Netflix has had a string of true crime hits already this year. From The Tinder Swindler to Bad Vegan, there’s been plenty for genre fans to get stuck into, but the streamer's latest true crime documentary isn’t really made to be enjoyed.
The documentary in question is called Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story and it chronicles the rise and posthumous fall of the titular figure. Savile was a DJ and TV presenter who charmed practically the entire nation and who was deeply revered for his philanthropy. However, underneath the kooky persona and iconic catchphrase was a deeply sinister predator who abused his power for decades.
While some true crime documentaries try to add a degree of levity to what can otherwise be serious subject matters, Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story is almost three hours of the unflinching and harrowing truth. Split across two feature-length episodes, it can be tough to get through, but this is a cautionary tale that needs to be told.
The limited series was released on Netflix earlier this week and has already shot up the most-watched list. In the U.K. it’s displaced Bridgerton season 2 to become the most-viewed show or movie on all of Netflix, and in the U.S., where Savile’s profile is significantly smaller, the show is still gaining plenty of interest and currently sits fifth on the Netflix most-watched list.
The reaction on social media has been equally strong. Jimmy Savile has been trending across platforms such as Twitter, with viewers shocked that he was able to get away with such unthinkable crimes for such a long period. The documentary has also reignited debates on how public figures should be held to account, and what safeguards are put in place to protect young and vulnerable people.
Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story will be far from the most enjoyable series you’ve ever watched on Netflix, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important viewing all the same. For too many years the victims of Savile’s horrific crimes were silenced, and this Netflix documentary at last allows their voices to be heard.
Next: Check out other new movies and shows to watch this weekend.
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Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.