Three observations about Ava Duvernay‘s When They See Us (Netflix, 5.31).

One, the biggest dramatic problem in this five-part dramatic reenactment of the 1989 Central Park Jogger case, which I wrote about when it was first announced 19 months ago, is the bizarre police confessions by the five alleged (and later exonerated) assailants despite being with parents and/or guardians. How do you dramatize this without the audience saying “what the fuck is wrong with these guys…have they ever heard of ‘you can hassle me all you want but I didn’t do it’ or, better yet, ‘I’m not saying anything until I talk to an attorney’?”

Two, one of the ogres behind these “forced” confessions was Linda Fairstein, head of the Manhattan district attorney’s sex-crimes unit from ’76 to ’02, and whose office supervised the 1990 prosecution of the Central Park Jogger case. Wiki excerpt: In a settlement lawsuit it was claimed that Fairstein, with the assistance of the detectives at the 20th precinct, coerced false confessions from the five arrested teenagers following 30 straight hours of interrogation and intimidation.”

Three, who plays Fairstein in DuVernay’s re-telling? None other than Felicity Huffman, fresh off her involvement in the recent college entrance-exam cheating scandal.

“Ken and Sarah BurnsThe Central Park Five, a 2012 documentary, was one thing (i.e., not without problems but compelling). But a dramatic miniseries will be a whole ‘nother challenge.

The case was about the assault and rape of Trisha Meili, a female stockbroker, in Manhattan’s Central Park on 4.19.89. Five young black dudes — Anton McCray, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, Kharey Wise and Yusef Salaam — were wrongly prosecuted and falsely imprisoned, only to be exonerated and freed several years later. The five were awarded $40 million in damages.

The whole episode was a clear expression of racist hysteria (particularly on Donald Trump‘s part) and institutional corruption.