We Don't Need A Gazillion 'Candy' And 'The Staircase' TV Shows
We’ve all witnessed the rise and boom of the True Crime genre over the past couple of decades, and we’ve written a bunch about society’s macabre fascination with people murdering other people. We really are a special bunch. There’s a whole business sector that caters solely to people who want coffee mugs and bath towels with the faces of serial killers on them for reasons we guess we don't really want to know, and our streaming services are saturated not only with true crime documentaries, but also with dramatized shows of real-life cases where Johnny beat Sally with a poker stick and no one saw it coming.
Now, however, our salacious appetites for more real-life whodunnits have reached a cringing new low. Now, our true crime shows are getting remakes, because everyone wants to splash their interpretation of just exactly how and why Shirley slaughtered Martha onto our TV screens. Now we’re getting multiple TV adaptations of a single actual murder in the same year — sometimes mere months apart. You may have heard of the Candy series, currently wrapping up over on Hulu, starring Jessica Biel sporting hubby Justin Timberlake’s ‘90s hairdo:
Yeah, apparently people find the story about a woman who killed another woman in self-defense (apparently) because she was having an affair with said woman’s husband so enticing that HBO Max will also be releasing their own dramatized version of the extremely suburban saga later this year.
Said the writer of Hulu’s Candy show: "The thing about this story is there's like 100 ways to tell this story.” Well, sure, but it begs the question: Whose story is it to tell? Documentary films and TV series at least (and mostly) feature the actual parents, victims, spouses, and sometimes even the children of the subjects who are either the accused or the deceased in the story. The people involved are the ones telling us what happened (as much as documentary filmmakers allow them to, of course). With dramatizations, however, that is not the case. Take The Staircase series — that’s also currently streaming on HBO Max (a-hem) — a true crime dramatization starring Colin Firth and Toni Colette about a man accused of killing his wife after she was found dead at the bottom of the stairs in their home.
If this story sounds familiar to you, it should, because we already got a (brilliant) French-made English-language documentary about the case, like, a second ago.
Jean-Xavier de Lestrade’s The Staircase was a really good documentary, with simple yet thoughtful storytelling, and no sensationalism slapped all over it. Alas, HBO and also just American television, in general, is neither classy nor French. We’ll probably have a third take on that Killer Staircase by next year from whichever streaming service is brave enough to claim that maybe an owl did it.
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Thumbnail: Hulu/HBO Max