Two main detectives starring in the mini-series Unbelievable standing against a wall

Unbelievable | Mini-Series

Unbelievable TV Mini-Series Never Watch

It’s a female-cast True Detective (season 1)

.. And that’s not a bad thing.

The Unbelievable mini-series is getting enormous buzz and seemingly appeared out of nowhere.

It’s good. Like, Ghostbusters remake, level good.
But let’s not kid ourselves here:
The Unbelievable mini-series struggles to rise above to the level of greatness.

The show draws immediate parallels to ‘The Wire‘, True Detective (season 1), Mindhunter, and When They See Us.
Specifically, Merritt Wever’s character has a scene that is eerily similar to McNulty in The Wire, while discussing why she works so hard over a game of go-fish.

I’m still trying to figure out a suitable place to host my own clips of shows that won’t get taken down by Youtube.

Until then. Here’s the scene in The Wire that I’m referring to:

“The job will not save you Jimmy. It won’t make you whole, it won’t fill your ass up.”

The point is. The Wire did it better. It was funnier to watch, more believable, and McNulty was visibly and understandably annoyed by the response.
Contrast that with Unbelievable, where both characters just sink further into their loathsome and macabre existences, and, well … It doesn’t quite hold up.

… The Unbelievable mini-series is good though.

One thing this show has going for it that ‘The Wire‘ didn’t:
It’s based on true events.
Normally, that would be a con.
I liked The Wire‘s fictitious take and freedom to explore various topics with a wide lens.
However, as Mindhunter and When They See Us, have shown,
putting human faces on detectives (and victims) of real circumstances can go a LONG ways.

But it stops short.
We don’t get the full Kemper-like interview at the end.
We get a short quip. A tiny vignette into their perspective, and that’s all.
I, for one, honestly wanted to know the answer to the woman’s question in the courtroom in one of the final episodes:
“Why did you choose me?”.
It was a lost opportunity for added drama.

Or maybe I just have a sick mind and am overly interested in the inner-workings of a psychopath’s thought process.
But isn’t that, deep down, why we all watch these things?

In any case, let me backtrack to offer another subtle critique of the show.

The plot of Unbelievable didn’t zigzag. It felt too linear.

Every episode moved us closer to the goal.
I hate watching CSI. And I hate when things are TOO predictable.

Additionally, each episode felt, like it dragged on.
Which can be good, like in some episodes of True Detective.
They TRIED to make it a personal drama between the two detectives.
Yet, both aren’t entirely likable characters. I wouldn’t want to sit down and have a beer with either of them.
I wish Merritt Wever’s character was more like her former role as a ditzy RA on Nurse Jackie.
It feels like she was trying to be super serious because of the subject matter, as well as prove she has a wider acting range.
… And, I hated it. Everyone felt too serious, all of the time.
The only reprieve from it was with the ‘Max the Knife’ story line.

And to be fair, this is my main critique of ‘When They See Us‘ as well.
Yes, I understand the characters are victims of a mass injustice the likes of which I can barely fathom.
Yet, there is no humor in the entire show. And as such, both, suffer from a lack of realness.

Oh well.

Unbelievable is good.
Maybe a bit forgettable, but I’m glad it was made.
It’s worth a watch, if you’ve seen the 25 or so other things above this show on this list.

… And this is worth a read, after you’ve finished it:
How the real Marie Adler reacted to watching Netflix’s ‘Unbelievable’

3.4 / 5 Reviewer
  • Gripping real life case file.
  • Female buddy-cop duo bears a stark resemblance to True Detective (season 1).
  • Cons
  • Every episode builds towards the finale with no real surprises.
  • All characters are way too depressing and super serious all the time.
  • It's a female-cast True Detective (season 1) .. And that's not a bad thing. It's good. Like, Ghostbusters remake, level good.
    Set Design
    Special Effects
    Editing / Pace

    2 thoughts on “Unbelievable | Mini-Series”

    1. Anything closely resembling TD season 1 will catch my attention so I will definitely watch. If soundtrack was better I wonder if it would have impacted other elements of the show. It’s such a crucial piece to pacing, intensity, emotional connection, etc.

      Also I don’t know what Denoument is. Also it’s spelled denouement because iPhone just told me. 👍

    2. Yeah, I wish the soundtrack was better too.
      I feel like it was missing the dreamy, almost mystical, philosophical elements of True Detective season 1 as well.
      Like how McConaughey would say he would see visions and such.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *