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One of the US' best real-life crime shows,
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This review is from: Snapped: Season Three [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
'Snapped''s third season contains a slew of excellent cases, presented in the show's rigid, but well-structured format. Unlike in later seasons, most of the episodes on show in Season 3 are 21 minutes long, as opposed to the later-series running time of 42 minutes (though there are a couple of exceptions in Season 3). In some cases here, this means the episodes provide a welcome free from filler material, whilst others (such as the incredible tale of Kimberley Kondejewski, an abused wife who turned the gun on her crazed husband) could do with a longer episode, to delve deeper into background, and details of the case. For the uninitiated, 'Snapped' focuses, each episode, on a woman who has been involved in murder (though a few episodes focus instead on cases of attempted murder, or conspiracy to kill). The show begins on the background of the woman in question, moves onto the crime itself (as well as the gathering of evidence) and then onto the trial. Here, as in other series, 'Snapped' has brought together a fascinating and useful cross-section of individuals, from prosecutors to policeman, and from family members to journalists. This aspect of the show is highly interesting, especially in allowing the viewer to make their own mind up about cases (at least to an extent), with input provided from all angles - including even interviews from the 'snapped' women themselves.
Season Three is full of engaging cases. There are shocking double-lives (Mary Thompson), almost inconceivably abusive husbands (Kimberley Kondejewski, Laura Rogers), and cold-blooded killers (Stella Nickell) on show, and the cases are presented with a commendable fairness. The cases shown here also focus on a really wide cross-section of society, with the women ranging from the wife of an NFL star to a financially-struggling mother living in a trailer-park home. Admittedly there is nothing truly groundbreaking about 'Snapped', and the episodes can eventually get a bit dull if you watch several in a row, due to the cookie-cutter formula of them, and one or two of the cases, such as that of Gail Bennett, are a little disappointing. Still, Season 3 of 'Snapped' provides numerous intriguing stories of women who have killed (or attempted to) for one reason or another, and as well as entertaining, it is a show which leaves one with a better understanding of issues like killer motive, battered-woman syndrome, police techniques, and sentencing hearings. I hereby find Season 3 of 'Snapped' guilty of providing interesting and informing viewing!
NB: There is a different narrator on the Region 1 DVD releases of 'Snapped' to the woman who narrates the episodes on Sky's 'Crime + Investigation' channel (where the show is aired in the UK), but her style is very similar, so it makes little real difference.