For Amagansett resident Alec Baldwin, Netflix’s Making a Murderer has been something of an obsession of late. Just check his Twitter feed— “Follow @MakingAMurderer and discover the most interesting and most disturbing documentary film program I’ve ever seen. It is incredible,” the actor gushes in a December 28 tweet.
Baldwin, who additionally called the show “the best documentary series I have seen in years. In many, many years,” recently got a chance to interview Making a Murderer creators Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos for his Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin podcast.
The conversation, which was released by WNYC on Tuesday, January 19, looks at Making a Murderer, the filmmakers who made it, and the show’s central figure, Steven Avery, who spent 18 years in prison for a sexual assault in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin until DNA evidence exonerated him and he was released.
That story alone has potential for great television—just look at Sundance Channel’s brilliant and quietly popular drama series Rectified—but things became much darker and more sordid. Soon after the newly freed Avery began proceeding with a multimillion-dollar wrongful imprisonment lawsuit, he was arrested again and convicted of brutally murdering a photographer who was covering his story.
What followed has become the water cooler subject of the season as viewers continue to argue over Avery’s innocence, alleged police misconduct portrayed in the show, and, if the allegations are true, whether or not such misconduct should allow him to go free, whether he committed the awful crime or not.
Along with details of Avery’s case, the creators’ portrayal of it, and the inevitable blowback that followed from naysayers, Baldwin and his guests chat about their film school roots, how they landed on Avery as their subject, and Ricciardi and Demos’ efforts and hardships getting their show made. Netflix, they said, committed to the project during their first meeting.
This latest episode of Here’s the Thing could be an excellent primer for those that haven’t watched Making a Murderer, but it’s an equally excellent supplement for diehard fans.