There’s a clear market for it too. Whether it’s before-it-was cool mainstays Sword and Scale, Criminal or Generation Why or relative newcomers My Favourite Murder, the aptly titled Serial Killer or UK’s own All Killa No Filla, audiences don’t have to look far to satisfy their feverish need for gore. Meanwhile Netflix has carved out its own share of the killing frenzy, starting with 2015’s watercooler megahit Making A Murderer and culminating (so far) with a rehash of Jean-Xavier de Lestrade’s The Staircase earlier this year. Realising our need for another murder fix, the network tried its best to find more bloody hits in the meantime but ultimately shows like The Keepers or Evil Genius never quite managed to achieve the same success. Poor Netflix, it must be desperate for someone to get brutally-yet-mysteriously murdered right about now.
So what happened? Workspaces once dissected the exploits of fictional baddies like Walter White or Tony Soprano, now they’re debating the innocence or guilt of real life would-be killers. Who knew we had so many armchair defence attorneys amongst us, eh? Meanwhile, the shows' unjustly murdered (and usually female) victims are reduced to nothing more than TV show MacGuffins, here to help us kill a lazy afternoon in front of the telly. When you put our current content trends on trial (because courtrooms seem to be all the rage at the moment), it paints a pretty bleak state of affairs and one that undoubtedly says a lot about how we like to spend our downtime in 2018.
Maybe it comes back to the age in which we live and the constant barrage of shocking events we're faced with every day, every time we open our phones. The world is a pretty chaotic place and finding a way to rationalise or compartmentalise the craziness can be overwhelming and all-but impossible but neatly contained podcasts or nicely rounded episode arcs on Netflix don't have that problem. By investing our spare time in them could we in fact be finding a way to take control of the uncontrollable and get some much needed solace from the outside world? The fact that the vast majority of these cases are unsolved even gives us an opportunity to force our opinions and unique takes down everyone's necks which - as Twitter has proven - is something we just can't get enough of. Maybe when the world calms down a bit we'll return to Friends, Scrubs and reruns of tame comedies from times gone by. In the meantime though, we need the harder stuff to survive.
Why do you think we're obsessed with murder? Sound off in the comments section below!