Here's What Real Life Watcher Couple Really Thinks About Netflix Show

Here's What Real Life Watcher Couple Really Thinks About Netflix Show
Image credit: Netflix

The reaction of the real-life Watcher family once again raises the main issue of true-crime shows.

The Netflix miniseries The Watcher co-created by Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan premiered on October 13 to gather significant viewership. The promotion campaign of the show heavily relied on it being the recollection of horrifying events the Broaddus family has been through back in 2014. Many true crime lovers were sold on this idea, just to find out in the process of binge-watching the miniseries that it has gone too far from the real story it claims to be based on.

In the real life, Derek and Maria Broaddus – depicted by Naomi Watts and Bobby Cannavale in the Netflix show – found themselves living a nightmare after buying a house in a small New Jersey town. Soon after the property transaction, the family started to receive macabre letters from an anonymous stalker calling themselves "The Watcher". The letters were so gruesome and terrifying that the family had to cancel their move to the new home and eventually sell the house for less than the price they paid. This chilling story was described in detail by writer Reeves Wiedeman in The Cut's viral article for the rights to which Netflix paid seven figures.

This leads us to the reaction of the real-life family at the center of The Watcher. The journalists have been trying to reach them and get their comments since the miniseries premiered. But the family has so far declined any comments. ABC News reported that, according to their source, the Broadduses have no intent to watch Netflix's The Watcher, "the trailer was traumatizing enough."

Such reaction of the family makes The Watcher part of the continued discussions about shows based on real-life stories, already fuelled by public disapproval of Ryan Murphy's Dahmer series.

The Most Absurd Thing About The Watcher Is Not Even Its Frustrating Finale

The core of the issue lies in the way these shows obtain the right to adapt real-life stories. They often go around the consent of the actual participants of the events, purchasing the rights to an article or a book instead. Except for The Watcher and Dahmer, this happened to Hulu 's Pam & Tommy, which was based on a book and produced without the permission of Pamela Anderson.

Netflix's The Watcher Strays So Far From the Original Story, It's Not Even Worth It

Naturally, true-crime mysteries and biopics will always be in high demand and thus will keep coming out on different streaming services and the big screen. But creators need to seriously reconsider the way the rights for these productions are obtained.