After a month of six-day work weeks, today marks the first day of the first full weekend I’ve had to myself in what feels like ages.
Which means I’ll likely spend the next 48 hours doing three things: Sleeping, cleaning in preparation of having my house cleaned, and, most importantly, catching up on my documentary watching.
I know, I know. I talk about documentaries all the time. But, hey. Judge not, lest ye become a sober hermit introvert with multiple streaming services.
Besides, my coworker Lindsey says there’s a “documentary zeitgeist” going on. And she’s young and hip. So, let’s pretend that I’m part of the cool kids, instead of just being too tired to think of another topic, and go with it.
Anyway, here are some of the latest documentaries available to watch right now:
— “The Case Against Adnan Syed,” HBO, four parts. This series continues to examine, well, the case against Adnan Syed — first dissected in the podcast “Serial.” To rehash: Syed was convicted nearly 20 years ago of killing his high school girlfriend, Hae Min Lee. The podcast caused many listeners to go back and forth on his guilt, and it seems clear to me, after two episodes, that the filmmakers veer toward membership in the “not guilty” group. Personally, I’ve never been able to decide one way or the other, and after two of four parts of this doc, I’m still not quite sure. Which makes for the best kind of crime drama. Two parts have aired, and part three will be on tonight. The series will round out next Sunday.
— “Leaving Neverland,” HBO, two parts. The accusations against Michael Jackson are nothing new — the musician was first called a child molester back in 1993, and prosecuted again in 2005. But the allegations have never been presented quite like this: Two men telling their stories, bare bones, to the camera, with very little fanfare given to Jackson’s music or career itself. I’m not going to lie, this was a hard watch for me, having been a big fan of Michael’s music all my life. I’m still trying to come to grips with much of what I heard, and I’ve got all kinds of mixed feelings about it. Be forewarned, many of the descriptions are graphic, so use your discretion.
— “The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley,” HBO. I can’t say a whole lot about this film, as I haven’t watched it yet, but it’s definitely on my shortlist. The doc takes a scathing look at dot-com billionaire Elizabeth Holmes, founder of Theranos. Claiming the company would revolutionize healthcare, by changing the way blood testing was done, Holmes duped investors out of about $900 million before being shut down by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
— “Lorena,” Amazon Prime, four parts. Most of us who were alive and old enough to watch the news (or perhaps, not even) remember the name Lorena Bobbit, a housewife who, in 1993, cut off a rather important part of her husband’s anatomy. Back then, she was the butt of every comedians’ jokes and late night talk show hosts’ monologues. But 25 years later, filmmakers (which include Jordan Peele producing) offer us a very different view of the case — with its themes of domestic violence, misogyny and sexual assault; one that’s much less glib, and far more scathing, of our scandal-obsessed, sexist society as a whole. Unpausing this one to keep watching, as soon as I type this last word.
Katie McDowell is a lifestyles writer/copy editor for The Dominion Post. Email any and all documentary recommendations you have for her to firstname.lastname@example.org.