The huge popularity of true crime has led to a series of movies and TV shows satirizing the genre.
The latest is Vengeance, a movie written and directed by B.J. Novak, who is also the star of the film. It also features Boyd Holbrook, Dove Cameron, Issa Rae, and Ashton Kutcher.
The movie follows the TV show Only Murders in the Building, which was created by Steve Martin and John Hoffman and stars Martin alongside his comedy partner Martin Short and singer Selena Gomez. Both Vengeance and Only Murders in the Building target US true crime podcasts, which have exploded in recent years. A stand-out amongst the countless crime podcasts is Serial, which is hosted by Sarah Koenig. Unlike the many copycat true crime podcasts, Serial involves investigative journalism as opposed to the sort of sensationalism mocked in the aforementioned parodies. It has won a Peabody Award and the podcast set a world record when some of the episodes achieved more than 340 million downloads.
The boom in true crime
The satires come at a time when true crime is enjoying great popularity, from the Netflix hit documentaries Tiger King, featuring the legendary feud between Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin, The Tinder Swindler and Don’t F**k with Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer. The latter documentary features amateur sleuths who joined together to catch the criminal.
Tiger King captured the public’s imagination to such an extent that it inspired spin-offs such as the drama series Joe vs. Carole, with Kate McKinnon playing Baskin facing off John Cameron Mitchell as Joe Exotic. The question is whether fans of the show really need a dramatization of the story which has become a worldwide phenomenon.
Video games also cater to fans of true crime with titles such as Judgment, the action-adventure developed by the Japanese video game developer Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio and the crime-solving thriller L.A. Noire published by Rockstar Games. In the iGaming industry, there are titles based on a range of themes with some slot games focusing on crime such as A Dark Matter, a whodunnit slot, and Sherlock of London, which features the ultimate sleuth, available in this guide for online gambling Canada. With the crime genre proving so popular it is no surprise to see the iGaming industry capitalize on this with a range of crime-related slot games.
The long history of true crime
True crime actually began as a literary phenomenon with the best-known examples of the genre being Truman Capote’s 1966 non-fiction novel In Cold Blood and Norman Mailer’s Pulitzer Prize-winning The Executioner’s Song in 1979. Their style, which examined the moral and psychological aspects of the crimes, is also reflected in the Forensic Files, a TV show which demonstrated how crimes were solved and ran for 14 seasons from 1996 to 2001. The show made a comeback with Forensic Files II to capitalize on the boom in true crime programs.
True crime has exploded onto the scene in recent years and for streaming platforms such as Netflix, the genre has provided a regular supply of highly popular hit documentaries. The genre taps into our innate curiosity about crimes and the age-old desire to solve the crime in the tradition of the best sleuths.