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Old 11-05-2020, 11:31 AM   #1
Onomonopeia
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Thumbs down The new Unsolved Mysteries is absolutely horrendous

Long read, 'cause somebodies gotta say it: The Netflix remake of Unsolved Mysteries is truly an insult to the original production.

And before you even utter the letters "n-o-s-t..." --- this has nothing to do with nostalgia because I will gladly point out some of the flaws that the original Unsolved Mysteries had, specifically when they switched networks and started replacing crime stories with supernatural UFO stories and basically attempted to gut the show of its own name and essence in order to compete with other networks in ratings. Personally I think that U.M. jumped the shark after Season 7. Seasons 4 -7 were magical and works of art; after that it seemed to lose its flair.

Netflix's Unsolved Mysteries is awful. This is yet another predictable, trite and not to mention counterfeit attempt by a television/streaming service to cash in on Millennial's compulsive infatuation with anything even remotely connected to the 90s. This show needs to be renamed "Monotonous Generic Crime Show" because it bares absolutely no resemblance to Unsolved Mysteries except for the theme song, and they managed to even butcher and water down that.

This show has none of the charms and quirks that it assumes it does and screams "I was sloppily put together in a few months". The "glossy high production" aesthetic doesn't even correlate with the mystifying, nail-biting aura that a crime show is supposed to have. First of all: the extended, constant, non-stop drone shots. Is a 14 year old who just received a drone for Christmas in charge of the camera work? It's not "high tech" or "high quality", it's boring and redundant. The original UM possibly had a budget smaller than the Netflix production yet it had far better, far more diverse, far more interesting shots that invited you into the story and introduced you to places you wouldn't think twice of looking at on a map. Dear Netflix U.M., Long, drawn out takes of a motionless river is not astounding just because it's captured with a high quality camera. It's a lazy way to consume time. Speaking of which -

One episode, consisting of one story, - being 50 minutes long? Completely ridiculous. This show is not interesting enough let alone directed well enough to handle such a capacity. The absurd length of each episode is what "necessitates" the constant lackluster drone shots and causes the interviewees to continually repeat themselves and try to find different ways of saying the exact same thing they said ten minutes ago. They are trying to stretch out 20 minutes worth of content into an entire theatrical production and it doesn't work. The original U.M. understood that the viewers' attention spans are likely short and at least the original production crew had enough common sense to have 4 different stories spread out over the course of 45 minutes that way the viewer will be kept intrigued by the varying material. It is far more captivating to watch a 15 minute segment about a disappearance followed by a 15 minute segment about fraud than it is watching 50 uninterrupted minutes of family members repeating the same diatribe over and over again accompanied by overhead shots of a city or neighborhood. The over-reliance on the family members' dialogue due to the lack of narration makes the show overly-sentimental, biased and inaccurate. On that note -

The pacing of this show is abysmal due to the lack of narration and lack of reenactments. We all know that Robert Stack's narration can not be replicated - but the attempt at least should've been made. Since there is no narration, you're forced to cling to every family member/police officials word due to the absence of a main "voice" guiding you through the story or filling in missing blanks that the interviewees forgot to address. Thus the show feels formless, predictable and drab.

The absence of re-enactments is downright silly and preposterous in my mind. If you're focusing on one segment for 50 minutes, why not make it interesting by providing visuals other than aerial shots of a bridge or farmhouse? The reenactments are literally what made segments memorable. There's one particular episode from the original series - I think it's the Rick Church episode where he breaks into his ex-girlfriend's house and kills her mother and father and attempts to kill her and her siblings - but the way this segment was shot was incredible. The shuddersome music, the lighting, the pacing, the acting, it all made the story interesting to watch and easy to recall. Stories around robberies or car chases are far more enticing if you are watching it being recreated. You don't get that with the new UM. Would the story of D.B. Cooper jumping out of a moving 747 had been interesting or worthy of remembering without the re-enactment? Instead you receive low-cost filler of family members and policemen adding virtually nothing to the story. There is absolutely nothing memorable about this reboot. Unlike the original production, these stories will not be talked about in 10, 20 or 30 years from now. I glanced at an episode of Volume 2 of the Netflix U.M. that centers around 2 children being kidnapped in NYC in the 80s and it was presented in such a lifeless, unnecessarily long-winded manner. The original UM reenacted the kidnappings, had the narrator provided information and composite sketches of the abductors and at least attempted at recreating whatever decade/era the story was centered around. The Lauren Jackson / Punky Gustavson kidnapping episodes from the original production were done far better since they at least recreated the story from start to finish, even featured a mock-up of the what the van that kidnapped the girls looked like. It's little things like that which greatly add to a production's value.

Last but not least: The stories are displayed in such a deadpan manner that upon finishing an episode, you don't even feel like there is a mystery to solve. The way that the stories are displayed are so dry that you walk away feeling as though you've just watched a cheaply made documentary rather than an episode of a crime tv show genuinely interested in receiving tips or information from the public.

