Catching Killers season 2 avoids Netflix’s usual true crime mistake. The streaming service has become well-known for the many shows it has produced in the true-crime genre. However, they usually run into a similar issue, one that Catching Killers has been able to evade.

At its core, Catching Killers largely focuses on the investigations that eventually lead to the capture of serial killers, which is done through interviews with the authorities involved in said investigations. Like many true-crime shows, it focuses on how advancements in DNA technology help these authorities bring killers such as Gary Ridgway and Dennis Rader to justice after they eluded capture for so long. It also includes snippets of the moments when killers were apprehended, such as when Lt. Mike Joyner goes undercover to help police apprehend Aileen Wuornos.


Overall, as popular as Netflix’s true-crime shows have been, they’ve also been subject to criticism. The biggest issue, ultimately, is the streaming service’s desire to extend true-crime shows further past their premiere season for the sake of sustaining the “brand.” This strategy has usually ended in disaster for Netflix, with subsequent seasons of the docuseries’ receiving much less positive reception than its predecessor. This is the case with shows such as Making A Murderer, but it is most glaring with the Tiger King sequel. Despite the first season’s massive success, Tiger King 2 received a more negative response. This is largely because the season recycles material from the first season, such as whether or not Tiger King‘s Carole Baskin killed her husband, or covers ongoing investigations, such as Joe Exotic’s claims of being set up for the attempt on the aforementioned Baskin’s life, without providing any definitive answers beyond what’s being speculated.

By contrast, the format of Catching Killers prevents the series from falling into the same trap as other true crime shows produced by Netflix. Each episode covers a different serial killer, and since all of these individuals have been captured and convicted, there are no ongoing or pending investigations that would lead to the series falling on speculation to leave viewers intrigued. Another aspect of Netflix’s Catching Killers that sets it apart from other true crime shows is how much it focuses on the authorities being interviewed and the toll these investigations have taken on their lives. While completely unintentional on Netflix’s part, some true-crime shows have seen troubling trends of people glorifying the subjects of said shows, such as the infamous serial killer Ted Bundy and Tiger King‘s Joe Exotic. By focusing on those involved in bringing serial killers to justice, viewers of Catching Killers get to see the full extent of the damage their crimes have done, not just to the victims and their loved ones, but to those working to prevent them from doing such harm as well. It’s a poignant approach that makes seeing the killers captured and the subsequent peace the authorities receive emotionally cathartic.

Through its format and a different approach to true crime shows, Catching Killers is able to stand out among Netflix’s other shows within the genre. While no season 3 has been confirmed, it’s good to see that the series has not run out of mileage just yet. Hopefully, other true crime shows that premiere on Netflix will follow this series in a similar vein.

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