6 Documentaries To Watch To Educate Yourself On Systemic Racism

While we are showing support for and standing in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, and many of us are donating if we are able, it’s important to be as educated as possible on why this fight against police brutality and systemic racism is so important. Sadly, for many of us, our formal education on racism and civil rights stopped at the 1960s, and probably wasn’t nearly comprehensive enough to begin with, leaving out decades of important information.

As most of us are still spending a lot of time at home right now, this is the perfect time to get to work on being a more educated ally. Luckily, the streaming services you already spend all your time on have some amazing documentaries readily available. In the last few days, many activists like Dom Roberts and Kota Lovette have used their platforms to make some suggestions on what to watch. Of course, watching these movies is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of being a good ally, but here are some recommendations for where to get started.

’13th’ – Netflix

13th

In this deeply unsettling doc, Ava DuVernay examines how, since the end of the Civil War, our country has perpetuated slavery through racist mechanisms like segregation and the War on Drugs. DuVernay explains why these structures have led to an enormous mass incarceration problem, and how corporations profit from keeping black people behind bars. While not an easy watch by any means, 13th does an unflinching job of illustrating how our legal system is rigged against black people.

‘I Am Not Your Negro’ – Amazon Prime

Writer and activist James Baldwin was a crucial voice in the Civil Rights Movement, and the film I Am Not Your Negro uses his own words to powerfully depict the ongoing struggle for equality in our country. Along with archival footage and recordings, Samuel L. Jackson narrates from one of Baldwin’s unfinished works, and the final result is a fascinating look at both James Baldwin’s life and his views on race. His words may be from decades ago, but they’re just as timely today.

‘LA 92’ – Netflix

You’ve probably heard a lot of references to the Rodney King riots, or the LA riots from the ’90s, but a lot of us don’t really have the proper context. Perhaps they should teach this stuff in schools? In 1992, protests broke out in LA in response to four police officers being found not guilty of using excessive force in a brutal arrest and beating of Rodney King. The whole thing was caught on video, and people were outraged that the officers were acquitted. More than 50 people were killed in the days of riots that followed, and many more were injured, and this documentary does an excellent job of teaching us about this landmark event.

‘O.J.: Made In America’ – Hulu

OJ Made In America

You probably know the general details of the O.J. Simpson trial, but this epic seven-hour documentary is an absolute must-watch. Of course, there’s the true crime element, which is incredibly interesting, but director Ezra Edelstein weaves O.J.’s story seamlessly with the background of what was happening in Los Angeles at the time. This includes the 1992 riots, and other events that led to an incredibly volatile relationship between the black community and the LAPD. This film is really a staggering feat of storytelling, and no matter how much you know about O.J., there’s plenty more to learn.

‘Knock Down The House’ – Netflix

Knock Down The House

The events happening now don’t exist in a vacuum—they’re the product of hundreds of years of racist policies and attitudes. If we are going to make meaningful changes moving forward, we have to have a government that will work for us, and Knock Down The House follows the efforts to make that a reality. The film follows Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and three other female grassroots candidates on their 2018 Congressional campaigns, and the institutional challenges designed to keep people like them out of power. I rewatched this over the weekend, and it’s one of the few things that has actually made me feel hopeful for the future.

‘The Death And Life Of Marsha P. Johnson’ – Netflix

Marsha P. Johnson

As we move into Pride month, it’s extremely important to remember that we owe the entire Pride movement to queer black people rioting for their rights. Marsha P. Johnson was an activist and trans woman who is known for being a primary figure in the Stonewall Riots of 1969. She was an icon in the queer community, until she died under mysterious circumstances in 1992. This documentary is both a celebration of her life, and an attempt to find justice for her death. If you plan on celebrating Pride this month, this should be on your viewing list.

There are no shortage of documentaries, movies, books, TV shows, and podcasts on important topics like these, so keep searching for resources to learn as much as possible. In this post, activist Dom Roberts shared some more recommendations of things to watch, all of which are great options.

 

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saw this quote, totally moved me. thank you guys for your lean in and support. i’m working on making more informational graphics with resources like books,podcasts, articles, etc. so you guys can stay informed and educated. thanks again for all the support you guys are incredible! also the link to give to george floyd’s memorial fund is in my bio! #justiceforgeorgefloyd

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It’s on all of us to do our part right now, and the least we can do is learn about why this fight is so important. If you have other movies, books, or shows you’ve found helpful, please leave them in the comments.

