What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Final Witness combines elements of reality shows with dramatic reenactments to offer in-depth and sensationalized accounts of notoriously violent murders. It mixes real and recreated images of bloody crime scenes and dead bodies with interviews in which brutal acts of violence, including rape, are described. Sex, infidelity, homosexuality, and other related themes are also discussed. Words like "bitch" are sometimes used; drinking, smoking, and drug use -- sometimes by teens -- is visible.
What's the story?
FINAL WITNESS combines drama and reality as it tells the true stories behind murders from the point of view of witnesses and other people connected to the events, including imagined testimony from victims. It blends reenactments, actual crime scene/police footage, and interviews with survivors, witnesses, and others who offer detailed insight about the people involved. From small towns in Texas to cities like New Orleans, each episode reveals information and intimate circumstances about the lead up to the crime, the crime itself, and what happened after each crime was committed.
Is it any good?
Final Witness shows some of the complicated life circumstances that ultimately led to the horrific murders it features, as well as the different ways that these crimes were discovered, investigated, and, in some cases, prosecuted. But the endless number of disturbing images, emotional interviews, and narrations from the fictional voices of the deceased seem designed to entertain viewers rather than inform them.
It's sensationalized, but buried within these scenes are moments when Final Witness subtly reminds viewers of the humanity that's lost whenever someone loses their life to violent crime. It's a difficult show to watch and not one that's full of positive messages. But viewers who are drawn in by investigation shows will probably find it both dramatic and interesting.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about reality TV shows that talk about real criminal events but use dramatizations to help tell the story. It is appropriate to use violent and/or sexual images in order to make a story more dramatic, if these images are related to the events that took place?
Why do you think victims of violent crimes agree to appear on these TV shows? What do they stand to gain or lose?