Forensic Files has long been considered a legend of the true-crime television scene. I watched it last week, and I can say that it holds this status for a reason. The episodes are short, sweet, and to the point; the narration is excellent; and the show doesn’t rely on ad-break cliff-hangers or the purposeful withholding of information. The crimes themselves are great too. Equal parts mysterious and gory, they’ll have you thinking about them for weeks.
But Forensic Files isn’t just a great crime show – it’s also a piece of history. From the pulsating synths that underscore the opening sequence, to the cheesy star-wipes and dissolves used to transition between scenes, everything about Forensic Files screams 1990s America. It’s brilliant. There’s something oddly fascinating about seeing real people going about their lives in this by-gone era. An opportunity to peer into the lives of all these people, and wonder – just briefly – what the fuck were people thinking back then?
The cops all sport horn-rimmed glasses, open v-neck tops, and jet-black moustaches the length and width of your average bicycle pump. The kids are all invariably dressed in the same classic 90s attire (faded denim jeans, with a long grey shirt under a short black shirt). And harried businessmen criss-cross the screens holding battered leather briefcases and cell-phones as big as a brick.
If you take one thing away from this review, make it this: Forensic Files is the gold-standard of true-crime television. If you’re in any way a true-crime fan – even if it’s just a passing fascination with grizzly murders – then watch this show. You will not be disappointed.