Images: Clay Banks / Unsplash; Courtesy of Netflix (4); ESPN Press Room; domrobxrts / Instagram

The Official Ranking Of Terrible People In Netflix’s ‘Tiger King’

We’ve already explored the many, many questions Netflix’s Tiger King leaves its audience to answer, like “are you really allowed to just own a tiger?” and “what is Howard’s deal?” But the most pressing question Tiger King asks is if who, if anyone, are the good people here? When every single person is an animal abuser at best and a straight-up murderer at worst, it’s kind of hard to figure out who to root for in this sordid tale of tigers, betrayal, and alleged murder. But goddammit, I’ve tried. Here’s our ranking of Tiger King characters from most and least likely to end up in the Bad Place.

10. Travis Moldonado

If anyone in this show is a pure victim, it’s poor, sweet, Travis, whom I think we can all agree was actually pretty cute before Joe Exotic used drugs to coerce him into a gay polygamist relationship despite Travis not identifying as gay or polygamist. Sweet Travis didn’t deserve to get all caught up with these crazy-ass tiger people. Travis was innocent!

9. John Finlay

Joe’s first husband is also innocent in all of this. The only thing he did wrong was fall in love with a charismatic man named Joe Exotic. (And also meth.) The only reason I ranked him worse than Travis was because he was kind of complicit in bringing Travis in on this whole thing in the first place, and for his choice to conduct his interview shirtless.

8. Joshua Dial

Joshua Dial, aka Joe Exotic’s campaign manager, is a fairly empathetic character in this documentary in that he literally watches someone shoot themself. That said, I think it’s irresponsible to try to help get a guy whom you met in the ammo section of Walmart and describe as “Donald Trump on meth” elected to public office, simply because being a campaign manager is your dream job.

Props to him for getting 19% of the vote in the governor campaign, though. Mike Bloomberg paid like, half a billion for those numbers.

7. Howard Baskin

When you catch him liking another girl’s pic on IG pic.twitter.com/LBDilmpHQZ

— notanothertruecrimepod (@NATCpod) March 26, 2020

I did a vibe check on Howard and it came back negative. Something’s not right with this man. Why does he stan Carole so hard? What kind of weird sex thing is going on there? *Remembers the photo of their wedding where she has him dressed as a little tiger on a leash* Oh…right…

6. James Garrettson

 

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Ok last one (for today) #tigerking

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Yes, James Garrettson is a snitch, and by virtue of that, deserving of stitches. But like, who can hate a man who rides a jet ski so confidently? Yes, he turned on his own friends to avoid prosecution on an illegal lemur purchasing charge, but the result of that snitching is that another person was not murdered. So I guess he’s ultimately good?

5. Mario Tabraue

Mario Tabraue, aka “The Real Life Tony Montana,” is probably the most hardened, legitimate criminal in this documentary. Tabraue was one of the biggest movers of illegal narcotics in Miami during the 80s, and was arrested for his involvement in the murder of an ATF agent. He is also the most level-headed individual in the entire series. Go figure.

4. Jeff Lowe

 

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Be thankful for what you have. #happyplace #netflix #netflixtigerking #tigerking #tigerkingnetflix #zoo #zookeeper #zookeeperlife #newking #newzoo #okzoo #oklahomazoo #zoolife

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Motherf*cking Jeff Lowe the zoo thief. How dare this man take Joe Exotic’s zoo and attempt to turn it into a reputable organization? That’s not why people come to G.W. Zoo! They come to pet baby tigers and have a dude with a mullet point a gun at them. That’s it. Also I don’t get good vibes from his relationship with Lauren. What’s going on there? Who openly tells their wife they want to hire a f*ckable nanny, and that she has to get back in the gym immediately after giving birth to his child? I don’t care what kind of open arrangement you have, that’s disrespectful.

And I am definitely not convinced this new zoo he’s building is going to be up to code.

3. Doc Antle

So Doc Antle may not be an alleged murderer like some of the other people on this list, but he still snags third place because this motherf*cker just casually had a sex cult!!! Can we get another Netflix doc on the tiger sex cult? You can’t just like, introduce a sex cult for one episode in a docuseries and then just go back to having that guy in interviews like everything is fine. I need to know about the sex cult, and I need to know about it yesterday. Netflix, you know what to do.

2. Joe Exotic

What is there to say about Joe Exotic that hasn’t already been said? On the one hand, Joe Exotic is a hilarious character about whom I would (and did) happily watch 7 episodes of documentary footage. On the other hand, he’s a violent psychopath who tried to have a woman killed. This is a man who has personally killed multiple tigers. As entertaining of a character as he is, he is not a good person.

