After a long time, I felt so angry watching something on TV. The new series on Netflix, ‘When They See Us’ is a true story of five boys who got wrongly convicted for a brutal crime they did not commit.
Some things are painful to watch because we do not want to accept that something like this could happen. We would like to believe in justice. We would like to believe that the legal system works. That there should be evidence to prove a crime. That if you are innocent, you cannot be put in jail for years. But anything can happen… as we see. Do search for the true story, after watching the show.
This show is very sensitively made. It is a mini series – four episodes. The five kids have done a brilliant job. Your heart will break for them. And for the helplessness of their parents who watched their kids lose their respect, freedom, youth, dreams and life. The grown up actors have also done a great job. A side plot of a transgender character is also very touching.
Some characters I recognized from other shows:
She is Lynette from Desperate Housewives . She plays the head of the sex crime unit. This character is so convinced of her wrongdoing. No sign of regret. No empathy. No conscience whatsoever. It is said that if you say a lie often enough it become the truth. I read the person on whom this character is based has written crime novels that became bestsellers. Such is the unfairness of life.
At one point the character says:
“It is no longer about justice but politics. Politics is about survival. And there is nothing fair about survival.”
Powerful. Sums is up
She plays the Assistant DA. This is the first time that my partner recognized someone and I did not! She portrayed Lorraine Warren in the Conjuring series. It seems this character is aware that the charges are false, but she goes ahead with it anyway.
The actual person is this case is now a law lecturer. It seems she would not seek reappointment in her position, owing to her portrayal in the whose and the consequent outrage.
These characters are not said to be ‘racist’ on the show explicitly. There are mentions of Donald Trump though who had spent on advertisements demanding the death penalty following the boys’ arrest.
It is interesting that she played Dayanara in the famous prison series ‘Orange is The New Black’. Here, she is very mean to one of the boys to whom she plays a step mom. She is so spontaneous with her dialogues, hurling one insult after another another to him for being an ex-convict! It made me smile because I remember her as Daya in jail!
At the end of the show, they tell us where Kevin, Antron, Yusef, Raymond and Korey are now, and what they did once they got out of prison. The episode of Korey is the most heart-wrenching to watch. How these men managed to keep their sanity intact and build up their lives is commendable.
‘You are not who they said you are! Do not become that.’ says Raymond’s father. To be a good person despite hating the world for what they did to you is not easy.
Another dialogue that touched me was when a girl said to one of the guys that if she got out of prison, she would want to go out and do things. He tells her ‘You would not know what you would want’.
So true. We always like to put ourselves in other people shoes and decide what we would do in their place. But we are not in their shoes. We would not know…
There is so much more I want to write but since this show is a week old, I do not want to spoil it for others.
Watch it and let me know your views.