Netflix’s ‘Shot in the Dark’ well crafted look at timely issue

It’s not very often that when I get up whilst watching Netflix or a movie on TV I pause to resume the action when I return, but Netflix’s new documentary “Shot In the Dark” did just that.

The documentary series follows three stingers. A stinger is a person who patrols the city like a cop day or night while trying to document atrocities that occur during people’s lives. If you can remember a few years ago, there was a movie released starring Jake Gyllenhaal. It documented the life of an up and coming stringer who made his living scouring the city for the “story of the night.”

This is virtually the same thing; however, it is in real time with real-life events. Not only does it follow the heroics of a cameraman in the right place at the right time, it goes as far left as ethics and the business side of stinging. The newest Netflix documentary is a huge success and is well worth a weekday binge.

The greatest forte of “Shot in the Dark” is it’s character development and portrayal. Very early you discover the inner workings of the three main characters.

There’s the humble English family man running the business with his three brothers. There’s the egotistical arrogant cameraman willing to go to all lengths to get the best shot from the best angle, and finally there’s the internally smug cameraman who cares about two things: being the only business in town and looking as professional as possible.

For myself, it was an internal struggle that I could connect with for Howard (the humble Brit). After his crew was cut, the feeling of helplessness and frustration was something that made him the most likable and relatable character.

Then there is the feud between Scott the egotistical maniac and Zak the smug. It’s not clear as to how it all started, but it is clear how much the two hate each other.

Scott is never afraid to voice his feelings about himself or the current predicament. I won’t lie. It leads to some pretty good one-liners.

On the other side of the coin, Zak prefers to ignore the feud and continue with his work. At first, it is respectable, but the more I watched, the more I realized the high society viewership Zak has about himself.

In some ways, this led to being more infuriating than the blatant arrogance of Scott. Nonetheless, the characters led to the best part of the series: the monologues and dialogues. The constant bickering between the three characters is something worth paying attention to. It develops from a simple side story to the main part of the conflict toward the end.

Hatred is something that fuels Zak and Scott to do better at every scene, every night. Just the thought that one of them is out there, possibly doing better than the other, fuels the anger and determination like coal in a fire.

Meanwhile, Howard is barely keeping his business afloat. The feud comes to a point where Howard is forced to intervene.

The final few episodes of the season might not be as exciting as the first few, but they offer a look into the rough business world. It details the fight for existence. Howard’s fight to keep his business and livelihood alive both leaves a great cliffhanger for season two and great narrative.

“Shot in the Dark” is a great documentary series about the life a stringer, something I personally think should be much more documented after watching the series. After the first episode, I thought “Why is this the first I’ve heard of this on a major platform?”

Netflix has an untapped oasis of great shows that are undervalued. I think Netflix can add to the oasis that a lot of people do not pay attention to by providing even more looks at the life of a stringer.

Netflix has just tapped into possibly the new greatest theme of the decade. The drama, the action, the feasibility are all the reasons that the profession of stringing is something that will become well known amongst the country.

“Shot in the Dark” is one of the newest Netflix shows to come online, and I think not enough people are paying attention to it. It’s a great show, and all the events that take place make it a great drama. Howard, Zak and Scott provide for great protagonists, antagonists and everything in between.

“Shot in the Dark” is a quick watch that you won’t regret.

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