1.Carole Baskin

I know this decision is going to be controversial. In trying to figure out whether to make Joe or Carole number one, I had to ask one crucial question: What’s worse, actually attempting to murder someone, or allegedly actually murdering someone?

After much thought and peer review (I asked my fiancé), I have decided that, if true, Carole murdering her husband and feeding him to her questionably “rescued” tigers probably makes her the worst person in Tiger King. It’s very, very stiff competition, but I think it’s the alleged feeding of his body to the tigers that sends Carole over the edge here. Absent the fairly credible case that she killed her husband and fed him to tigers, Carole would probably be around 4 or 5 for just being home-wrecker who abuses both tigers and interns.

Image: Netflix; natcpod / Twitter; natcpod, oklahoma_zoo / Instagram

12 Questions I Still Have After Watching ‘Tiger King’

If you manage to make your way past coronavirus Twitter, you’ll notice that people are talking about something called Tiger King. The new Netflix docuseries that follows Oklahoma-based, eccentric, openly gay tiger breeder and zookeeper Joe Exotic (not his government name) has been taking the internet by storm, and for good reason: it is the quarantine distraction we all need.

Everything about this documentary is so delightfully American in all the ways that America can be terrible—but like, in a mostly fun way, and not a “our country is so f*cked systemically that we should maybe consider burning it to the ground and starting from scratch” way that the current pandemic has exposed. Back when America was trash just because it was trashy, and its citizens were trashy, and not because it was a literal flaming pile of waste: this is the America of Tiger King. When a random guy in Oklahoma could buy a few tigers, recruit a local kid from a nearby public school to teach him magic tricks so he could bring a bunch of tigers to various malls throughout the country and perform magic shows with them—those were the good old days. When the same guy could decide to run for president, and then eventually governor, despite having zero experience (or shot at winning, tbh). It’s plastic sequins on a cowboy hat worn to an impromptu drunken wedding in Vegas: that’s the America we get in Tiger King.

Picture this: Three white people (all blond, to varying degrees of authenticity). All living in the South (Oklahoma, Florida, and South Carolina). All running their own private zoos, complete with tigers and other big cats, and feuding with each other. Hold up, you can do that? Yeah, I didn’t know either. Apparently, you can just straight-up buy a tiger to keep as a pet, and this is the kicker, if you’re in one of the following states: North Carolina, Alabama, Delaware, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. As far as Florida goes, you can’t have a tiger as a pet, but their ownership laws are (not shockingly if you know anything about Florida) fairly easy to circumvent.

Obviously, the fact that you can just buy a tiger to own as a pet is not fun. Neither is the pretty rampant animal abuse that is blatantly put on display, more or less unchecked (the producers show that it’s bad, rather than telling, and the only person who consistently points out the abuse is also engaging in some less-than-optimal treatment of animals herself). But if you can get past that, the cast of crazy white people in various southern states provides the perfect backdrop to the real-life soap opera that ensues. And it’s the exact train wreck we all need to distract us from the current high-speed train wreck that is life.

Without spoiling too much, Tiger King presents the best of every true crime documentary or docuseries out there, and one-ups it. It’s even more WTF-inducing than Abducted in Plain Sight. It’s got more twists and turns than The Jinx. To take a page from Stephon’s playbook, this documentary has everything: lawsuits. Jail time. FBI informants. A missing persons case. Cover-ups. Drugs. And that’s not even the half of it.

And the best part? Tiger King avoids the same error to which many Netflix documentaries fall victim (looking at you, Making A Murderer season 2, or should I say, the Steven Avery propaganda machine): it does not champion a winner. In a cast of three main characters (Joe Exotic, Doc Antle, and Carole Baskin), no one is totally innocent, and no one is presented as “The Good One” because they all have their moments of shadiness. Tiger King is a f*cking wild ride, reminiscent of a meth trip (I’d imagine, I can’t say from experience), and when it ends and you crash, you’ll be thinking about it for days.

In fact, I’m still thinking about it. I’ve still got a lot of questions. If I haven’t convinced you to binge the whole series, do it now, and then come back, because I want you to enjoy it, and I really don’t want to spoil it. Which I will be doing below. Here’s a non-comprehensive list of all the questions this docuseries left me with.

Is That Really Joe’s Singing Voice In All The Music Videos?

There’s no way it’s possible. No f*cking way. I can’t be the only one who thinks this.

What Happened To Mario Tabraue?

Positioned as a real-life Tony Montana in episode 2, this guy was f*cking wild. (To be clear, dangerous and very scary, but also, fantastic television.) I could watch a whole series just on him. What happened to Tabraue, and why did they only bring him up in one episode, never to be heard from again? I hope he gets a spin-off.

