For me, Unbelievable seemed to come out of nowhere but will be a show I’m talking about for a very long time. Based on real life events, the show is about a serial sexual assaulter being hunted by two cops, Karen Duvall (Merritt Weaver) and Grace Rassmussen (Toni Collette) and whilst watching this play out has you completely hooked, it’s the journey of Marie Adler that completely stands out. The content subject is at times difficult to watch but it’s an important story to tell.
Marie (Kaitlyn Dever) kicks the show off and is the main feature of the first episode due to reporting to the police that she has been raped. Skip forward a few years from the second episode and similar attacks are being reported which bring the two stories together. It’s Marie’s journey that steals the show. Growing up in foster care, this is a girl who quite clearly struggles to form substantial relationships with people and uses attention seeking behaviour just to be noticed. Like any badly behaved child, attention for the wrong reasons is still attention but actions from her past have detrimental effects on her current situation.
Without giving too much away, she suffers the heinous experience of reporting such a horrific crime and during questioning, becomes so confused with everything she’s almost goaded into confessing that she made the whole thing up. The miscarriage of justice she experiences is so hard hitting you almost want to throw stuff at the television. Kaitlyn Dever gives a truly magnificent performance throughout each and every episode and particularly in the final. I was misty eyed seeing the conclusion to her fight.
The cast as a whole is fabulous and Toni Collette and Merritt Weaver make an incredible duo. I must pay specific applause to Merritt Weaver as Detective Karen Duvall. If I ever found myself in an emergency I would want no one else but Detective Duvall to come rescue me. She’s calming, genuinely kind and compassionate and has a voice which can only be compared to the highest quality asmr video. Both these ladies have flaws but work tirelessly in solving these crimes. It was brilliant watching them slot together pieces of a very difficult puzzle.
This is a crime drama which isn’t actually about finding the perpetrator. It’s about being brave. It’s about finding justice when you’ve all but given up on your life and lost confidence in the support system around you. It’s about redemption. It’s brutally honest and doesn’t need any graphic scenes to convey it’s hard hitting message. Netflix really do bring us these great real life stories and just like When The See Us, this will stay with you for a long time. Unbelievably and undoubtedly must see television.