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Ashley Madison review: Sex, Lies & Scandal: Life is short, but this documentary series is worth the commitment


Sam and Nia Rader in the Netflix documentary series “Ashley Madison: Sex, Lies & Scandal.”


Less than a year after Hulu’s Ashley Madison documentary, Netflix is ​​settling for seconds with “Ashley Madison: Sex, Lies & Scandal,” a three-part British production that has the advantage of looking like about four documentaries in one . Part business collapse, part detective mystery, part media critique and part “tales of Ashley Madison,” this is a look at the dating site for married people that’s very salacious and certainly not dull.

Based on the theory that a surprising number of married people were signing up for dating sites, Ashley Madison (taken from two popular female names) began with the slogan “When monogamy becomes monotony” before evolving under from Noel Biderman to a more in- your face line version: “Life is short. Have a business.”

Yet as the company has experienced explosive subscriber growth and Biderman has become media catnip, touring the world submitting to the righteous indignation of (mostly outraged) television interviewers ), the dirty secret was that Ashley Madison had not taken the promised steps to protect her data. , leaving itself vulnerable to a 2015 hack that exposed thousands of customers.

“It was like playing with people’s lives,” says Evan Back, a sales manager and strategist who was among the former employees interviewed.

In a way, director Toby Paton approaches the new docuseries in a way that very much fits the daytime TV mentality that Biderman successfully exploited at the time from a marketing standpoint , working on the theory that bad publicity did not exist. for a site offering the prospect of facilitated adulterous encounters.

“Ashley Madison” spends a lot of time telling some soap opera-style stories about lives that were upended when the hacked information became public, such as the fallout from Sam Rader, a Dallas-area Christian vlogger who s was secretly registered. , and his wife, Nia.

At the same time, the docuseries builds both a kind of strange suspense around the hack, on several levels, while offering a sharp media dissection of voyeurism, with a touch of schadenfreude often disguised as the journalism that made this story so irresistible.

Best of all, Paton also devotes part of the series to investigating the hackers, self-identified as The Impact Team, who did not behave like most corporate hackers in the way they presented their requests, leaving lingering questions and questions. speculation about his motives.

Put it all together, and “Ashley Madison: Sex, Lies & Scandal” lives up to – or perhaps better, lives up to – its name. As the advert says, life is short when it comes to committing to another documentary series. Still, people will no doubt be willing to take the plunge for a story with such delightful “There but for the grace of God…” overtones.

“Ashley Madison: Sex, Lies & Scandal” premieres May 15 on Netflix.

Gn entert
News Source : amp.cnn.com

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