Is Jeff Lowe Going To Jail?

Probably one of the sketchiest people to ever exist, Jeff Lowe seemed to be on the verge of a federal takedown by the time Tiger King ended. But what the hell happened with that? Is it smart for a federal prosecutor to tell documentarians that she is looking into various people? Seems like it would be ill-advised to tip off a bunch of suspected criminals that you are looking into them, right? What do I know.

Did Joe Really Think He Would Become Governor?

Or was he running for sh*ts and giggles and to get the extra publicity? He can’t have thought he would win, right?

Is Doc Antle Still Running A Sex Cult?

If he ended up in a NXIVM-style bust next year, I would not be the slightest bit shocked. I’ve also got to wonder just what all these ladies are seeing there. Why is it never good-looking men running the sex cults?

Did Carole Kill Her Husband?

She did, right? Costa Rica? Come on.

Would I Take A Picture With A Baby Tiger?

Sadly, my most immediate takeaway from the docuseries was just how cute tiger cubs are. And yes, I know that petting them is bad. I fully understand that! But I was also just doing a realistic assessment of myself and wondering, “would I take a picture with one of these little guys if given the chance?” And I have to say that before watching this documentary, I probably would have. At least now I know better.

How Is Joe Doing?

I’m kind of worried for him, guys. I can only hope he’s leading his own little cult in prison.

What Was With That Jet Ski Shot?

You know the one I’m talking about. It was, perhaps, the shining moment in the entire series.

Are Joe And Dylan Still Married?

I assume Joe would have like, 600 marriage proposals by now if they are not still together.

What Is Howard’s Deal?

Watching the documentary, I couldn’t help but think that Howard is, well, kind of a dweeb. But he’s a serious ride-or-die for Carole (and, given certain theories put forth in the documentary, that could be quite literal). And I just want to know… why? But also, how can I find my own Howard?

What About All The Other Animals At The Zoos?

In addition to the big cats, Joe also had chimpanzees, bears, and a whole slew of other animals. (At one point, you see like, six little dogs running around.) Why weren’t they given any attention?

What Makes Carole Any Better Than Joe Or Doc?

This is the question that keeps me up at night. Aside from savvy marketing and an apparent mastery of Search Engine Optimization, at the end of the day, is Carole really rescuing any tigers? Are any of them helping animals at all? Or is it just a cash grab?

Images: Courtesy of Netflix; Joe Exotic TV / Youtube

The Best True Crime Docs On Netflix Right Now

If there is one thing I’d love to get to the bottom of, it’s why super unrealistic horror movies about immortal clowns who eat children keep me up all night, but fictional crime shows about sexually-based offenses that are considered especially heinous basically put me to sleep. If anyone asks why I like these shows so much, I always say that it’s for educational purposes. Like, if I’m ever a suspect in a murder and Detective Benson offers me a glass of water to “calm my nerves” in the interrogation room, I know not to drink it because it’s just a ploy to get my DNA and prove that I did, in fact, commit the murder! Okay, so maybe that example might not happen in the real world? I don’t know. Regardless, if you’re less into the “ripped from the headlines” Dick Wolf adaptations and more into what events they ripped from the headlines in the first place, head to Netflix. There is so much true crime content on there that you won’t be able to sleep for days. If you, too, have an undiagnosed passion for true crime shows, these are the shows and movies you need to binge, like, yesterday.

‘Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez’

ICYMI, Aaron Hernandez is an ex-Patriots player who was convicted for the murder of Odin Lloyd in 2015, another football player and his future brother-in-law. If that’s not enough, he hanged himself in his prison cell only a few days after he was acquitted of a DIFFERENT case of double homicide that had occurred in 2012. TF is going on in the NFL??? This docuseries travels into Hernandez’s past to piece together the potential factors that led him to a life of violence, including the death of his controlling father, his closeted homosexuality, and a lifetime of concussion-related injuries. I’ve only watched the trailer, but I need to know more ASAP.

‘Don’t F**k With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer’

I am the kind of person who can most certainly handle a slew of people fake dying in a show/movie, but bursts into tears when the fictional, CGI-crafted direwolves die in Game of Thrones. As you can guess from the title of what turned out to be a truly disgusting true crime docuseries, it starts out with animals getting hurt, specifically, cats. Rule number one of the internet is you don’t f*ck with cats, so a group of Facebook vigilantes is motivated to start a group to find whoever hurt the cats. I won’t go into detail because I don’t want to start crying at my desk spoil anything, but this show is about a dude who made a video of himself torturing and killing two kittens… and escalates from there. The videos are later linked to a much worse crime of similar nature on a different species. This one’s not for the faint of heart, so only real true crime fans can get through this one.

