When They See Us: Season 1 (2019)


Season 1
When They See Us

Critics Consensus

Ava DuVernay pulls no punches in When They See Us, laying out the harrowing events endured by the Central Park Five while adding a necessary layer of humanity to their story that challenges viewers to reconsider what it means to find justice in America.

96%

TOMATOMETER

Critic Ratings: 85

91%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 441

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Episodes

Air date: May 31, 2019

In the spring of 1989, five boys of color are arrested, interrogated and coerced into confessing to the vicious attack of a woman in Central Park.

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Air date: May 31, 2019

As the jogger case stirs tensions nationwide, the families of the boys and their lawyers prepare for a bitter legal fight against the city of New York.

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Air date: May 31, 2019

The boys struggle with the difficult reality of life behind bars. Years later, Raymond, Antron, Yusef and Kevin return home as men to a changed world.

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Air date: May 31, 2019

At age 16, Korey begins a brutal journey through the adult prison system. A shocking turn of events reveals the truth of the crime, long ignored.

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When They See Us: Season 1 Videos

Tv Season Info

Five teens from Harlem become trapped in a nightmare when they're falsely accused of a brutal attack in Central Park. Based on the true story.

News & Interviews for When They See Us: Season 1

Critic Reviews for When They See Us Season 1

All Critics (85) | Top Critics (27)

The series offers a raw, absorbing and ultimately revealing look at this compelling case and the flawed criminal justice system.

Dec 2, 2019 | Full Review…
Top Critic

[Ava] DuVernay skips around, sacrificing some of the legal particulars and chronologies in order to maintain the intimacy and focus of her storytelling.

Dec 2, 2019 | Full Review…

DuVernay makes an effective artistic choice by filming much of this through a blue filter, so that the boys' world is enveloped by a Kafkaesque indigo gloom from which they - and the viewer - can find no escape.

May 31, 2019 | Full Review…
Top Critic

In rendering their journeys, DuVernay pays careful attention to the terrifying power of language, especially the animalistic rhetoric with which prosecutors and journalists referred to the teens.

Jun 3, 2019 | Full Review…

When They See Us achieves quite a lot, asking us all to consider exactly who in America really gets the presumption of innocence when accused of a crime.

Jun 1, 2019 | Full Review…
NPR
Top Critic

[Ava] DuVernay's direction and writing is clear-eyed and focused, and puts a heavy emphasis on what the boys and their families lost over their decades-long ordeal.

May 31, 2019 | Full Review…

It transcends by reflecting the biggest of injustices, from a personal and emotional level. Unmissable. [Full review in Spanish]

Aug 20, 2020 | Rating: 9/10 | Full Review…

The acting and directing are nothing short of outstanding.

Jul 20, 2020 | Full Review…

The opening and concluding installments are the strongest, and left me feeling like I punctured a lung.

Feb 25, 2020 | Full Review…

Ultimately, it's still worth a try, but those hoping for more of the facts and the nitty gritty should turn to the Ken Burns documentary instead.

Jan 18, 2020 | Full Review…

Wise's hope, pain, weariness, and youthful innocence all shine through in Jerome's can't-miss performance.

Dec 16, 2019 | Full Review…

Perhaps the best work of [Ava] DuVernay's career so far.

Dec 10, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for When They See Us: Season 1

  • Sep 11, 2020
    Not a fan. This injustic is tragic, but far too much emphasis is ptu upon race. Police mistreat people of all colors.
  • Sep 07, 2020
    Brilliant. Scary. Yes, it's brilliant, but totally scary! Unreal that this happened... and happens...
  • Sep 02, 2020
    It is crazy that this actually happened.
  • Aug 16, 2020
    When they See Us is so good Staged and so many of the Newcomers just show how great they actually can Act. Ava Duvernay made this Show so Special with her Writing and Directing and I think it's a really cool Fact that Robert De Niro and Oprah Winfrey Produce this Show. And Everything speaks for how great it is because I had so often Tears in my Eyes. So Emotional. So Awesome. RATING: 4,95
  • Jul 20, 2020
    a story that needed to be told.
  • Jun 29, 2020
    Damn,this is so good!! Easily the best Netflix show ever!!!
  • Jun 27, 2020
    If you're seeking something lightweight and "feel good" you're going to want to keep on truckin. BUT, if you want something very authentic, with great character development, solid cinematography, well executed acting, and you can persevere through the gritty REALNESS, then you're someone else that this series was MADE FOR. Enjoy!
  • Jun 08, 2020
    The show is very honest and strong but its so well made, that makes you empathize with ALL of the characters, loved it completly
  • Jun 07, 2020
    A great depiction of a failed justice system. What a moving TV series and it resonates so much with what is happening still in our world.
  • Jun 04, 2020
    Esta miniserie bastante emocional funciona en todos los sentidos.

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