Reviews of Bad Vape: The Rise and Fall of Juul rating ***** and Who KIlled Jill Dando rating ****
Netflix continues to pump out quality documentaries and documentary series. Here are two to add to your queue. First up is Bad Vape. This four-part docuseries covers the rapid rise and fall of the company behind the product Juul. If you think you know this story, think again. Is Vaping bad? Did the use of Juul cause the death of some users? Is there a benefit to vaping? The series is based on a book by author Jamie Ducharme. In many ways, the story of Juul is very much like the story of OxyContin. Both products were introduced to help alleviate one problem by introducing a lesser evil. In the case of OxyContin, it was to relieve pain. In the case of vaping, it was a way to stop cigarette smoking. As with OxyContin, those original goals were supplanted by greed and addiction.
It wasn’t all that long ago that the whole vaping industry was facing scrutiny by politicians and the media. I can remember it becoming an issue on airplanes and how the practice was eventually banned along with cigarette smoking. I remember the stories of addicted children. But mine was a fragmented view that did not fully reveal all of the behind-the-scenes machinations taking place. After watching this series, my view is that the creators of the product were well-intentioned and that they tried to do the right thing once the underage addiction problem became an issue. Unfortunately, no matter how well-intentioned they were, their product was an efficient electronic nicotine delivery system that relied on user addition for its success. As one person said in the film, is helping one person transition off of cigarettes worth addicting twenty more people to nicotine? This is a multi-layered story that is well worth your time.
The second docuseries to watch is Who Killed Jill Dando. This is a true crime series involving the murder of a popular British newscaster. A suspect is eventually arrested and put on trial for the crime. But did they get the right person? The evidence against him is flimsy to nonexistent. It’s more speculation based on odd behavior. If nothing else, this film shows how innocent people can be wrongfully convicted and how a skillful defense attorney can make all the difference in the final outcome.