‘Amanda Knox’

Ok, obviously we all know who she is, but have we actually seen the documentary? I have and it’s f*cking amazing. I have to admit, some of the documentaries listed above and below are only on the listed because the content is crazy, but this one is actually really well-produced. To sum it up in one sentence: this is about the worst study abroad experience ever. Amanda Knox went to Perugia, Italy her junior year of college, but before she could come home and pretend she’d developed an Italian accent, she got arrested for her roommate’s brutal murder. Welp. Hate when that happens! As we’ve seen from her amazing tweets over the last few years, she is no longer in prison nor a suspect in the murder. Ya love to see it. The documentary basically walks you through the chain of events and parts of the trial as if you are actually there observing from afar. Well done, Netflix!

‘Abducted In Plain Sight’

This one is just like one long and absurd SVU episode during which you’d quietly scoff, “That would never happen.” Oh, but it did. Twice. It all starts with 12-year-old Jan Broberg, whose creepy pedo neighbor molests and kidnaps her not once, but TWICE. Obviously this is gross and horrible and illegal for a reason, but the most shocking part of this documentary is Jan’s parents’ reaction to the whole thing. Cavalier is an understatement, to say the least. They’re either really stupid or really stoic. Here’s what I mean: When the police tell them their daughter has been kidnapped by their friend and neighbor, the mother said, “Oh dear. Oh. Now I won’t be able to sleep.” I say the exact same thing in the exact same tone when I have one too many cupcakes before bed, not when my daughter is kidnapped!!

‘I Am Jane Doe’

Tbh, I haven’t watched this one yet because the subject matter is all too real and made me a little sad. However, after reading a few sentences about it, I learned that it’s narrated by Jessica Chastain, so I’ve decided to cancel my weekend plans in favor of bingeing this in one sitting. Hopefully I don’t pull a Rue and give myself a kidney infection, but who knows? Ok, so I Am Jane Doe’s title is a little misleading because the victims (AKA the Jane Does) are not the ones narrating; their mothers are. Wikipedia describes the documentary as such: “I am Jane Doe is a documentary chronicling the legal battle that several American mothers are waging on behalf of their middle-school daughters, who were trafficked for commercial sex on Backpage.com, the classified advertising website formerly owned by the Village Voice.” Holy sh*t. If you need more motivation to press play on this one, half of the film’s profits were donated to non-profit organizations who help formerly trafficked children to get their lives back on track through counseling. 

‘The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann’

Imagine taking a nice family trip to a beach resort in Portugal and your child gets kidnapped from their hotel room. That’s like, a totally valid reason to give a bad Trip Advisor review. In 2007, 3-year-old Madeleine McCann disappeared while with her family Portugal, and the story quickly became a sensation in the UK. For those of us who weren’t there across the pond, this docuseries takes us through what it was like to experience the news firsthand, including those feelings of hopelessness and frustration as you come to realize that this case remains to be solved, and probably never will be. The show also explores the relationship between the media and police, trying to find a balance between what is the most productive and respectful way to report these murders vs. what gets the most views. Wait, is Netflix exploiting serious criminals and their victims in order to satiate their viewers and their need for more true crime documentaries? Am I viewers?

‘Oklahoma City’

Another documentary that hits a little too close to home is Oklahoma City, which, as you can guess, takes place in Oklahoma City during a really unfortunate event: the 1995 bombing that killed more than 150 innocent civilians. This documentary pretty much examines how in the actual f*ck something like this happened and why by taking a really close look at the domestic terrorists who pulled it off.

Images: kat wilcox / Pexels

Which Fyre Festival Documentary Is Worth Watching?

Since last year, we knew that both Hulu and Netflix were working on documentaries about one of our favorite scams of all time, the Fyre Festival. Obviously, I was very excited to get an in-depth look at this complete and utter sh*tshow, but I had to wonder, are these movies really both necessary? Netflix announced that theirs would drop on January 18th, so I started to get excited. Then, last week, Hulu proved that it really is a messy b*tch who lives for drama, and dropped theirs three days before Netflix as a surprise. Hulu gets an automatic 10 bonus points just for that level of pettiness.

