Parents' Guide to

Unlocking the Truth

By Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Reality show follows effort to help the wrongly convicted.

TV MTV Reality TV 2016
Unlocking the Truth Poster Image

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This series dramatically examines criminal cases that may have led to the wrongful conviction and imprisonment of innocent people. Unlocking the Truth presents conversations about evidence, as well as interviews with people involved in each case. New technologies and techniques not available during the initial investigations are also used to uncover new information. But despite Ryan and Eva's passion for seeking justice, there's little they can do for any of the inmates beyond passing information on to their respective lawyers so they can motion to have the verdicts set aside, seek new trials, and continue to make the case for their innocence.

Ryan's stories about the hopelessness he felt while in prison, and the long and difficult road leading to his exoneration, serve as an emotional backdrop for each investigation. This, combined with the contemporary soundtracks played throughout each episode, sometimes makes it feel more like a reality show than a documentary series. There are also moments that serve as an indictment of the criminal justice system. Nonetheless, the show succeeds at underscoring the fact that there are many innocent people serving time for crimes they did not commit and that there are people willing to help them.

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