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“The Watcher”, The Series that Proves that Reality is Scarier than Fiction

What Happens When a True Story Seems Like Something out of a Thriller Plot in an Upper-middle-class County? The Most Obvious Thing is to Look for an Audiovisual Adaptation, and that's how we got to "The Watcher", Netflix's New Suspense and Horror Bet..

Frame from the series 'The Watcher'

Photo: YT-Netflix

LatinAmerican Post | Julián Gómez

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Leer en español: “The Watcher”, la serie que prueba que la realidad aterra más que la ficción

"The Watcher" is Netflix's latest big hit after "Monster: Jeffrey Dahmer Story." That both productions are successful is related to the fact that they share a subgenre such as 'true crime', in addition to being created by the same person: Ryan Murphy.

Despite the importance of the cast and staff, "The Watcher" is left behind in narrative matters. Sometimes the plot unnecessarily goes in circles to justify the 7 hours of material. However, this story remains as an audiovisual file with several unsolved mysteries, so that everyone -from their perception- can elaborate their conspiracy opinion.

What is "The Watcher" about?

In "The Watcher", the plot is based on real events where the Branock family finds the house of their dreams at 657 Boulevard in Westfield, New Jersey, one of the quietest and safest cities in the United States. Dean, played by Bobby Carnival, goes to great lengths to keep the property, even risking his savings.

From the beginning, there are problems with the house, but everything is triggered by a strange letter with no return address from someone who claims to be watching them. The family receives, in total, three threatening letters that make almost all the characters in the series -including Dean- suspect of being the person who disturbs the tranquility of this family.

Much of the narrative arc -with several differences in form, but not in substance- are taken from the report made in 2018 by Reeves Wiedeman for "The Cut", section of New York magazine. The actual purchase of the house was made in 2016 for $1.3 million, although in production that figure is inflated to $3.3 million.

Also read: "Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story": Netflix's Most Disturbing True Crime

What is the success of the series?

In Netflix's weekly ranking, the production responsible for dethroning the series based on serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer was "The Watcher." Everything indicates that Ryan Murphy is becoming a kind of "King Midas" of the series, since everything he has created for the platform is destined for success.

However, there is one important factor that gave the series a special status for the viewers. It is about its cast, which is very well nourished with Bobby Cannavale (“The Irishman” or “Blonde”), Naomi Wats (“Diana”), Jennifer Coolidge (“American Pie” or “Seinfeld”) or Margo Martindale (“ Orphan” or “Hannah Montana”), to name a few.

Additionally, there are some changes with respect to the real story so that the public would have an easier time familiarizing themselves with the plot.

The story itself was already interesting, but Murphy and the other directors wanted to empathize with various current issues that include racial profiling, police negligence, conflict of interest, ambition and envy among friends, or the sexualization of adolescents. There was also emphasis on the harmful scope that social networks can have and the lack of rigor of the media. Other more direct problems are situations that include marital crisis and financial problems.

This number of aspects means that whoever watches the series can identify with at least one of the many problems raised in the seven episodes. The foregoing, without underestimating the mystery of the plot, which is responsible for making the viewer follow the miniseries to the end in order to draw their conclusions.