I am very picky about what I choose to watch – never mind binge-watch – on Netflix but the 8-part police procedural Unbelievable was definitely one worth the time.

Unbelievable is an American true crime television miniseries starring Toni Collette, Merritt Wever, and Kaitlyn Dever. It is about a series of rapes in Washington State and Colorado. The show was co-created by Susannah Grant, Ayelet Waldman, and Michael Chabon. All three co-creators and Sarah Timberman, Carl Beverly, and Katie Couric were executive producers. It was released on September 13, 2019, on Netflix. (Wikipedia description)

The true story of Marie, a teenager who was charged with lying about having been raped, and the two female detectives who followed a twisting path to arrive at the truth (IMDB synopsis)

As described above, Unbelievable is actually TWO stories – first, of rape victim Marie (Kaitlyn Dever) in 2008 and secondly, of detectives Grace Rasmussen (Toni Collette) and Karen Duvall (Merritt Wever).

The two narratives play out side by side during the course of the series and while it’s clear that they are connected, one is kept guessing throughout how things pan out in the end.

The series does an excellent job in highlighting the difficulties women have when reporting incidences of sexual assault and how these difficulties have an impact on only on the victims themselves but also on the success of any police investigations to catch the perpetrator.

Since it is based on a true story, Unbelievable works hard to present the plotlines as realistically as possible and in that respect, it has wildly succeeded. Thus, while it provides detailed insight into how the police work in sexual assault cases – good and bad – it keeps the overall tone very relatable with strong characterisations, not to mention brilliant performances from the leads.

I finished the series in two days and it was definitely one I thoroughly enjoyed. Highly recommended!

Streaming now on Netflix.

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