In the first six episodes that were screened for press, the series offers plenty for true crime fans to satisfy their fix. The first one might be its most curious question mark, involving a Baltimore man named Rey Rivera who somehow fell to his death from a hotel roof, despite the many physical factors that disprove it. Or, there’s the story of a family who was murdered in France, with the key suspect planting a lot of strange clues. There’s also the story of a mother and wife Patrice Endres, who vanished one morning from her hair salon. Many of the tales are depicted here with care and precision, and Patrice’s story has a family drama at its core that shows just how earth-shaking a crime is for anyone in close proximity.
But like the original show, “Unsolved Mysteries” is about more than murder cases that have left incomplete life stories—it’s fifth episode, for example, documents a shared UFO experience experienced by a group of people in Massachusetts. This is one of the episodes in which no experts can really be brought in to virtually prove against any theories; instead it’s about watching the people tell the story of a possible abduction experience, and the certainty in their faces. They repeat a phrase that echoes throughout the series: “I remember it like it was yesterday.”
Arriving 10 years after the last episode of “Unsolved Mysteries” ran, this iteration is what you could call the “dark and gritty” version, even for a series that’s often concerned evil. The show is updated from how you remember earlier episodes, fitting in more neatly with any worthwhile true crime documentary you can find on not just Netflix—the interviews are overcast with sullen lighting, and the spare reenactments are played with unmistakable gravity, the lack of actors’ faces registering as even more ominous. And in instances like the UFO episode, the series puts a great attention to visually elaborating on the grandiosity of these individual experiences. Its shots of the subjects standing looking up to the sky are given more care than your usual B-roll, and the stories feel huge instead of just serial-sized.