The Atlantic: Strangeland is a true-crime show that involves some familiar threads: evidence gathering, suspect lineup, investigation critique. But hosts Sharon Choi and Ben Adair avoid the predictable, turning the show into a thoughtful meditation on race, culture, and immigration. In 2003, in Los Angeles’s Koreatown, a woman named Chi Hyon Song, her 2-year-old son, and her nanny, Eun Sik Min, were murdered. Though someone was convicted of the triple homicide, the show casts doubts on that verdict. Choi, who is Korean American, translates and provides cultural context about how Koreans tend to view obligations to family, to neighbors, and to strangers. Strangeland isa brilliant example of how true crime can contain surprising depth.
Variety: Season 2 of the true-crime series, hosted by New Yorker writer Dana Goodyear, focuses on the suspicious drowning in January 1981 of Verna Johnson-Roehler and her young son, Doug, while boating 30 miles off the coast of Malibu. Verna’s husband, Fred Roehler, was the sole survivor and only witness. Initially, the deaths were ruled accidental. But a phone call from a Malibu neighbor changed everything. Was Fred a monster, masquerading as the perfect Malibu dad — or was an innocent man convicted by his gossiping neighbors?
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