Should There Be a ‘Monster’ Season 2 on Netflix? (POLL)
Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story is one of Netflix‘s most-watched series to date (with more than 1 billion hours viewed in its first 60 days), and it has broken streaming records. It just snagged three Golden Globe nominations — two for stars Evan Peters and Niecy Nash-Betts, plus Best Television Limited Series, Anthology Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television.
It’s caught the attention of large audience of viewers. But not everyone who watched the series, also called the simplified Dahmer and Monster, think the Ryan Murphy drama should stick around. Still, it has been renewed for Season 2, with a focus on a different serial killer.
There’s concerns over disrespecting the killer’s victims, which Murphy has addressed, plus controversy over the fact that it was tagged LGBTQ+ content on Netflix, which Murphy defends. And there’s a feeling of serial killer fatigue. With so many true-crime dramatizations, do we really need another iteration of Dahmer’s evil deeds? The show’s viewership states there’s clearly a want. Among critics, however, it got some of the worst reviews of 2022’s new shows. One crew member also said working on the heavy series gave them PTSD following poor treatment on set.
Regarding the LGBTQ+ tag backlash, Murphy said he still supports that decision, but also understands why people fervently disagreed. The tag had always been used to highlight uplifting stories supporting the LGBTQ+ community. Dahmer was presumed to be queer and the majority of his victims were gay men of color.
While there is a queer aspect to the story, certain Netflix users felt Monster shouldn’t be included in the streamer’s collection of positive queer representation. Murphy didn’t seem to select the tag himself, but it was ultimately removed.
“I think that it got the tag, one, because of my involvement. I’m a gay man, so most of my stories deal with some sort of LGBTQ thing and I do that selfishly; when I was growing up, I had nothing [to look to],” he told Variety. “My mission statement has been to talk about those stories and those characters and unearth buried history.”
“Many people in the community want to uplift. I understand that,” he continues, adding that Monster is “about homophobia. I have a saying: ‘My job as an artist is to hold up a mirror about what happened.’ It’s ugly. It’s not pretty. Do you want to look at it? If you do, watch it. If you don’t, look away, and sometimes, some of this outrage is directed at the frame of the mirror instead of the reflection. I try and say, I really understand why you’re upset about the inclusion of that. I understand it, but I also disagree with it personally.”
The series was also criticized for reportedly not getting permission from the families of Dahmer’s victims to create this story. (Monster does treat those killed as more human than most stories about this killer have in the past, but when making a story about such a traumatic series of events, it behooves the creators to get a family endorsement.) Murphy told The Hollywood Reporter he reached out to 20 family members and friends and never heard back.
“We reached out to 20, around 20 of the victims’ families and friends trying to get input, trying to talk to people, and not a single person responded to us in that process,” the writer-director said. “So we relied very, very heavily on our incredible group of researchers who… I don’t even know how they found a lot of this stuff. But it was just like a night and day effort to us trying to uncover the truth of these people.”
Peters served as an executive producer for the first time on this series, having the chance to choose acting cuts for himself and advocate for other actors. He’ll likely return as an executive producer for Season 2, though his desire to take a break from the dark material he’s known for may prompt him to just work behind-the-scenes that time around. It’s heavy stuff to play, and it’s heavy stuff to watch.
With Monster, is it a you either hate it or you love it scenario? Or are we as a culture reaching the point of peak true-crime drama fatigue? Should there be a Monster Season 2? We’d like to know your thoughts via the poll below.
Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, Streaming Now, Netflix