The Dahmer Series: A Disturbing Slowburn

The Dahmer Series: A Disturbing Slowburn

Delaney Meyers, Reporter

Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story is rated TV-MA.


Since its release to Netflix in late September, the popular television show, Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story has stirred up conversation and controversy among its viewers. 

The slow-burn series centers around the story of Jeffrey Dahmer (portrayed by Evan Peters), a serial killer convicted for the assault and death of 17 men and boys in Wisconsin and Ohio. Through Dahmer and his victims, the show relives the gay culture and complications arising from racism within the police forces at the time. Flashing between the past and present, Dahmer is seen growing from a teen, dissecting roadkill and biology class extras, to an adult, living alone and visiting gay clubs in the hopes of acquiring his next drugged-up victim, and finally to a convicted murderer, eventually killed by another inmate.

However, while the show is based around Dahmer’s story, it also places a significant amount of focus on the victims and their families, as well as the aftermath of his gruesome actions. One victim, a deaf man and aspiring model by the name of Tony Hughes (portrayed by Rodney Burford), has an entire episode devoted to his relationship with Dahmer before he is ultimately killed. Another victim, a 14-year-old boy named Konerak (portrayed by Kieran Tamondong), is shown escaping from his captor before ultimately being returned to Dahmer by the police. 

While well-written and somewhat representative of Dahmer and his victims, the show is also a bit controversial in its portrayals. The creators of Dahmer not only did not ask the victims for their permission to create the show, but recreated an intimate court scene down to each individual word and mannerism, also without the permission of the victim’s families. On top of this, one might argue that Dahmer and his actions are romanticized by using a well-loved actor to portray him.

Overall, the show is an interesting, but disturbing, slowburn watch, although it is not entirely representative of what atrocities really happened in that small apartment in Milwaukee.