Today is the day that Netflix put out its first true crime docu-series Making a Murderer, and there’s a damned good chance that anyone who starts watching will be finished with it by the time the weekend is over, especially if those people are fans of recent projects such as HBO’s The Jinx and the podcast Serial. I’m not willing to say that on the record, though, because I’m currently as unnerved by the criminal justice system as can be.

Even though the holidays are admittedly not an ideal time to devote attention to heinous crimes and the equally heinous way those crimes are handled, here are three big reasons why you need to start watching Making a Murderer immediately. Consider it a present to yourself. Vague spoilers about the series and the real-life events are below.

making a murderer
The Central Cases are Insane
Making a Murderer is predominantly centered on Steven Avery, a not-exactly-prize citizen of Manitowoc County, Wisconsin. In 1985, when Avery was a 23-year-old husband and father, he was arrested and convicted for a selection of crimes, one of which was the rape of a certain woman. Avery claimed innocence in the rape case for many years, and he was eventually released in 2003 after evidence was reviewed and put to better use by the Innocence Project. But there is no happily ever after, as the two years following his release involved a whole lot of hindsight-attention paid to how bungled Avery’s investigation was. And just when it looked like Avery was about to get his own slice of justice, he’s suddenly arrested for another grisly crime, once again claiming he had nothing to do with it. But did he?

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