Can I Tell You a Secret Review: Stalking Docuseries is an Anxiety-Fuelled Nightmare

Series Director Liza Williams
Episodes 2
Genre Documentary (True Crime)

– No Spoilers –

Suppose we could really look into the atrocities that women have to go through in their everyday lives. In that case, we’d have a never-ending array of pieces of media that are all equally shocking and anxiety-inducing. Can I Tell You a Secret? is Netflix’s latest true-crime documentary on prolific stalker Matthew Hardy whose crimes left hundreds of people terrorised.

Abby, Lia and Zoe are three of the 63 victims that Hardy had stalked over 11 years, and almost destroyed their lives in the process. The series goes into a thorough discussion surrounding the victims and the perpetrators and both sides of the discussion are quite interesting and full of dread. The storyline flows smoothly from one person to another and although some things are different in each story, there is enough that is similar to make the differences stand out like a sore thumb.

can i tell you a secret review

As the survivors discuss probably the worst time in their lives, we see a police officer who works tirelessly as the only beacon of light in these dark times. Of course, law enforcement, otherwise, fails everyone in this scenario, with most of the victims being told that their cases aren’t important if it’s not a murder or a rape. It’s infuriating to watch but it’s also something that women have become accustomed to hearing in their lives throughout generations. One can only imagine how easily (or, at least, quickly) this case could’ve been solved if things were taken seriously, but at least it got solved so… yay?

With only two parts, the series is a quick and clean watch and is told in a fascinatingly simple way. There are not many unnecessary moments and once you start watching the series, it’s very difficult to stop until you finish the entire thing. The lightning pace keeps things entertaining and the compact formatting is a welcome change. The survivors’ feelings are translated to the audiences well, although extreme need to showcase Hardy, how tough his childhood was and all, seems a bit in bad taste.

In Part 2, we get a very in-depth look at Hardy himself and who is was in his formative years. Interviews with his classmates and friends will give you a better understanding of the person and give a reason as to why he has done what he did but it definitely doesn’t excuse it. If anything, it makes you question the malice with which he performed these intricate lies and targeted people he knew nothing about. The series, however, sometimes feels like it’s trying to make us feel a certain type of way because of his autism, which feels a bit icky considering his terrible crimes over 11 years.

The series explores Hardy’s diagnoses with the help of a psychiatrist who further breaks down the implications that a lonely childhood can have as an adult. I was a bit baffled as to why I was seeing this, because he is a criminal who destroyed people’s lives, so it doesn’t really matter whether he had friends or not. Interestingly enough, she points out later on that using autism as an excuse for a crime can be extremely harmful to the community as a whole.

can i tell you a secret review

With everything going fine and dandy in the series, however, one thing that I found to be a bit annoying was the recreations that went a bit too far with the forced emotions. I think most of the recreations in the series were done well and made sense in the context of the story but there are far too many moments that could’ve been cut down. Thankfully, as mentioned previously, the pacing keeps things moving so you don’t sit there looking at someone staring out a window for too long. The music is pretty great and holds the fear, anxiety and emotions of the scenario well and makes us engrossed in the runtime further.

Can I Tell You a Secret? also points out from its first moment about being careful when putting your life on social media. It doesn’t demonise it but rather asks us to be careful so that we are aware of what we are putting out there for the world to see. Unfortunately, there were a few questions that I was left with long after the series ran its course that it never answered. Considering how big of a deal this topic was and still remains, I wondered why the creators didn’t get into every facet in depth.

Can I Tell You a Secret Review: Conclusion

can i tell you a secret review

This true crime docuseries is a thrilling, short and well-paced watch that keeps things moving at a blazing pace. The stories told through first-person accounts are raw and emotional and keep you invested and there isn’t a moment where you don’t hope for the survivors of this harrowing ordeal to get justice. Thankfully, it’s mostly a happy ending, considering how stalking cases go anywhere in the world.

Can I Tell You a Secret is streaming on Netflix.

Also Read: Marry My Husband Ending Explained: Will Ji-hyuk Be Able to Escape His Fate? What Future Awaits Ji-won?


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