So because I’m a hardworking journalist (and a fellow messy b*tch who lives for drama), I watched both documentaries, and I’m going to break down some of the differences. First of all, both movies are actually really good. The fundamental story is fascinating, and both Netflix and Hulu did a great job of crafting a narrative that feels informative and fun at the same time. Both have interviews with some key players, including a few of the same people, who are obviously extra hungry for exposure justice. Oh, and both make Ja Rule look like a total dick. Like, how is his lawyer allowing him to tweet?

Sooo did they have all this food or did they serve cheese sandwiches??? Asking for a friend… https://t.co/kSIqgbtvwS

— Ja Rule (@Ruleyork) January 20, 2019

The thing I liked most about the Hulu documentary, Fyre Fraud, is the amount of backstory it gives us on Billy McFarland. From his credit card company Magnises, all the way back to hacking the computers in elementary school, we get a clear picture of how Billy has always had a compulsion to scam. Part of the reason we get so much of this information is because Fyre Fraud has interviews with Billy. He doesn’t provide that much useful info, other than a lot of red flags to look out for if you think you’re on a date with a sociopath. Because of pending legal action, there are some things he won’t comment on, but he also tells some wild lies, like that they had 250 luxury villas rented, but they lost the box with all the keys. I can’t make this sh*t up. We also get interviews with Billy’s hot Russian girlfriend, who I have some serious questions for.

Fyre, the Netflix movie, has some of the backstory woven in, but it focuses more on what was happening on the ground in the Bahamas. While Billy sat this one out, lots of key members of the Fyre team are interviewed, and you really get a sense of how many people tried to stop this disaster from happening. Basically, Billy didn’t want to hear any negativity, so people either left or got back to work. Heads up: there is one story about a request Billy made of one of his employees that will fully leave your jaw on the floor. Fyre also talks a bit more about the pain Billy & Co. caused for the local residents of the Bahamas, which is truly the most f*cked up part of this story. Some of these people gave everything they had to make this thing a success, but they were just being lied to the entire time.

Overall, Fyre (Netflix) gave me more information to actually understand what happened at Fyre Festival. I’ve always wondered why the whole thing wasn’t just canceled the week before, and I get it now. Both movies do an excellent job of showing how brilliant the influencer-based marketing campaign was, and how it was destined to be a disaster from almost the first minute of planning. If you’re truly interested in this kind of stuff, you really should watch both movies, because they complement each other quite well. If you’re like, busy or something, watch the Netflix one, because it has the Fyre Festival content you’ve been craving the most.

Or if documentaries aren’t really your thing, but you still want the deets on Billy McFarland, listen to the Fyre Festival episode of Not Another True Crime Podcast:

Images: Netflix; @ruleyork / Twitter; Giphy

5 New True Crime Documentaries To Watch On Netflix

Are you obsessed with true crime? We’re launching a NEW podcast called Not Another True Crime Podcast where we’ll talk about crime, cults, conspiracy theories, and all that other good sh*t. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter @natcpod for more info!

According to like, the dozens of tourists I’ve seen walking through New York wearing f*cking parkas this morning, it is officially chilly weather season. (Yes, I know it’s in the 70s. Don’t ruin this for me.) For most people, that means it’s cuffing season, but for the real ones, it’s true crime documentary binging season. It’s officially time to quit pretending we don’t eat carbs and dairy and dedicate every waking second of our spare time to what truly matters: our obsession with stuff that terrifies the sh*t out of us. Here are a few new true crime documentaries Netflix has added, while you were busy Instagramming yourself drinking canned rosé on a flamingo float while you still had the chance.

‘Killer Kids’

The first season of Killer Kids just got added to Netflix. It’s a series about… you guessed it, murderous children. This show really hits the ground running; there’s a group of metalhead teens who sacrifice a girl to Lucifer just in the first episode. I mean, I don’t think I even really need to say much else about this.

‘First and Last’

For those of you who watched the first like, three episodes of Orange is the New Black and then got bored and bailed, there is finally a documentary just for you. First and Last is a Netflix original that details the first and last days that real people spend in jail. (Sidenote: where can I apply for a job where I just title documentaries? Is there any creativity involved? Or are they just like “F*ck it, the deadline’s tomorrow, let’s just call it something obvious.”)

