, when your social life consists almost entirely of chillin’ with your dogs in front of the TV, most subjects are fair game.

Last time around, I recommended a handful of newer offerings: “Wild, Wild Country,” “Cold Blooded: The Clutter Family Murders,” “Mommy Dead and Dearest,” “The Rachel Divide” and “I Am Evidence.”

All of which are still worth checking out if, say, you have an actual life, and haven’t spent all your free time over the last 14 days watching true stories and eating cereal like some of us.

But just in case you’re in need of a few more ideas, here are my latest finds worthy of an add to your watchlist.

—“Evil Genius,” (Netflix, four episodes). Produced by the Duplass brothers, who brought us last column’s pick “Wild, Wild Country,” “Evil Genius” takes a closer look a truly strange 2003 bank robbery that resulted in the death of pizza delivery man Brian Wells, who was killed when a bomb strapped around his neck exploded during a standoff with police. To say this case is weird is an understatement — everything from the perpetrators, to the seemingly inept investigation, to the lingering question of whether Wells was complicit in his own murder, is just bizarro.

—“Bound by Flesh: The Amazing Story of Daisy and Violet Hilton” (Netflix, movie). Long before Paris and Nicky were a thing, Daisy and Nicole were the Hilton sisters getting headlines. Born conjoined twins in 1908, the pair’s tale is a sad one. Despite reaching fame and fortune on the sideshow and Vaudeville circuit of the ’20s and ’30s, the sisters — who were exploited and conned since birth — struggled to make ends meet later in life, finally working at a specially designed produce-weighing counter at a grocery store in North Carolina, before dying within days of each other (yes, still conjoined) in their rented trailer. You may recognize them from the movie, “Freaks” — if, like me, you’re the kind of person who’s seen the movie “Freaks.”

—“Glory Daze: The Life and Times of Michael Alig” (Netflix, movie). The guy responsible for turning the club kid movement of the ’90s into a spectacle — before almost single-handedly destroying it by murdering and dismembering his friend during a drug-fueled fight — Alig is now free and attempting to reinvent himself after serving 17 years in prison. But is he genuinely sorry for what he did? Or is the spotlight still the only thing he craves? You’ll have to decide for yourself.

—“Raiders of the Lost Art” (Netflix, two seasons, total of 18 episodes). This one falls more into the category of just being a show, rather than a documentary, per se, but I really dug it, so I’ll include it here. Each episode centers around the theft of a famous piece of artwork, or of works by a single artist — something I’ve always found fascinating. Because, like, what are you going to do with it, exactly? “Hey, you wanna buy the Mona Lisa?”

—“Voyeur” (Netflix, movie). Famed journalist Gay Talese spent years interviewing and getting to know Gerald Foos, the subject of story he wrote for The New Yorker, which he planned on turning into a book. But as publication gets closer, Talese discovers Foos may have fabricated much of the story of himself as the owner of seedy motel that, for years, he used to spy on unwitting guests. Good news for those guests maybe. Bad news for Talese.

Katie McDowell is a copy editor/lifestyles writer for The Dominion Post. Email her at

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