MARK 03.20.15: THE JINX

I'll just start by saying I was massively affected by this show for days after watching it. Because I was confined to a bed with illness, I was able to watch it all in one setting, which is how I recommend taking the show in. I felt like my mind was a whirling chasm of conspiracy and crime. Right up until the absolute jaw-dropping ending of the final episode. It's crazy-good television and I can't believe the filmmakers pulled it off.

The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst, is a six-part documentary series by HBO about Robert Durst, super-rich NYC real estate heir who was implicated in the disappearance of his first wife, the murder of his best friend 18 years later in Los Angeles and the murder and dismemberment of his neighbor in Galveston, TX the following year. He has remained a free-man all these years, even being put to trial and acquitted for the murder/dismemberment, which he definitely did. As Matt Zoller Seitz said in his New York Magazine review of the show, "I've never known trouble to follow people who weren't themselves trouble, have you?" It's a very strange story with a bunch of amazing, weird characters, chief among them is Durst himself. In an interview portion, Durst displays such odd behavior and ticks that certainly elevate him from "weird guy" to probably mentally ill. Still, it's captivating.

The show is beautifully shot and paced. There's a lot of information to get across in six episodes, and you get it all very clearly, with space to think about how crazy it all is. The reenactment shots are very elegant, done more for texture than story. The story comes completely from the mouths of those involved in the decades long ordeal and its clear there's still a lot of emotion about it. 

I had heard about all the controversy surrounding the show before I started watching. Durst was arrested in connection with the Los Angeles murder the night before the final episode aired. If you read about it, then you know that the media was not very careful with show spoilers in reporting on the arrest. I don't blame them. They couldn't be spoiler-sensitive as the show and the arrest are inextricable linked. I worried that knowing what I knew would make the show less interesting but I was so completely wrong. I think you could know everything or nothing about the story and still be completely taken away by the show. It is THAT wild.

Do yourself a favor and binge watch The Jinx. You won't regret it. Actually, you might regret it because you will not be the same afterward.


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Posted on March 20, 2015 .