Hulu’s The Act is the latest true crime show to come out, and people are hooked. The miniseries centers on the real-life murder of Dee Dee Blanchard, a mother with Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome who intentionally made her daughter, Gypsy, sick. After enduring years of abuse, Gypsy retaliated by conspiring with her Internet boyfriend to kill her mother and run away together. It’s a fascinating tale that demonstrates, in a horrifying way, what human beings are capable of.
Beyond The Act, though, it seems the world can’t get enough of true crime TV shows in general. The genre is a full-blown phenomenon that spans all different types of media. Podcasts like Serial and Crime Junkie are always in the top slots on iTunes. Documentaries like Fyre quickly go viral on social media and birth hundreds of memes. Why true crime is so popular remains a mystery. Maybe we love it because it helps put our own lives in perspective. Perhaps it’s the car-crash mentality—we just can’t look away. Either way, our culture’s appetite for true crime has reached critical mass, which is why there’s a new movie, TV show, or documentary release seemingly every week.