Lorena may not be a perfect documentary, but it more than justifies its existence
The Jordan Peele-produced, Joshua Rofé-directed four-hour Amazon film "isn’t a particularly well-structured documentary," says Judy Berman. "Rofé seems to have had trouble deciding whether he wanted to split up episodes thematically or move in chronological order throughout the series. As a result, Lorena sometimes repeats itself. A finale that keeps jumping around in time (from 1995 to ’90 to ’98 and so on) feels especially disjointed. The show never manages to make any novel points about the mid-’90s news media, either. And like most true-crime tales in this serialization-crazy post-Serial era, it could easily have been a two-hour movie rather than an episodic narrative of twice that length. Yet the series justifies its existence, even in an era filled reexaminations of tabloid stories from years past. By zooming out to capture what didn’t make it into the original headlines, and everything that has come to pass since the public eye turned away from the Bobbitts, Lorena manages to paint a more complete picture. There is #MeToo resonance here, though that’s hardly unique among sad stories about men and women from any period. What’s more vital is Rofé’s confident rejection of the he-said-she-said false equivalences of, say, the recent 20/20 special 'The Bobbitts: Love Hurts'—and the derisive humor such glib entertainments continue to wring out of real pain."
- Lorena weaves deftly thorough issues of racism and domestic violence
- It's an expertly crafted piece of work
- Lorena can't cut through the tabloid noise: It's too often sidetracked by the sheer spectacle of "the incident"
- It remains jarring and horrifying to see Lorena Bobbitt's trial and public humiliation play out, both in the past and reflective present
- Lorena takes aim at the blossoming 24-hour cable news cycle and Howard Stern for trivializing her abuse
- Recent crime TV shows have focused on the murkiness of memory, from Lorena to True Detective
- No one comes off worse in Amazon's Lorena docuseries than Howard Stern
- Amazon releases the trailer Lorena, the Lorena Bobbitt docuseries from Jordan Peele