“Best Docuseries of 2022, So Far”
Although networks like ID Discovery have been producing true crime docuseries for a while, it wasn’t until the podcast Serial and Netflix’s success with Making A Murderer that true crime became a massively popular genre. Now with streaming and the popularity of miniseries, it feels like docuseries are being produced at a weekly rate. These are the new documentary series that have stood out among the rest of 2022 so far.
9 Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons
Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons tells the story of the rise of billionaire Les Wexner, the longtime CEO of the Victoria’s Secret brand. The series, directed by Matt Tyrnauer dives deep into the misogynistic beginnings of Victoria’s Secret and Wexner’s involvement with disgraced business mogul and child sex trafficker Jeffery Epstein. The series gives a dark insight into the inner workings of the massive brand and how Wexner built a global empire. Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons is now streaming on Hulu.
8 Bad Vegan: Fame. Fraud. Fugitives.
Bad Vegan: Fame. Fraud. Fugitives. is a docuseries about the rise and fall of Sarma Melngailis, the former owner of the vegan restaurant Pure Food and Wine. The series tells the bizarre story of Melngailis’ marriage to conman Anthony Strangis and how he was able to coerce her into stealing money from her restaurant so Strangis could pay “a deity” to grant them and Melngailis’ dog immortality. Bad Vegan: Fame. Fraud. Fugitives. is now streaming on Netflix.
7 The Deep End
The Deep End follows controversial spiritual influencer Teal Swan, documenting her life and work. The series was developed for Freeform by the director, Jon Kasbe, who followed Swan for three years and was granted access to almost every aspect of her life. The Deep End shows Swan’s rise to fame and her cult-like following, which has led to claims of her being a dangerous cult leader. All episodes of The Deep End are available on Hulu.
6 Web of Make Believe: Death, Lies, and the Internet
Web of Make Believe: Death, Lies, and the Internet explores the dark side of the worldwide web. Through interviews with victims, witnesses, and perpetrators, the series tells the stories of people caught up in misinformation and digital deception. The docuseries is fascinating as it discusses “SWATing”, the rabbit hole of white supremacy, and the Russian election interference. Web of Make Believe: Death, Lies, and the Internet is now streaming on Netflix.
5 Keeper of Ashes: The Oklahoma Girl Scout Murders
Keeper of Ashes brings award-winning star Kristin Chenoweth (The Witches) back to her hometown to investigate the murder of three Girl Scouts. The series explores Chenoweth’s personal connection to the murders that happened at Camp Scott back in 1977 while interviewing law enforcement and people that were there at the time. Keeper of Ashes is a fascinating story that continues to haunt the community decades later. Keeper of Ashes is now streaming on Hulu.
4 Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey
Netflix’s Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey is about the polygamous Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and its current leader Warren Jeffs. The series, directed by Rachel Dretzin, includes harrowing interviews of survivors of the FLDS including late leader Rulon Warren’s former wife Rebecca Musser and her sister Elissa Wall. Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey is both shocking and packed with information about the inner workings of the church. Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey is now streaming on Netflix.
3 Meltdown: Three Mile Island
Meltdown: Three Mile Island recounts the events of the 1979 accident at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania, USA. The docuseries interviews insiders that discuss the controversies surrounding the incident and the lingering effects from the event. Meltdown: Three Mile Island is an interesting look at one of the most significant accidents at a commercial nuclear power plant in U.S. history. Meltdown: Three Mile Island is available on Netflix.
2 Secrets of Playboy
Secrets of Playboy interviews former employees, Playboy models, and former girlfriends of Hugh Hefner as they discuss the hidden truths behind the Playboy empire. The series dives deep into the darkness that surrounds the empire and that is now just coming to light with the #MeToo movement. The heartbreaking interviews from Hefner’s former girlfriends Sondra Theodore and Holly Madison show the inner workings of his household, while interviews from employees like former Head of Promotions Miki Garcia, and former Bunny Mother P.J. Masten, deliver the horrors that happened to the Playmates and the Bunnies, including recounts of sexual assaults by celebrities like Bill Cosby. Secrets of Playboy is available on AETV.
1 The Andy Warhol Diaries
Netflix’s The Andy Warhol Diaries brings the artist’s famous journal to life with the use of an AI voice-over of Warhol to narrate his own entries from the 1989 publication. The series follows his life and relationships throughout the late 1970s and includes interviews with people who knew the eccentric artist the best. The series is a fantastic mixture of the late artist’s own thoughts and memories of people that admired him, including John Waters and the editor of Warhol’s diaries, Pat Hackett, who transcribed his phone calls to her. The Andy Warhol Diaries is now streaming on Netflix.
With every streaming service taking advantage of the docuseries, it is hard to keep up with the never-ending content that continues to be released. Audiences can rest assured that with over four months left in the year they will have plenty of content to see them through to 2023.
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