True crime documentaries are always a must-see. They’re thrilling and terrifying, but most importantly, they’re captivating because it’s more often than not, the circumstances behind the crimes are things we try to tell ourselves do not happen. Unfortunately, though, as true crime continues to become more popular, most big stories have already been covered in detail through other streamers or networks. In fact, true crime is what Investigation Discovery has built its entire brand on. So, it can be hard for shows like Worst Roommate Ever to feel fresh. This is, ultimately, what keeps it from being must-see television.
While Worst Roommate Ever is a thrilling watch, one that’ll surely keep viewers hooked until the end, it’s nothing new. These stories – especially the first two – have been featured on Investigation Discovery, and Netflix’s approach offers little new for those that are familiar with these stories. It’s unfortunate, really, as the concept of Worst Roommate Ever is a great one. It just feels like a long rehash, making it hard to understand why it was greenlit to begin with.
One subject featured in Worst Roommate Ever is Dorothea Puente. Those that follow true crime stories have probably heard about Puente. Throughout her life, she was responsible for committing numerous crimes against those she was meant to help. To say she is a monster would be putting it lightly. The problem with using Puente for the first episode, though, is that her story has been told time and time again. There’s The House is Innocent, World’s Most Evil Serial Killers, and The Boarding House all of which have tackled Puente’s crimes, so by the time “Call Me Grandma” comes around, viewers have probably already been made aware of the terrible things she has done.
That isn’t to say the interviews don’t make the stories fascinating. In most instances, the interviews do enhance the stories being told. It’s just that most of them are so familiar, even those being interviewed have been showcased in previous documentaries or episodes on these terrible crimes. If Worst Roommate Ever took the same concept and, instead, opted to focus on smaller stories for a potential second season, it would only be beneficial. As it stands, though, Investigation Discovery has already tackled these stories and, honestly, it makes Netflix’s Worst Roommate Ever feel outdated.
All in all, Worst Roommate Ever is still worth a watch — solely for the latter episodes. Beyond that, though, it feels like its trying too hard to do what has already been done. If the series should return for any future installments, it should opt to seek out smaller tales if it wants to rightfully claim its space among other great true crime.