Taiwan has given us yet another gripping thriller that will keep audiences on the edge of their seats. “The Media Killer,” also known as “Copycat Killer,” is a Taiwanese series based on the “Puppet Master” novels by Japanese crime fiction author Miyuki Miyabe. With Miyabe herself involved in the scriptwriting, this series delves into the dark world of a serial killer who manipulates his victims, the police, and the media to turn his murders into a macabre spectacle.
A Gripping Narrative and Genuine Characters
With Miyuki Miyabe at the helm of the scriptwriting, there’s little room for disappointment. “The Media Killer” exhibits a unique blend of sincerity and brutality. Unlike many other Asian productions, this series manages to avoid falling into the trap of poetic thrillers.
Spanning ten episodes, the show effortlessly navigates through time and space, presenting entangled yet well-paced storylines that captivate the audience. The strength of the series lies in its ability to make the most of both its main and supporting characters. Each character is given realistic objectives, risks, and emotions without resorting to unnecessary drama.
The drama in the series is carefully balanced, never veering into exaggeration or an overindulgence in tears. The characters’ circumstances are already laden with enough weight and tragedy to tug at your heartstrings and churn your stomach. The main plot, the police investigation, and the subplots are masterfully woven together, leaving no loose ends. With impactful plot twists, albeit somewhat predictable ones, the series fully immerses the viewer in its gripping narrative.
A Sadistic Thriller with Unparalleled Sensitivity
It’s important to note that “The Media Killer” is not suitable for everyone. The series contains a fair amount of violence, abuse, and dismemberment scenes that, although not overly explicit or exaggerated, may be distressing to some. The show intelligently explores topics such as violence against women and the objectification of the female body, shedding light on the disturbed minds lurking within society.
However, in the midst of its sadistic and disturbing nature, the series manages to infuse a great deal of sensitivity into the storyline and character relationships. “The Media Killer” explores the morbid violence perpetuated by the media and the society’s hunger for entertainment, highlighting the blurred lines between tragedy and obsession. The burden of the story rests not only on the shoulders of the victims but also on their families, who suffer not only at the hands of the killer but also at the hands of the media.
The thirst for breaking news, the cutthroat competition in the advertising industry, and the pursuit of exclusive stories hinder police investigations. This backdrop sets the stage for the killer, who sees his murders as both a media spectacle and a personal triumph. The psychological cat-and-mouse game between the villain and the protagonist entangles all the characters in this media frenzy, making for a truly enthralling series.
Nostalgia for the 90s
While “The Media Killer” could take place in any contemporary era, there’s something about the late 90s setting that makes this story its own. The carefully chosen elements of the time, such as cars, VHS tapes, cassettes, landline phones, and even vintage Bic pens, create a nostalgic atmosphere that draws viewers into the series.
The lighting, shadows, recurring lights, and color palette further enhance the consistent ambiance, highlighting not only the time period but also the genre. Moreover, the clever camera work, angles, and shots help build an emotional connection with the characters, allowing us to see the world through their eyes. As viewers, we become witnesses to events that the protagonist remains unaware of, heightening the suspense.
“The Media Killer” may not be a flawless tale, but it delivers everything you expect and more from a thriller of this caliber. With genuine characters and a truly intriguing serial killer, the series stands out. Finally, the exceptional soundtrack and audio work seamlessly complement the episodes, while the high-quality performances of the entire cast add a touch of authenticity.
Conclusion: A Superb Taiwanese Thriller
Taiwan has once again proven its talent for producing exceptional thrillers. “The Media Killer” is a superb Taiwanese series that perfectly balances cruelty with sincerity. Miyuki Miyabe breathes new life into her own characters, this time on the small screen, creating a brilliant series that excels in every aspect of production.
If you’re ready to embark on a chilling journey through the mind of a serial killer, make sure to check out “The Media Killer” on Netflix.
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