Missing: Dead or Alive? Review, Don’t Expect the Typical True Crime Elements You Love

Netflix released a new show called Missing: Dead or Alive? As I’ll always try to do it, it landed on my watchlist the first day it was available. I didn’t know much about it. Would each episode profile a different crime? Would the mystery carry over from episode one to episode two?

They strategically had each episode end on a little bit of a cliffhanger with the missing persons case from the previous episode bleeding into the next. We start off with the case of a missing elderly woman who was so obviously killed by her strange son who at one point says the last man she dated was named Theodore Roosevelt. Or did he actually kill her? This case, the story of a girl taken by her mother, a missing man who just won the lottery, and a troubled teen who may have been trafficked are the four profiled on Missing: Dead or Alive.

Before you spend a few hours watching it, let me share a few thoughts without spoiling it.

What was good about Missing: Dead or Alive?

Honestly, I didn’t know the conclusion of any of the cases they uncovered with the exception of one because they made it pretty obvious. The question of whether the missing people are dead or alive is definitely true. We see a lot of evidence pointing in one direction. I guarantee you’ll be stunned by the outcome of at least one of these cases.

The style of this show worked well. It was modern, well put together, and paced incredibly well. The episodes move fast. The investigators aren’t annoying even if we spend too much time at the game night of one of the main women.

Missing: Dead or Alive will satisfy fans of true crime documentaries. However, you should keep in mind this is something very different.

What could have made Missing: Dead or Alive better

If you are someone who watched Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel and hated it because of the ending you’ll be very unsatisfied with this show. This is a show about missing people and not all of them end up dead.

The show could’ve been better if the investigators were actually a bit more fun or interesting. Honestly, I don’t remember much about them. Many of the scenes they have together felt a bit staged, but that’s not unusual for a behind-the-scenes investigative show like this. It reminded me a little bit of Killing Fields, a show which was about a couple of crimes in Louisiana but made much more memorable because of the dynamic between the younger detective and the grizzled and often sweaty older one. Fortunately, the staged scenes aren’t cringy.

One thing this documentary might benefit from would be a little more rawness. I didn’t feel much of the danger after the first case. This just wasn’t as dark as I like my documentaries to feel. Maybe that was the point. In dealing with missing persons, there needs to be a little hope of a happy ending.

Is Missing: Dead or Alive worth watching?

I’ll recommend it. This was an easy and mostly fun watch. Nothing about it was superbly amazing. There wasn’t anything to really dislike all that much about it either. It was easy to follow and the variety of different cases was smart.

Overall Score: 7 out of 10

Missing: Dead or Alive isn’t a home run. This is a bases loaded double. If they make a second season, I’ll be sure to watch as long as I know someone else’s Netflix password.

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