If there’s one thing Netflix can’t get enough of, it’s true crime content. If there’s another thing Netflix can’t get enough of, it’s another series from love-him-or-hate-him auteur Ryan Murphy. Now, with the trailer for Dahmer, a new series based on the titular serial killer, it sure seems like Netflix is getting exactly what they always wanted.
Based on the trailer, Dahmer promises a look at the full life of Jeffrey Dahmer, from his strange childhood behaviors until his eventual arrest and appearance in court. Perennial Murphy muse Evan Peters leads the charge as the killer, with names like Nicey Nash, Richard Jenkins, Molly Ringwald, and Michael Learned rounding out the cast.
Of particular interest, it seems like Dahmer will delve into the racial dynamics that enabled the real Dahmer to exist unimpeded for so long. The majority of Dahmer’s victims were non-white, non-heterosexual men, meaning that the justice system wasn’t exactly super invested in solving their disappearances until it was far too late. This point is teased in the trailer by Glenda Cleveland (Nash), who tells police, “I called you for months! It’s too late! Y’all came too late!”
Blood and guts combined with (an often less-than-subtle) interrogation of racial, sexual, and gender dynamics seems like pretty standard Murphy fare. In addition to series like Impeachment and the AHS anthology, the television impresario received the most acclaim he’s ever gotten for his 2016 effort The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, which also blended the spectacle of high-profile murder with American racial and gender politics of the era. Admittedly, that effort was significantly more subtle and thoughtful than most of Murphy’s outings (lest we forget Hollywood). Hopefully, Dahmer can find a way to balance the demands of the true-crime genre while also centering the victims of the true crimes.
Dahmer hits Netflix on September 21.