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Happy Jail (netflix miniseries) - This could have easily been just one episode


6 months agoSteemit2 min read

Sticking with their tradition of really dragging things out Netflix has yet another prison series based on real life. This time they travel to the Philippines.


The entire story behind the series comes from a viral video that got tens of millions of views of a bunch of inmates doing a coordinated dance routine to Michael Jackson's Thriller. This somehow managed to pass me by and I never saw it until this doco was released yesterday.

So we travel to Cebu to be let inside of this prison. The major story is the fact that a new prison consultant has been hired, himself being an ex convict. This sparks controversy and criticism from the public, but mostly Netflix presents him as doing a good job.

The inmates are mostly men and an awful lot of them are in prison because of President Duarte's extremely tough crackdown on drugs. The prison conditions in the Philipines, just like all other prisons in poorer Asian countries, are really bad, and the dance training seems to be something the inmates are happy to participate in.


It's an uplifting and interesting story, but once again Netflix has made the same mistake that I bitch about constantly in pretty much any series that they are involved in: It's too long!

There is so much filler that I found myself staring at my phone because most of what they were talking about wasn't really related to the overall message of the series at all. They try to get the audience involved in the individual lives of the inmates but i think they focused on so many of them that we never really learn a great deal about any of them.

It's a decent show, but i found myself skipping through it a lot because this entire thing could have easily been a 1 hour documentary that they made 4 times that long by including entirely too much material. Obviously, this is just my opinion... maybe you like things to last this long. I dunno.

For me, the fact that there is so much filler it kind of takes away from the appeal of the show overall. I suppose if you had nothing else to do you could give this one a look, but i wouldn't go out of my way to see it.



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