Stepping Into Frame: Unbelievable

Fall is finally here and with it comes a whole bunch of new TV shows. Because of this, I had a hard time picking which shows I wanted to recommend first. That was until I watched Unbelievable on Netflix, and knew I had to write about it.

Unbelievable is a Netflix original limited series that follows the story of Marie Adler, a girl who was raped in her home and ended up being charged with false reporting which turned her life upside down. (True story, fake name) The show also follows two female detectives a few years later as they track down a serial rapist that seems impossible to catch.

Photo Credit: Netflix

I really loved the way that this show conveyed two storylines that were related but not in the same timeline and the way that they connect them at the end. This show did a fantastic job of portraying the frustration that comes from absolutely no one believing you. It shows everything women have to go through when they report a rape, which includes repeating what happened to them so many times that they don’t even remember their own name. It exposes the fundamental issue that we have as a society where our instinct is to not believe women. Marie did everything right, and still, no one believed her.

Throughout the show, the detectives were my favorite part, watching them not only work together with their two very different styles but become friends through this process was exactly a portrayal we need on tv, versus the classic pitting women against each other. Throughout the show, they had many suspects but had a major suspicion that the rapist may have been involved in law enforcement because of just how skilled he was at covering his tracks. This lead to my favorite line from the show which comes from one of the detectives, Grace Rasmussen, when she becomes frustrated with a male counterpart at work who doesn’t seem to think the fact that forty percent of male cops have a history of domestic violence/violence in the home is relevant to the case. This leads her down a path of wondering, what if the statistics were reversed? What if men were raped at the rate that women are? And what if men had to be afraid of walking around at night? She acknowledges that this man, in particular, is trying to help but makes such a compelling point when she says, “but where is his outrage?”. He was nowhere near as passionate about catching the guy because he had no idea how it feels to be afraid in that way, and that’s a problem. 

I do have to say, if you are someone who is triggered by scenes including violence or sexual assault, this show might not be right for you. Some of the scenes were very hard to watch and I will always recommend putting your own mental and emotional health first, so please be aware of that if you decide to watch!

That being said, I think this is an important story that needed to be told, and I honestly found it extremely inspiring. It’s not often that you get to see a woman who has pretty much everything taken away from her, come back from that and not let it define her life, and the detectives on this show are such badasses that you can’t help but love. This show really affected me in a way I didn’t expect and I truly think it’s worth the watch!

Check out Unbelievable on Netflix!