‘Tabloid’

This 2010 documentary was recently added to Netflix, but I’m still including it in this roundup because there’s a solid chance you haven’t seen it yet. Whatever. In 2010 we were too busy getting spray tans and wearing bodycon dresses to truly ride the true crime wave. Anyway, it’s about the insane media coverage of the Manacled Mormon case, where former beauty queen Joyce McKinney kidnapped and sexually assaulted a man while living in England in the ‘70s. Fair warning: you will fall into a Google hole after watching this. I won’t spoil it for you, but Joyce has drummed up some pretty insane headlines for us over the years, from having her pit bull cloned to plotting a burglary to obtain a wooden leg for her three-legged horse

‘Inside The Criminal Mind’

Another one of Netflix’s new original series is Inside the Criminal Mind, which seeks to explain the psychological reasoning behind why people commit specific kinds of crimes. One critic has described it as, “like a SparkNotes version of the psychology behind true crime,” which I think was intended to be a negative comment, but has me SOLD! Each 45-minute episode dives into a different kind of criminal mind; from serial killers to kidnappers to crime lords. Even if this series doesn’t have the best reviews, it does have three solid hours of true crime documentary content, which is essentially a hangover cure in itself.

‘I Am A Killer’

Damn, Netflix is really churning out the original documentaries. The streaming service added I Am A Killer last month. The series is basically like that part in Mean Girls where Regina George wrote “This girl is the nastiest skank bitch I have ever met. Do not trust her. She is a fugly slut,” next to her own picture in The Burn Book, except with death row inmates spilling the details of their capital murder convictions.  The first season has 10 50-minute episodes, so the binge-ability of this is solid AF.

Images: Netflix (4); YouTube (1) 

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5 Crazy Netflix Documentaries That Will Make You Question Humanity

The year is 2018 and one of the only joys left in this world is watching Netflix documentaries about people whose lives are way, way more fucked up than yours. Like, okay sure, I drunk dialed my therapist two weeks ago to tell her I’m “obsessed” with her and now I have to find a new therapist, but I never started a cult or poisoned anyone so like, who is the real villain here? Me? It’s still me? Well excuse me while I reevaluate my life watching one (or all) of these documentaries on Netflix right now.

Wild, Wild,Country

If you’re even mildly obsessed with cults (and let’s face it, we all are), this 6 part docs-series about the Rajneeshees, a cult that literally took over an entire town in Oregon, is about to take over your whole life. Come for the weird sex stuff, stay for the outfits. And once you’re done, please DM me so we can figure out how we’re all supposed to feel about Sheela. I have so many feelings.

Gringo: The Dangerous Life Of John McAffee

When I say the name “McAffee” you probably vaguely recall the anti-virus software that came automatically installed on your 2001 Dell desktop. But after watching this doc, the name McAffee will make you think less about protecting your computer from viruses you accidentally downloaded of Limewire and more about murder, fraud, and people who like shitting on each other. Seriously. McAffee is cancelled. Norton Anti-virus reigns supreme.

Trump: An American Dream

If you’ve ever looked around at the current president and thought, “well how the fuck did this happen?” I don’t blame you. Trump: An American Dream is a 4 part series that tells you everything you need to know about The Donald’s early life, and the history of shadiness that led him into the presidency and us into a shit show. Or a golden age of American MAGA-ness, depending on who you voted for.

My Friend Rockefeller

We all tell lies about our lives sometimes (“I’m happy!” “I love my boyfriend!” “I can totally afford this expensive lunch I’m eating!”) but Clark Rockefeller (who is totally not a Rockefeller, btw) takes this shit to a whole new level. His lies cover up murder, con artistry, and lots of other shady shit that will put your FaceTune addiction into perspective.

Dirty Money

If corporate scandals are your jam, look no further than this series that chronicles some of businesses biggest cover-ups. We’re talkin’ Trump stuff, we’re talkin’ Martin Shkreli, we’re talkin’…maple syrup? TBH if you’re not a corporate conspiracy theorist by the end of this series, IDK what to tell you.

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10 Netflix Documentaries To Fuel Your Feminist rage

Happy International Women’s Day, betches! On this, most badass of holidays, it’s important to take time to recognize the strong, empowering women who paved the way for a new generation of women to keep fighting for change and equality (so, like, call your mom and tell her you love her). To help get you started, here’s a list of 10 of the best feminist Netflix documentaries you can stream right now if you too want to feel the passion of rallying at the Women’s March without leaving the comfort of your bed.

1. She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry

When discussing the women’s movement, it’s v important to start at the inception of what we know as popular feminism today. This documentary focuses on the leaders and history of the feminist movements of the 1960s-70s. Just because they hadn’t come up with the Pussy Hat yet, doesn’t mean these women didn’t know how to host a solid protest.

2. The Hunting Ground

The Hunting Ground delves deep into the all too disturbing reality of campus sexual assault. This documentary sheds a light on the corruption of many universities trying to protect their image and favoring money over justice for their students, while also highlighting the brave students who spoke up, took a stand, and fought for their stories to be heard. Also, this is the documentary that brought us that STUNNING Lady Gaga song, “Til’ It Happens To You,” so like, get ready to shed a tear or two.

