The Playing Card Killer Season 1 Review – An unsettling case of a notorious serial killer presented poorly

Season 1

Episode Guide

An Ace Of Cups
Is There More Than One Killer?

The true crime miniseries on Netflix, The Playing Card Killer (El asesino de la baraja) presents the unsettling tale of one of Spain’s most notorious serial killers, Alfredo Galán. During his terrorizing reign in 2003, the ruthless serial killer instilled fear in the citizens of Madrid. The police start looking into the crimes and discover a common thread — playing cards.

A witness comes forward with a description of the killer, leading to the creation of a portrait that also causes disagreements and confusion as authorities attempt to stop the next killing by the psychopath now known as the “Playing Card Killer.”

Every episode focuses on a distinct aspect of the situation at hand. We are informed about the murders as well as the victims, among other things. We are further given a brief idea of the lasting impacts Galán had on the survivors and his victim’s families as well. The Netflix docuseries also includes fresh testimonies from those who survived.

Having said that, the focus on those affected and the accounts of those who survived are pushed aside in the documentary. Although an attempt is made to draw attention to their unjust treatment by the authorities and include their voices, it doesn’t really succeed in doing so. This makes the third episode’s ending feel insincere and cannot be considered a fitting way to wrap up the whole issue.

The subject in question already appears compelling. This is particularly true given that there is little similarity or pattern among the victims, suggesting that the murderer chose them at random. Additionally, learning more about the authorities’ incompetence as well as the numerous untied threads throughout the case makes it quite interesting to watch.

We receive the customary counterarguments to what transpired in The Playing Card Killer. In order to keep audiences interested, the theories must have compelling arguments. Sadly, the series’ justification for its strange theories seems as weak as they come.

Kitsch is one of true crime’s most terrible flaws. Whether it’s through the use of background music or visual depictions, there’s always an attempt to dramatize and sensationalize events. Sadly, these issues also plague this Netflix documentary series.

The miniseries follows an unsettling case that is incredibly compelling. However, one wishes the show had gone further in terms of providing an in-depth account of the survivors and the loved ones of the victims. Additionally, given that the idea behind the playing cards is incredibly intriguing, the show should have made stronger arguments. The show’s pointless dramatizations should have been skipped as well.

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  • Verdict - 6/10

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