TV

Netflix’s Murdaugh Murders Season 2 Has One Moment of Unnerving Brilliance


Season 2 of the Netflix docuseries about the Alex Murdaugh murders works best when it delves into true crime obsession.

Murdaugh Murders True Crime
Photo: Netflix

Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal, Netflix‘s docuseries about the crimes of South Carolina aristocratic lawyer Alex Murdaugh, is often a frustrating experience. By insisting upon jumping right into the details of this very current case before the proverbial bodies are even cold, Murdaugh Murders falls well short of the definitive standard viewers look for in a true crime documentary.

Season 1 of the series, which premiered in February of this year, did a solid enough job of capturing the context of what made this Murdaugh story so fascinating. We delved into those particular details over here but here’s a TL;DR all the same. The Murdaughs are a dynastic political family from the low country of South Carolina. On Feb. 23, 2019, powerful lawyer Alex Murdaugh’s teenage Paul made news by accidentally killing one of his friends while operating a boat under the influence of alcohol. While that story was big enough to begin with, it quickly blossomed into an even grander true crime case culminating with Alex allegedly killing Paul and his wife Maggie near the dog kennels of their hunting lodge.

But that’s really only the half of it. There is so much going on in the complicated case of the Murdaugh family – from decades of political corruption to rampant drug use to embezzlement of clients’ funds to maybe even another murder or two. By presenting season 1 before Alex Murdaugh’s trial even began, the docuseries inevitably locked itself into covering that trial in season 2 rather than continuing to pull on all the other fraying threads in the Murdaugh’s rich tapestry of bullshit.

Unfortunately for Murdaugh Murders, the trial for Paul and Maggie’s murders isn’t that compelling – save for one Perry Mason moment in which Alex was caught in a lie thanks to a dog named Bubba. The jury takes but an hour before calling it a day and dialing up a guilty verdict. Add in the fact that any viewer interested in the Murdaugh case had already watched the publicly available trial months earlier and season 2 of this Netflix doc seems like a real waste.

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