The true and extremely brutal justice story of the five teenagers Raymond Santana, Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam and Korey Wise from Harlem (known as the “Central Park Five”) is comprehensively told in the four episodes that are available to stream in full on Netflix. And if you want to spend another hour with the series and its background, the provider also offers a really interesting conversation with Oprah Winfrey and Ava DuVernay and the real-life teenagers. Winfrey and DuVernay are executive producers of the completed legal drama alongside Jeff Skoll, Jonathan King, Jane Rosenthal and Berry Welsh. Ava DuVernay also wrote and directed “When They See Us”.
There certainly won’t be a second season about this case, but with Innocent Project you’ll see at a glance that the number of cases presented there alone is enough for a Netflix series for a lifetime. If a series with this subject matter can interest and touch people internationally, “When They See Us” should definitely be made into an anthology series.
Executive producer Ava Duvernay (“The Time Enigma”) praises the art that has been created around the documentary drama. People are truly moved and inspired by the story of these teenagers, which without this series would be just as unknown as the fate of countless other people who were wrongly convicted because they have the wrong skin color in a racist legal system, could not withstand police repression or did not have capable legal assistance.
The fact that the series has been the most streamed series on Netflix every day in the USA since its launch on May 31, 2019 proves that this topic really interests a lot of people.
When They See Us: Season 2 and 100 more?
It would be almost criminal not to exploit this potential. We suspect that the people responsible feel the same way. Getting people interested in the fates of real people, perhaps even mobilizing them politically, is the best thing a Netflix series can do – beyond the emotional machine of comedy and horror.
When They See Us: Belated justice? Prosecution from back then under fire
Linda Fairstein, the prosecutor portrayed by Felicity Huffman in the series, has complained about the Netflix series. In her eyes, the portrayal is distorted, the teenagers are portrayed as completely innocent and she herself is defamed by the series. As Variety reports, she has closed her social media accounts and withdrawn from various public roles. In fact, the publisher Dutton, with whom Fairstein has published more than 20 bestselling crime novels since the 1990s, has also terminated its collaboration. This act was the result of a petition signed by 125,000 people.
That sounds like harsh consequences, but in the eyes of Joshua Jackson, who plays McCray’s defense attorney Mickey Joseph, they are not undeserved. Variety quotes the actor from the red carpet: “It’s a little shocking that it took this portrayal for people to finally really examine her actions in this case and possibly in all of her cases. But I want to caution people against scapegoating her because she is the villain in the story – one of many villains – but she is the villain in the story. But the biggest villain of all, is all of us, is the system itself.”
When could Netflix start a potential second season?
We optimistically assume that those responsible see things in a similar way to us and also have a strong economic incentive to continue the series with a second season as an anthology. If this is the case and such a decision is officially announced soon, production could perhaps begin as early as the end of the year. We may then be able to expect a new case of institutional failure and human brutality on Netflix as early as summer 2020.