Teasing ache of the unsolved mystery

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“Blackfish”… the story of Tilikum the killer whale.

WHO doesn’t love a good mystery? Not many, it would seem, with Netflix’s newest documentary show hitting number 1 in Australian streaming in the past week.

“Unsolved Mysteries” is a series with six short-burst stories you’d think would be more likely investigated by agents Mulder and Scully than any real journalist.

From eerie disappearances to UFO sightings, each episode focuses on a strange event that has, according to claims, occurred in the known world and remains unexplained. 

No matter how much of a sceptic you are about the potential paranormal nature of such things (including me), the thorough evidence gathered from newspapers, police reports, eyewitness accounts and more, by the researchers is certainly enough to make you scratch your head.

“Unsolved Mysteries” is originally a program from the ’80s that ran until 2002 and investigated hundreds of real-life cases of the weird and wondrous. It peaked in popularity during the ’90s, (perhaps why is no great mystery itself considering the popularity of that other fictional show featuring the two FBI agents mentioned above).

Netflix has given it a slick, new, coat of paint to pull in modern audiences, presenting itself in the same manner as their ever-popular crime documentaries. It’s worked a charm, hypnotising viewers with tight production values paired with its naturally intriguing and bizarre scenarios. 

Ingeniously, Netflix has gone one step further and reached for that next level of audience interaction. A few weeks back, I mentioned the power of using the internet to build a connection with the audience past the roll of the credits.

With “Unsolved Mysteries”, Netflix has raised the bar. At the end of each episode, anyone with information about the events covered is urged to visit unsolved.com and help solve the mystery. These strange stories that have people desperate for answers will undoubtedly get them clicking on the website to either contribute or to just read more of what could possibly have happened.

I guess it’s the very nature of an unsolved mystery that the climax, that grand reveal we always crave, lies just beyond our reach. We’re always left to chase it ourselves, entertain in our mind what might have happened or go searching for more clues wherever we can find them. This new series has capitalised on our insatiable intrigue for such matters and the ratings certainly prove that to be the case.

WHILE on the topic of documentaries, maybe a little more down-to-earth though, how about some attention for one of our lesser-known streaming platforms?

Docplay provides users with a curated list of the finest documentaries in the world. With more than 700 docos available, this platform has much more variety than what the bigger platforms offer in this genre.

For instance, don’t miss the acclaimed “Blackfish”, the story of Tilikum the killer whale that took the lives of several sea park employees. Disturbing and illuminating, it has the power to change your perspective on that industry and reveal the remarkable intelligence of those sea mammals.

This is only one of my personal favourites though – the service has so much variety you’ll undoubtedly find something you’re interested in. It’s also cheaper than the standard streaming price, with a subscription of only $6.95 a month, a cracker deal if documentaries are a “go to” for viewing. 

WHETHER it’s things more grounded or you’re up for a deep dive into the mysteries and mayhem of stuff like Netflix’s new offering, this breadth of content is a representation of the way streaming is pushing forward mediums of storytelling into new and accessible territory.

The truth is out there.

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