19 October 2014 | triggerhappyguy
Humans behave. Results may vary.
The subject matter of this documentary appealed to me. At college, and university, I studied all of the experiments mentioned. I was interested in finding out more information on the experiments. Perhaps that's where my problem with this documentary stems from, as I was left quite disappointed after watching it.
The documentary presents the information in a watered down manner. I didn't expect there to be any jargon used, but I thought the coverage of each experiment could been more thorough. The documentary felt more like a sensationalized documentary, with dramatic re-enactments - grainy footage and all! One scene in particular had me chuckling; a man talking about dialling 911, with a cut back to re-enactment footage of a phone being dialled. Why? What did that add? I wish the information could have been delivered with a serious tone. Instead, it felt like one of the lesser "killer of the week" documentary shows on the Crime channel. Is that horror movie strings I hear in the soundtrack? Bleh.
They interviewed very few experts, although it was nice to see a few of the original Psychologists involved with the original experiments. I just struggle to see how showing us a few minutes of some students talking about an experiment really adds to the viewer's enjoyment. It's almost like we were being told that "in case you don't get it... what happened was bad". Shouldn't it be up to the viewer to draw their own conclusions from the results of the experiments? The whole basis of the show was to present a series of infamous social experiments from the past, then ineptly linking said experiment to a more modern act of social horrors. I think there is merit in hypothesising the reasons behind behaviour we find puzzling, or shocking, and having these experiments to back up the argument. This documentary, however, failed at presenting a good juxtaposition between the experiments and similar occurrences that followed. The handling of the comparison felt clumsy, and I really think they glossed over a lot of interesting points.
If you're going in to this documentary without much knowledge of the social behaviour experiments covered, I'd definitely recommend you give it a watch. If you're already familiar with some of the more notorious experiments, then you're not going to gain much from watching this.