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Netflix sensation 'Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story' sparks controversy | Arts & Entertainment

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On Sep. 21, Netflix released their new original series, “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story,” which broke the record of most watched week 1 for a series with 196.2 million hours viewed. The true-crime series has captured the curious minds of people all around the world and has brought out much criticism as well.

The series follows the story of the infamous serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer who Evan Peters plays between 1978 and 1991. The director, Ryan Murphy, created this series to emphasize the failure of the Milwaukee Police Department’s blatant disregard for Dahmer’s actions due to the majority of the victims being Black men in the LGBTQ+ community. The story focuses on the 17 men Dahmer murdered and other crimes he committed up until being murdered in prison.

Right off the bat, the first noticeable thing is how similar Evan Peters looked to the actual Dahmer. After seeing Peters in other dark roles, mainly in the series “American Horror Story,” it was no surprise that Peters put on an eerily exceptional performance.

Peters truly portrayed the twisted and deranged mind of Dahmer, so much so that many found it uncomfortable to watch sometimes despite being fans of Peters. Peters certainly put everything into this performance to where he had all of Dahmer’s mannerisms and voice down to a T.

Murphy stressed the failures that the Milwaukee Police Department committed and how Dahmer could have been stopped earlier if it weren’t for their prejudices towards the victims.

The series details the murders and the progression of Dahmer’s violence and by no means puts Dahmer in a position where people can somehow sympathize with him. Even though the actual events are gruesome, the series does not show graphic scenes of the murders, just descriptions, out of respect for the victims.

True crime fans will find the series fascinating in discovering more about how depraved Dahmer was and learning about his unjustifiable reasons for what he did.

The show also gives us a chance to learn more about the people he killed and who they were when they were alive, not just how they died.

Episode six is ​​one of the most well-done episodes and goes into great detail about the background and personal life of one of the victims, Tony Hughes, who was also a part of the deaf community. The episode was one of the series’ more heartbreaking and tearful stories; Hughes was the only victim whom the show went into great depth about the background, and many viewers, including me, wished they had done more episodes like the sixth one or at least gone more into depth about the victim as a person.

The series was very well done and one of the better true crime pieces that have aired in recent years.

However, the show has recently faced criticism after family members of the victims have been speaking out about the show. It was made aware that neither Netflix nor Murphy contacted the families to let them know about the show’s making. They found out along with the rest of us. The families have publicly said on social media that they have to relive such a traumatic experience 31 years later.

Despite the attempt at keeping Dahmer out of a pitying view, viewers have now taken to social media platforms, especially TikTok, and have started to romanticize and sympathize with Dahmer. This brings a whole new perspective to the show and displays how this horrific event happened to real people and their families, who are still dealing with the trauma and heartbreak that has ensued for over 30 years. The have been pushed into the shadows while the spotlight victims was put on Dahmer, and the show failed to finally give all victims the remembrance they deserve.

“Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” was captivating and drew in the inquisitive minds of viewers all over. However, the show does not come without its faults. The show’s storyline is well thought out, but it can be easily forgotten that it’s a true story.

The series had the right intention and was undoubtedly profound. Still, without warning the families about the production and release of it, the morality of the entire thing comes into question.

Overall Rating: 8.5/10

Mary Claire Phelps is a contributor.