3. Gaga: Five Foot Two

Speaking of the Queen, Lady Gaga’s documentary, Gaga: Five Foot Two, is a super intimate and vulnerable look into Gaga’s life. It follows her through the heartbreak of breaking up with her fiancé, writing her Joanne album, dealing with chronic pain, and eventually slaying the fucking Super Bowl. If you’re looking for a fierce and resilient role model, look no further than Stefani Germanotta. YAAAAS GAGA!

4. Paris Is Burning

Ahem…*picks up megaphone*…Feminism isn’t feminism unless it’s intersectional, y’all! If Ru Paul’s Drag Race is your favorite reality competition (if it’s not, it should be), then Paris Is Burning is a must-watch. This 1990 documentary explores the elaborate and extravagant “drag ball” competitions, focusing on the African-American, Latino, gay, and transgender performers who used drag as an expression of personality and gender identity in a celebratory and inclusive space. Brush up on the origins of vital drag vocabulary, such as “mother,” “realness,” reading,” and “voguing” before your next 2am romp through the Hell’s Kitchen bar scene.

5. Seeing Allred

Gloria Allred is one of the most famous attorneys in America, and a certified HBIC of leading the crusade against the war on women. This documentary features interviews with Allred, as well as many of her loyal supporters and harshest critics, and focuses on how her own personal trauma led her to turn her survivor status into a beacon of hope and action for other women in sexual violence cases. Come for the icon, stay for the conversations about Bill Cosby and Donald Trump. Let’s just say ya girl doesn’t hold back.

6. Hot Girls Wanted

Hot Girls Wanted takes a look inside the exploitation of young women in the world of amateur internet porn. It’s a startling look into how easy it is for teens and young women who are already so plugged into social media and technology to get lured in by the appeal of using their bodies to make a little extra cash. Also, this documentary was produced by Rashida Jones – aka poetic and noble land-mermaid Ann Perkins – so you already know it’s going to be good.

7. A Ballerina’s Tale

If you don’t already know who Misty Copeland is, your homework is to watch this doc ASAP. As the first black principal dancer in the American Ballet Theater, Copeland is a serious inspiration to girls everywhere. She’s proof that you can follow your dreams, regardless of race, and has come to represent a new, elegant, gorgeous addition to the world of professional dance. I do have to subtract some points, though, because not once did this movie feature a psychotic Natalie Portman Black Swan ballerina breakdown. Lame. (Just kidding).

8. Gender Revolution: A Journey With Katie Couric

One of the most respected and noteworthy anchorwomen of all time, Katie Couric, takes a fascinating in-depth look at the way gender expression has changed overtime and the ways society is learning to adjust to a broader perspective. Gender Revolution touches upon transgenderism, pronouns, gender performance, and the ongoing civil rights debates surrounding equality and equal representation. Katie’s soothing, extremely likable tone is the perfect vehicle to bring emotional and inspiring interviews together and teach us all a little more about the impact of gender in our world.

9. Queen Mimi

OMG is this woman a fucking trip. Mimi Haist is a homeless woman living in a laundromat in Santa Monica, who garnered a sort of local celebrity status thanks to her firecracker personality, positive attitude, and passion for living an independent life with no regrets – and also the color pink. Some of Mimi’s friends include A-list celebrities like Renée Zellweger and Zach Galifianakis, who actually brought her as his date to the red carpet premiere of The Hangover III. I can only hope to be half the hilarious badass queen Mimi is when I’m in my 80s, but also I can’t even bring myself to leave my apartment to go to the laundromat when my clothes are overflowing out of my hamper so I don’t think I’m cut out to live in one.

10. Miss Representation

Rounding out the list is a recent classic (seriously, this documentary was assigned viewing in at least three of my Women’s & Gender Studies classes in college). This 2011 film peels back the curtain on how mainstream media represents women, often undermining their influence, or reducing them to spectacles to be looked at rather than listened to. For example: those commercials where Kate Upton has to shove a whole hamburger in her face while her boobs are practically escaping from her shirt. This documentary will enrage you, empower you, and make you want to call every advertising company and TV writer and help crack down on unfair representation in every form of media. It’s the least we can do.

Heads up, you need to keep up with the news. It’s not cute anymore. That’s why we’ve created a 5x weekly newsletter called The ‘Sup that will explain all the news of the week in a hilarious af way. Because if we weren’t laughing, we’d be crying. Sign up for The ‘Sup now!