What I’m Watching: When They See Us

As I Tweeted the other day I don’t have Now TV, it’s not for any reason other than the fact I already pay for Netflix and Prime so don’t particularly want to pay for another streaming service. That said I know I’ll end up signing up in the future so I’m not sure why I don’t as it is but that’s not what this post is about, as a result of not being able to watch Chernobyl which is the hot topic at the minute I instead watched When They See Us and to be honest I’m glad I did.

Also based on a true story When They See Us follows the rape of a woman in the park and the subsequent trial of five school boys, it’s an intense, emotional and very compelling watch that shows how the kids were coerced into providing false statements admitting guilt with each lad being forced to name the other despite only two of them actually knowing each other.

It’s a heart-breaking story that makes me glad that no matter how much of American culture is replicated here the culture within the police, although not perfect, is nowhere near as bad. The police took an absolute loathing to these kids and ensured they were alone when they threatened, beat and ultimately offered them the deals.

One of those arrested Yusef was fortunate enough to have his mother drag him out of the interview as he was a minor, one of them Kevin agreed the deal against his own wishes because his dad made him having been threatened by one of the police officers (A pain the dad would live with throughout the four part drama), one of them Anton was almost stopped from confessing by his sister but he was so distraught she agreed to countersign the confession, one Raymond was of Hispanic descent and his grandmother who spoke only Spanish was ushered out of the room allowing them to get to him before his dad came and the final one Karlos was only there because he’d come in with his friend and then fallen asleep, as they were desperate the police roped him in to say the others did it and then pinned it on him too.

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All of the lads served time ranging from six years to thirteen, none were released prior to the end of their sentence and all suffered as a result. The series showed then how each adjusted, or in the case of Raymond didn’t adjust, once the convictions were vacated. A powerful and moving series that is a must watch!

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