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Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Show takes Netflix by Storm

Updated: Oct 18, 2022

Written By Sydney Spack, Red & Black Contributor

"Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story" was released on September 21st of 2022 on Netflix. (Photo Courtesy: Netflix)
Recently the popular streaming service Netflix, a chilling new show has dropped, titled, “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story”. Ryan Murphy, the director of this new miniseries, is no stranger to the eerie, harrowing side of Hollywood productions. With contributions to “American Horror Story”, “Ratched”, and numerous other shows, he is a veteran in the field. According to Netflix’s self-reported data, the miniseries has sat at No.1 in the English television spot for two weeks with nearly 300 million views. With this incredible viewership comes a plethora of internet reactions, thoughts, and opinions. Most viewers can agree that the television show managed to avoid glorifying Jeffrey Dahmer and instead, revealed his truly sinister nature. This was done purposely by Murphy as he avoided telling the story from Dahmer’s perspective and rather constructed it as a way of watching it all unfold from the outside.

The internet took to a popular social media platform, Twitter, and immediately began voicing their thoughts, with one user writing, “You’re gonna believe a white man with a criminal record instead of a black man with no record. That sums up why #DahmerNetflix deserves to be told. It’s a story about racism, poverty, police brutality, injustice and privilege. All of which are still relevant today.” In fact, many other viewers agree that it highlights the series of tragic events that led to Dahmer’s evasion the police for so long during his spree. The actor portraying Jeffrey Dahmer, Evan Peters, also garnered an incredible amount of attention for his phenomenal performance in the series. In an interview with Netflix, Peters discussed the difficulties of playing Jeffrey Dahmer, saying “I was gonna have to go to really dark places and stay there for an extended period of time.” Peters admitted to performing extensive research on Dahmer including watching his interview with Stone Phillips along with reading autobiographies and the police reports to fully immerse himself in the role.

Without missing a beat, along with the positive feedback came the negative. Many critics claim the new show humanizes the brutal, horrific murders and has forced members of victims’ families to relive a traumatic time in their life. Specifically, the family of Errol Lindsey has been vocal about their disapproval of the series. Errol’s sister, Isbell, was upset over the recreation of her testimony claiming Netflix “just did it.” Other critics argued that tagging the series with the “LGBTQ” tag on Netflix was grossly insensitive to members of the community. Its other tags included, “Ominous,” “Psychological,” and “Horror.” The shock came from the juxtaposition of the previously mentioned tags to that of the other shows under the LGBTQ section that are much more lighthearted, not about the brutal murders of gay men. Despite the whirlwind caused by the show on numerous social media sites, it is still viewed as an incredible production with impressive acting, set designs, and attention to detail.
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