Dahmer - Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story is an American biographical crime drama limited series created by Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan for Netflix. It aired for one season on September 21, 2022. +more Murphy also serves as showrunner and is executive producer along with Brennan. The series is about the life of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer (Evan Peters). Other main characters include Dahmer's father Lionel (Richard Jenkins), stepmother Shari (Molly Ringwald), suspicious neighbor Glenda (Niecy Nash), and grandmother Catherine (Michael Learned).

Dahmer - Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story reached the number-one spot on Netflix in the first week of its release.

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    Synopsis

    The series explores the motives of Jeffrey Dahmer, and how he became one of the most notorious serial killers in America. His murders-which consisted of men and adolescent boys-were executed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Ohio between 1978 and 1991.

    In 1991, Glenda Cleveland, Dahmer's neighbor, complained to him about an unpleasant odor and frequent screams coming from his apartment. Despite his reassurances that the smell was just spoiled meat, Cleveland continued to be wary of him. +more Cleveland had been complaining to the police about her concerns for months, but they were unresponsive. At a gay bar, Dahmer met Tracy Edwards and invited him over for a drink at his apartment. To prevent him from leaving, Dahmer handcuffed Edwards and threatened him with a knife. Edwards tried to distract Dahmer by seducing him with an erotic dance. Soon, while Dahmer and Edwards were lying down together on Dahmer's bed, Dahmer touched Edwards' chest and claimed he would eat his heart. Horrified, Edwards managed to escape Dahmer's apartment after a couple of failed attempts. He came across the police, and they took Edwards to Dahmer's apartment in order to find the keys to the handcuffs. When they arrived, the cops searched Dahmer's drawer after he said the keys were there. They prepared to leave until they discovered horrifying Polaroids of bodies being dismembered and mutilated. The police arrested Dahmer, and as he was being handcuffed, he said, "For what I did, I should be dead. ".

    Throughout Dahmer's childhood, his parents neglected him. His father, Lionel, often traveled for work and frequently argued with Dahmer's biological mother, Joyce, who was a drug addict and suffered from depression, often attempting to commit suicide. +more When Dahmer was four years old, he underwent double hernia surgery, which led to him becoming depressed and socially withdrawn. As a prepubescent, Dahmer's father taught him how to dissect deceased animals, which intrigued him. In high school, Dahmer would bring home dead animals he dissected in class and masturbate to them. During Dahmer's adolescent years, his parents divorced. His mother moved away and had little contact with him. Lionel later remarried; his new wife, Shari, became Dahmer's stepmother.

    Dahmer attended Ohio State University, but due to his alcoholism and subsequent poor grades, he was expelled. His father then enrolled Dahmer into the military, only for him to be discharged because of his drinking. +more After that, Lionel moved him into his grandmother's house. During that time, Dahmer temporarily worked as a phlebotomist, and ingested his patients' blood samples. He also had sex with a mannequin, and a man later filed a police report claiming that Dahmer intoxicated his tea while at Dahmer's grandmother's house. After an unpleasant smell occurred in her basement, which he alleged was only roadkill animals, Dahmer's grandmother threw him out. At his next residence, Dahmer continued the pattern of drugging victims, killing them, then dismembering them and, at times, eating their organs.

    In 1978, at age 18, Dahmer committed his first murder while living at his childhood home in Bath Township, Ohio. It would be nine years before he murdered again. +more From 1987 to 1991 in Milwaukee, he is known to have committed 16 additional murders. Many murders involved cannibalism as well as necrophilia. In 1994, Dahmer was beaten to death by a fellow prison inmate.

    Cast

    Main

    Recurring

    Soundtrack

    The score for the series was composed and performed by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis. The soundtrack album was released the same day as the series.

    Episodes

    Reception

    Audience viewership

    The series rose to the number-one spot on Netflix in the first week of its release. In the second week of its release, Netflix announced that Dahmer was its ninth most popular English-language TV show of all time, with 56 million households having viewed all 10 episodes.

    Critical response

    The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 62% approval rating with an average rating of 6. 3/10, based on 26 critic reviews. +more The website's critics consensus reads, "While Monster is seemingly self-aware of the peril in glorifying Jeffrey Dahmer, creator Ryan Murphy's salacious style nevertheless tilts this horror story into the realm of queasy exploitation. " Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 45 out of 100 based on 8 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".

    Kayla Cobb at Decider said the show "isn't just well directed, written, and acted. It's rewriting what a crime drama can look like if we stop glorifying murderers and start focusing more on systematic failures. +more" Caroline Framke of Variety argues that the show "simply can't rise to its own ambition of explaining both the man and the societal inequities his crimes exploited without becoming exploitative in and of itself. " Dan Fienberg of The Hollywood Reporter praises episode 6 ("Silenced") as "easily the best episode of the series, an uncomfortably sweet and sad hour of TV that probably should have been the template for the entire show [and]. in placing a Black, deaf, gay character at the center of the narrative, the series is giving voice to somebody whose voice has too frequently been excluded from gawking serial killer portraits. ".

    On September 23, 2022, Netflix removed the series' "LGBTQ" tag after backlash on social media.

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