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29th May 2019

Netflix’s gripping new series examines one of the most controversial cases in US history

Paul Moore

when they see us

Your weekend viewing is sorted

With four new true crime documentaries set to be released over the coming weeks, there’s plenty for viewers to get stuck into but we’ve had our eye on Ava DuVernay’s new series about The Central Park Five for quite some time.

Based on a true story that gripped the country, When They See Us will chronicle the notorious case of five teenagers of colour, labeled the Central Park Five, who were convicted of a rape they did not commit.

The four part limited series will focus on the five teenagers from Harlem – Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise.

Beginning in the spring of 1989, when the teenagers were first questioned about the incident, the series will span 25 years, highlighting their exoneration in 2002 and the settlement reached with the city of New York in 2014.

In fact, some viewers may already be familiar with the story because Netflix previously had a wonderful documentary in their library that was made by Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, and David McMahon.

As for DuVernay’s new series, we’re very confident that it’s going to be good because she was Oscar-nominated for her work on her wonderful documentary 13th and in order to tell this story, she has assembled a terrific cast.

The four-part series features the likes of Michael K. Williams (The Wire), Vera Farmiga (The Departed), John Leguizamo (John Wick), Felicity Huffman (Transamerica), Blair Underwood (In Treatment), Joshua Jackson (Dawson’s Creek), Famke Janssen (X-Men) and many more.

At present, When They See Us has a rating of 90 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and 87 percent on the more reputable Metacritic.

TIME called the show an “elegant, wrenching four-part reenactment of the Central Park Five saga” while The Hollywood Reporter said “the material mines profound outrage, and the note-perfect ensemble lends it heart”.

When They See Us is available to watch on Netflix from 31 May.

Here’s the original trailer along with some new footage that has been released.