Netflix Dahmer Series Review

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Image courtesy of Melanie Vargas

The Dahmer series tells the story of America’s most infamous serial killer through the eyes of his victims.

Melanie Vargas, Copy Editor

On September 21, 2022, the Jeffrey Dahmer series premiered on Netflix. The focus of the show is the entire course of Jeffrey’s life, from his childhood up until his death. The show is based on the American serial killer Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer. The series is portrayed through the eyes of his victims and the show paints a detailed picture of the murders he committed. The Jeffrey Dahmer series is a compact narrative that leaves you shocked at the end of each episode. By the time it’s all over, you can actually feel the horror of what was done.

The show’s opening scene is the arrest of Jeffrey Dahmer. It’s his neighbor Glenda Cleveland, whose face we first glimpse. She catches him in the hallway and confronts him about the pungent odors emanating from his apartment. He dodges her question and goes to a nearby bar after making excuses like rotten meat and dead fish for the odor. At the bar, he meets Tracey Edwards, who will be his latest victim.

The series prioritizes the voice and stories of Dahmer victims over who Dahmer is as a person on almost every level. I think this creative decision is what gives the story the weight it merits while making the series interminably intense. Dahmer has been presented for years as a deranged cannibal who somehow evaded capture from the police and this version of the story in the show makes the events closer to the reality of the situation making the series that much better.

I was left stunned by the Dahmer series because of how personal everything is. All the elements from the performance to the special effects are so precisely depicted to provide a very accurate picture of who Dahmer was. Because of how closely Evan Peters’s performance resembles the real Jeffrey Dahmer I definitely think he deserves an Oscar. Everyone’s performance was really amazing, particularly actress DaShawn Barnes playing the role of Rita Isbell, who gave such a strong performance.

It is untrue, contrary to what some people claim, that the show praises Dahmer and his crimes. A flawed, unstable, and sick individual but nevertheless human, the series depicts his struggle to be normal. It also provides us with background information about his victims and families allowing us to connect with them and their stories. This is the series to watch if you like true crime because it’s definitely one of the greatest.