TLDR: Netflix's version of Unsolved Mysteries sucks and is an abomination to the original run of the series. I'm positive that the only reason this is plastered all over Netflix is because, well...it's a Netflix production. They're all about the $$$$, so they are going to keep cramming it down everyone's throats until you're forced to view it as a great show that way you can run around social media hyping this excrement up and doing Netflix's promotion work for them.
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Old 11-05-2020, 11:44 PM   #2
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TLDR: The new show is apparently the same as every other current true crime show, but with more drones.
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Old 11-06-2020, 10:32 PM   #3
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I have to post on this thread because your review actually made me laugh out loud several times, was like someone was in my mind and writing that. I don't hate the new UM...but I will say some episodes I didn't even get all the way through and, amazingly, haven't rewatched any of the episodes. Interesting, since I have seen every segment from original UM hundreds of times with no end in sight.
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Old 11-08-2020, 09:10 AM   #4
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While I agree with many of your points, I still continue to view the episodes. I think it could be better with a few minor tweaks.
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Old 11-08-2020, 09:53 AM   #5
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The only unsolved mysteries I like is the original wtih Robert Stack..... All newer ones are crap in my opinion and not as good.......
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Old 11-08-2020, 10:42 AM   #6
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It has its flaws but you really can't expect them to mimic 1970s/1980s style TV, the style from which the original UM was born, in 2020. Just ain't gonna happen.

Having said that, it would benefit from at least multiple segments per episode. My biggest issue, in the end, is with story selection. As The Cars1986 said in another thread, too many of the segments are really similar in nature - strange suicides that have just enough to them that one might question whether they were really straight suicides or not, but in the end the conclusion is fairly obvious - and what's left is a mish-mash of some interesting, some kinda obvious. In the 20 years the show has been off the air, surely they could have found a better variety and a more compelling set of mysteries. The absence of even one final appeal segment was felt. And the litigation issue drew790 and others have put a spotlight on - the new version's concern about being sued and how it limits the program - is an issue. But it wouldn't surprise me that people, 20-35 years on, are less willing than they once were to go on a program to proclaim their innocence.
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Old 11-08-2020, 03:05 PM   #7
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Agreed. While I don't "hate" it, I find it boring and hard to sit through

I've been trying to watching an episode of season 2 since it's been out but I don't have the willpower
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Old 11-08-2020, 07:48 PM   #8
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We live in a decade where theres zero personality, zero inteligence and theres nothing original. every decade defined itself on a certain style, a type of film, tv show.... the last 5 years have been the era of the remake and the reboot, it's scary how people nowadays are incapable of thinking up something new and different. there must a group of exectives sat around with some tv guide from the 80s, picking random shows to reboot or redo.

if you look at the comments on youtube, it's the same 4 comments 9000 times, and although i've downloaded a few episodes of this new version of UM, i already know it'll be awful becase the same unoriginal people who couldn't think up an original idea are the same ones who'll produce this new version.

we're here talking about a show from the 80s and 90s, because nothing since has even come close.
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Old 11-08-2020, 09:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
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We live in a decade where theres zero personality, zero inteligence and theres nothing original. every decade defined itself on a certain style, a type of film, tv show.... the last 5 years have been the era of the remake and the reboot, it's scary how people nowadays are incapable of thinking up something new and different.
This really started in the early-mid 1990's. Think the Flintstones Movie, The Brady Bunch Movie, etc. It has gotten beyond out of hand. It feels like there's no imagination left in Hollywood. And all of these "franchises". If all else fails, find some old comic book and marry it to your awful screenplay which you couldn't sell anywhere. How are people entertained by such drivel?
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Old 11-09-2020, 02:31 AM   #10
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I wouldn't call it "horrendous"

Bloated, dull, repetitive, unengaging, poorly paced, poorly directed, generic, forgettable, formulaic, narratively inert, sure...

...but it's not "horrendous".
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Old 11-09-2020, 08:20 AM   #11
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I finally finished season 2 and am still unimpressed. It's not terrible, IMO, but it's literally like every show that ID has ever had.
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Old 11-09-2020, 10:32 AM   #12
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I don't hate it but i don't care for it either. Have had no interest in watching season 2.
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Old 11-09-2020, 09:49 PM   #13
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I am very disappointed in John Cosgrove & Terry Dunn Meurer. They are well aware of the affinity die hard fans have for this show and its cult following. They should have stuck to the original concept and what made UM so watchable MULTIPLE SEGMENTS that vary. Also as much as we cherish Robert Stack this show definitely needed a host to give it that nostalgic feeling. They just completely missed the mark! I doubt it will get a second season they really fumbled such a great opportunity to introduce UM to a new generation.
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Old 11-10-2020, 05:01 AM   #14
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I am very disappointed in John Cosgrove & Terry Dunn Meurer. They are well aware of the affinity die hard fans have for this show and its cult following. They should have stuck to the original concept and what made UM so watchable MULTIPLE SEGMENTS that vary. Also as much as we cherish Robert Stack this show definitely needed a host to give it that nostalgic feeling. They just completely missed the mark! I doubt it will get a second season they really fumbled such a great opportunity to introduce UM to a new generation.
I bet they don't have a host because they'd have to pay him/her a 6 figure salary!
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Old 11-10-2020, 11:56 AM   #15
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I bet they don't have a host because they'd have to pay him/her a 6 figure salary!
Yes it definitely cut costs. Every good memorable show has a host/narrator. Forensic Files, Disappeared & Snapped were so successful because they had narrators that were so well associated with the show. (I hated the new narrators of Disappeared & Snapped; I can't remember if anyone else narrated Forensic Files but Peter Thomas he was amazing).
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