REVIEW: ‘Unsolved Mysteries,’ Volume 2

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Unsolved Mysteries
Unsolved Mysteries Volume 2 is a true-crime docu-series exclusively on Netflix. Following the series return earlier this year, the famous show featuring the unsolved and the unexplained returns with six new episodes focusing on everything including missing persons, murder, and even the supernatural.

With its second volume landing only four months after it’s first volume’s release, the show has had little time to change up much of its formula. And it shows. Everything feels like a clean continuation in both form and presentation from one volume to the next. With how well the show had done to establish it’s cases, and guide the viewer through clear, easy to follow stories intact, this is a great thing for Unsolved Mysteries Volume 2. However, the newest installment carries the same dryness of the first season. Along with a few additional problems as well.

The six stories that make up this volume’s offering deliver the same range as its predecessor. With five of the stories being grounded tales of unsolved murders or missing people, and then with a sole episode focusing on something less mundane. For the most part, the stories present some unique and curious wrinkles to the cases they feature. The twists and turns these stories follow kept me interested and wondering what really happened. Unfortunately, this interest is only present about half of the time.

Unsolved Mysteries Volume 2 
How a former White House aide ended up dead in a landfill was one of the series better-handled stories.

The other half of the time Unsolved Mysteries Volume 2’s stories struggle from a lack of content. While I felt bad for the individuals on the screen whose lives had been upturned by the death of a loved one or a child gone missing, the stories, unfortunately, didn’t have enough content to fill the close to one hour run time. This left these episodes in awkward spaces of repetitive interviews with weeping family members.

The hardest time I had with the series fell in the last episode. This story focused on a couple of kidnappings that had occurred in the same park back in 1989. There is so little information to talk about between the two kidnappings that the back half of the episode is forced to switch over to a deep dive about how the police try to age childhood photos to further search for individuals decades after their disappearance. Not what I was expecting.

Just as with Volume One, it feels bad to complain about plots being thin, or stories being repetitive when you are talking about people’s lives. All of the stories that focused on missing family members or murders certainly have reason to want their situations resolved. Along with those, we have Unsolved Mysteries Volume 2 foray into the supernatural.

The paranormal event the series looks at features a city in Japan that was devastated by the 2011 tsunami that struck there. Ever since the event, there has been a huge uptick in supernatural occurrences being reported. The story looks at everything from cab drivers giving lifts to ghosts, to a local priest exorcising the spirits of those who died from the living. There are some brief moments where the episode takes some time to look at whether or not the occupants of this city are really experiencing supernatural events, or suffering from a shared trauma. Mostly, however, it just marches one reported occurrence after another in front of the viewer, leaving them to make their own judgment. While there were elements of the episode that I found interesting, for the most part, it came across as a bit listless. Floating through its elements but never arriving anywhere.

So, at the end of the day, I would have to call Unsolved Mysteries Volume 2 a mixed bag at best. While some of the episodes are paced well and deliver interesting narratives, too many of the stories don’t have nearly enough information to warrant their run times. This makes these stories oftentimes uncomfortable as hurting family members are put in front of the camera far too often and are always a struggle to get through.

Unsolved Mysteries Volume 2 is streaming now on Netflix.

Unsolved Mysteries
  • 7/10
    Rating - 7/10
7/10

TL;DR

I would have to call Unsolved Mysteries Volume 2 a mixed bag at best. While some of the episodes are paced well and deliver interesting narratives, too many of the stories don’t have nearly enough information to warrant their run times. This makes these stories oftentimes uncomfortable as hurting family members are put in front of the camera far too often and are always a struggle to get through.