Binge-A-Thon: Evil Genius

If you were alive 15 years ago, you’ve probably hear the story of the pizza-bomber robbery. A pizza-delivery man, Brian Wells, was reportedly accosted while on a delivery, had an explosive device forced around his neck, then given a set of instructions and sent out to rob a bank. While escaping following the robbery, Wells was stopped by the police and held while they investigated the scene and waited for the bomb squad to arrive to analyze the device around his neck.

Unfortunately, before they could get there, the bomb detonated and Wells was dead.

It’s a story I remember vividly. And why wouldn’t I? It’s weird, creepy, mysterious, something you’d almost expect to see in a Saw film.

I think for most of us, though, the story quickly faded away. I know for myself that I had no idea that anyone had ever been arrested or convicted for the crime. But that’s what makes Evil Genius such a great watch. It’s a story that we didn’t even know existed.

Evil Genius is definitely of the modern flavor of documentary television, where the documentary process itself is included in what we see on screen. I’m not entirely tired of the device yet, but for whatever reason it somehow seems less compelling in this case, and I almost think they could have removed those elements and ended up with a tighter 3-episode series.

Not that it’s particularly long at 4-episodes. In fact, it’s pretty much a perfect length for a casual afternoon binge-ing. Which is exactly how I experienced it. And as each episode neatly teases the revelations to come in the next, it really is hard to turn away until you’ve made it through it all.

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