I watched this documentary yesterday, after hearing a lot of good things about it from friends of mine. I was ok for the first two episodes but then it really started to lose me. I was glad to read this thread, because I was feeling exactly the same about McNamara (and Oswalt) as many here did. I didn't know who they were before hand either, but they definitely came across kinda annoying and not at all interesting. I understand that this documentary is based off the book, so of course it would focus on her life too, but it just wasn't as interesting as a documentary based solely on the crimes would've been.
The elephant in the room for me is that McNamara just WASN'T a good writer. Yet they keep saying she was over and over again. However we get the voiceover lady reading excerpt after excerpt from her writing, and I mean, talk about purple prose! And that Letter to an Old Man at the end was cringe-inducing. It's the kind of thing a teenager in their first creative writing class might think is amazing.
Also, I know we're meant to believe that she didn't seek the limelight, but based off the recordings of her interviews with people, she came across as not a very good listener (which is funny as that's what nearly turned her off her husband, that he never listened), and injected herself into other people's stories in what I thought was a really insensitive way.
One victim is tell her about her relationship with her mother, and she butts in: "Oh yes, well me and my mother had this bad relationship blah blah blah" and it ends with the victim sort of chuckling: "Riiiight. Well my relationship with my mother wasn't like that." Or even worse, when Melanie says: "When I was raped... I was molested by a neighbour", and McNamara immediately jumps in with: "Oh yes, well I mean, there was this guy, my boss, in Northern Ireland, it was like that." You have to hear it to get what I mean, but it doesn't come across like sympathy and understanding, it's like she just wants to use someone else's story to immediately jump in and talk about her.
Speaking of the victims, they were just amazing. I wanted to hug each and every one of them. It must've taken a lot to open up about it so publicly, and also so healing at the same time. I am thinking particularly of the woman who was girl on the piano. Told all her life to not discuss it, punished by her parents for telling a friend etc, for her to sit there, with her police statement, and be able to read it aloud for the first time, well as I say, I just wanted to hug her.
Knowing a bit already about this case, I also couldn't understand why they left so much out of it. The town hall meeting incident, for want of a better term, is one of the greatest examples of this sicko's terror campaign, and they didn't even mention it. All this to say, this documentary just wasn't for me. I understand it was based on her book, so I'm not complaining it wasn't something else, but I do think it's a pity they couldn't have gotten all those interviews with victims and detectives etc and made a better series out of it.