• Network: HBO
  • Series Premiere Date: Mar 10, 2019
User Score
4.8

Mixed or average reviews- based on 13 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 13
  2. Negative: 6 out of 13

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User Reviews

  1. Apr 4, 2019
    4
    There are two flaws in this serialized documentary I consider critical and fatal. First, the opening episode includes a variety of scenes in which the murder victim's words are imagined through animation and a voice actor. The animation colorfully romanticizes the relationship between the murder victim and the man convicted of her murder, in the murder victim's own voice, although she isThere are two flaws in this serialized documentary I consider critical and fatal. First, the opening episode includes a variety of scenes in which the murder victim's words are imagined through animation and a voice actor. The animation colorfully romanticizes the relationship between the murder victim and the man convicted of her murder, in the murder victim's own voice, although she is of course powerless to respond, while her family - who continue to believe the murder verdict was correct - is powerless to stop her words being used in such a manner. It is deeply unsettling watching from this perspective, as though a murderer has unburied the body of their victim and put it on display - indeed the producers, one of whom is the "legal advisor" of the convicted murderer, do not hesitate to literally put this corpse on display, featuring actual photos of the deceased victim prominently in the show.

    The show's second fatal flaw is the massive one-sidedness of the narration, which presents a defense to the trial without providing any substantive presentation of the claims and evidence against the convicted individual. In that regard, it is unclear whether the name of the show - "The Case Against Adnan Syed" - is ironic or whether it is intentionally misleading, for it is thoroughly committed to the defense of the convicted individual and seems to consciously avoid any evidence that may support the jury's findings. This is deeply unsatisfying viewing, and leaves the viewer with many questions that a viewer suspects have answers, but these simply aren't provided by the storyteller. The lawyers are advocating zealously for their clients, but in a documentary, the client should be the viewer, not any actual client. It is disconcerting to watch this in real time, with the actual client in prison, seemingly surrounded by people who have "drank the kool-aid" without any real analysis of the risks that existed in the appellate process. From a viewing of this documentary, these lawyers all seem irresponsible and failing in their duties to their client, just as at least one of these lawyers, as a film producer, are irresponsible and fail in their duties to their viewer.

    For these reasons, and many others that are secondary to the stated issues, this is a massively disappointing and unpleasant series to watch.
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  2. Apr 17, 2019
    1
    Giving this a 1 because I have to give credit to it for making me question the whole narrative. The show goes much further than Serial to make the case for Adnan Syed's innocence, and it baffled me that he was still in jail give what this show proposed. It forced me to go start asking for the opposite side; those who think he's guilty. There is much more compelling evidence for his guiltGiving this a 1 because I have to give credit to it for making me question the whole narrative. The show goes much further than Serial to make the case for Adnan Syed's innocence, and it baffled me that he was still in jail give what this show proposed. It forced me to go start asking for the opposite side; those who think he's guilty. There is much more compelling evidence for his guilt and Serial, HBO and Rabia Chaudry's Undisclosed completely neglect it. They don't even address all the other reasons Adnan Syed ended up in jail. If you ask them, it was magic because there was no evidence or question of his innocence. I have a lot of questions now and HBO's series forced me to be less lazy and go ask. I'm glad for that. I think he is guilty and nothing presented by either this or Undisclosed will change my mind. I also think that Rabia Chaudry is using Adnan to further her work in the Pakistani community. This is her project and it has nothing to do with Adnan. It's just her waving the flag for her cause. Expand
Metascore
66

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 16
  2. Negative: 1 out of 16
  1. Reviewed by: Ed Power
    Jan 3, 2020
    80
    Interviews with old school friends, remembering a young woman frozen in time, were supplemented with animations of Lee. This was a potentially exploitative flourish that somehow landed the right side of mawkish. ... [Amy Berg] took a person who had been defined only by a terrible evil done to her – and the media carnival that followed with Serial – and restored her right to be remembered as a human being.
  2. Reviewed by: Emine Saner
    Dec 5, 2019
    60
    It is skilfully created, and mostly empathetically told by the director Amy Berg. And yet it’s still uncomfortable to watch.
  3. Reviewed by: Sonia Saraiya
    Mar 18, 2019
    65
    The Case Against Adnan Syed may present more facts, but it has less to offer in the way of deeper, broader truth.