Netflix’s new series, Unbelievable, dropped late last week and shines a heavy, much-needed light on the process behind reporting rape and sexual assault. Many people have taken to social media to applaud the show, which is based on real-life events, as well as the performances of its three lead actresses, Toni Colette, Merritt Wever, and Kaitlyn Dever. Below, you’ll find the beginnings of what could be a very important (and tough) conversation thanks to those talking it over on Twitter.
Starting a conversation
As the first reactions show, the miniseries is one designed to be thought about long after the credits have rolled. Crucially, it’s already kickstarted a dialogue about believing victims.
The first 15 min of #unbelievablenetflix should be mandatory watching for all the assholes who always say “why didn’t she report it!” when it comes to rape victims.September 14, 2019
Just binged #unbelievablenetflix and I implore you to watch. It’s beautifully made, well acted, and beyond important. We need to start a global conversation about how police departments deal with sexual assault victims and cases. #BelieveSurvivors pic.twitter.com/sbU1vm3Up8September 14, 2019
UNBELIEVABLE, Netflix’s meticulously fact-based procedural, is absolutely essential viewing if you hope to understand why so few survivors of sexual assault ever receive justice. But if you want to have a better weekend than I did, please don’t watch five episodes in a row.September 16, 2019
An outstanding lead
Unbelievable revolves around Marie, who is charged with lying about her rape – hence the name of the show. Marie is played by Kaitlyn Dever (who some might recognise as Loretta from Justified) who is receiving rave reviews for her powerful, evocative performance. Could a gong or two beckon next award season?
give kaitlyn dever her emmy right this second #unbelievablenetflix pic.twitter.com/6i50aaxTXQSeptember 14, 2019
you know what is UNBELIEVABLE? watching three extraordinary women lead a remarkable true crime drama the likes of which i have never seen. so in awe of my @KaitlynDever and the rest of the expert ladies behind UNBELIEVABLE. watch it now on netflix.September 14, 2019
As many of you binging #Unbelievable on @netflix are finding out... @KaitlynDever is a phenomenon. A sensational actress. Present, natural, effortless, grounded, and powerful even in stillness. What an honor to sit across a talent like hers. pic.twitter.com/bEL741CoVRSeptember 13, 2019
Wow. I just finished Susannah Grant’s Netflix series Unbelievable. Wow. Wow again. The fact that it is not easy to watch is precisely what makes it essential. Plus, Merritt Wever and Kaitlyn Dever should both win major awards for their performances.September 17, 2019
A must-watch, if not always an easy watch
Unlike some of Netflix’s output, Unbelievable is not a light, airy watch destined to become background noise or to be binged inside a weekend. It’s a tough sell for some, but is being called “absolutely essential” for a reason. It’s an education for anyone, regardless of colour, creed, gender, or sexuality.
Y'all gotta watch "Unbelievable" on Netflix. Based on actual events; how rape claims are investigated, or not believed, by different kinds of cops. Brilliant, devastating, searing indictment of the "System." #unbelievablenetflixSeptember 14, 2019
Unbelievable is ESSENTIAL viewing.September 17, 2019
The first episode made me so angry and ppl wonder why so many never go to the police. Watching that girl go through all of that was so sad smh 😢 #unbelievablenetflixSeptember 14, 2019
The story behind the story
Finally, it’s worth again pointing out that this is based on a true story. That makes each gut punch throughout the show’s eight episodes hit doubly hard. Taking to Twitter, Ken Anderson, who helped break the story at the time, shared his thoughts, including the real-life Marie’s reaction to the show. Whether you read it before or after Unbelievable, this is a thread well worth poring through.
In @Netflix's #Unbelievable, Marie is a teen who reports being raped. I was one of the reporters who first told Marie’s full story. To me, Marie is not a character. She is someone who trusted me with her story, painful as it was.Here are Marie’s and my thoughts on the show:September 16, 2019
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