‘When They See Us’ can be considered as the best Netflix show about racial prejudice. Created, directed, and co-written by Ava DuVernay, this four-episode miniseries revolves around the 1989 Central Park jogger case, wherein a 28-year-old woman was attacked and brutally raped in Central Park, New York City. The tragic incident left her in a coma-induced state for 12 days. Five Harlem juveniles, four African-Americans and one Hispanic were accused of the crimes. What’s sad here is that these five teens were wrongfully convicted and had to spend a major part of their growing-up years behind bars. Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise later sued New York City and settled for a sum of around $40 million. But this does not account for the fact that they were harassed and spent multiple years being tossed around from one prison to another.
‘When They See Us‘ explores the consequences of failed legal and justice systems in the US. It tries to educate us that every individual should be treated equally, regardless of the race, caste or community they belong to. DuVernay creates a fascinating story, staying true to the facts and never going overboard with emotions and drama. Season 1 of the show premiered on Netflix on May 31, 2019. Now, if you have already watched the series and are looking for shows that are thematically and stylistically similar to this one, then we’ve got you covered. Here’s the list of best shows similar to ‘When They See Us’ that are our recommendations. You can watch several of these series like ‘When They See Us’ on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.
10. Making a Murderer (2015-)
‘Making a Murderer’, which won four Primetime Emmy Awards in 2016, is yet another masterpiece from Netflix in the genre of true crime documentaries. Written and directed by Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos, it narrates the story of Steven Avery, resident of Manitowoc County, Wisconsin. In 1985, he was wrongly convicted for the sexual assault and attempted murder of Penny Beerntsen and was sentenced to 18 years in prison. Following his release in 2003, Avery was again charged in 2005 with the murder of Teresa Halbach, which led to his conviction in 2007. The events also chronicle the arrest, prosecution, and conviction of Brenden Dassey, Avery’s nephew, under the grounds of acting as an accomplice in the incidents. Additionally, the show highlights the effects of the arrests on both Avery’s and Dassey’s families, the course of the investigation, and how he was coerced into a confession by his prosecutors, leading to violation of his constitutional rights.
9. The Innocent Man (2018)
‘The Innocent Man‘ is an adaptation of John Grisham’s 2006 non-fiction book, ‘The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town’. Premiering in 2018, this 6-episode miniseries chronicles the infamous double murders in Ada, Oklahoma, which had taken the small town by storm in the 1980s. The documentary explores the supposed false confessions of Ron Williamson, Dennis Fritz, Tommy Ward, and Karl Fontenot. ‘The Innocent Man’ narrates the events via interviews with the victims’ friends and family members, inhabitants of Ada, attorneys, journalists, and other involved individuals. Directed by Clay Tweel, the series deploys new, unseen footage with archival videotapes and photos to retell the story.