Under the Bridge (series): Worth a watch but pay attention!

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I originally started this a few weeks ago and for some reason walked away from it. Then I found myself with a case of insomnia, forgot what this was, then immediately recognized the storyline and realized I had already started in once before. After 3 episodes I ended up watching all of it in one night turning my "early bedtime" into a rather late one.

So let that be a bit of a warning for anyone out there that is trying to get to sleep: This is not a good choice for this strategy because it is a really engaging "true" story that keeps you moving from one episode to the next and is a better-than-average overall series.


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At first glance this story seems to be a teenage drama, which is something that I normally really hate. However, it starts out in a way that lets you know there is something a lot more dark going on here and it isn't your usual coming-of-age / teenage love story - and this is a good thing that it isn't like that.

This follows a group of girls living on an island in Canada that get mixed up in trying to be a bit too hardcore real-life gangsta type and this results in rather extreme levels of bullying that leads to the murder of one of the teens. The storyline is based on real events that took place in the 90's in Canada and the aftermath of these actions including the discovery and prosecution of those responsible.


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The story follows the narrator and real-life author of the biographical novel covering the events, Rebecca Godfrey and her investigation into the disappearance of Indian-Canadian teenager Reena Virk.

Reena is a troubled teen who is struggling to fit in at school. In an effort to desperately try to be a part of one of the cool kid cliques she falls in with some girls who are not the greatest people to be friends with. Friends who love hip-hop and fancy themselves to be real-life gangsters as they create their own gang they call the Crip Mafia Cartel, shortened to CRC.

Dusty and Josephine are existing members of the CRC and both of them are orphans living in the same care home. Their leader appears to be "Jo" but the real "muscle" behind the group is Kelly, who is not an orphan and comes from a family of rather extreme wealth. The girls spend their time hanging out at Kelly's lavish house, where despite the fact that she has loving parents, she basically runs the roost including having basic permission to smoke and drink in her bedroom. This part of the story hit close to home for me because when I was in high school I knew a girl that had a mother that let her and her friends do whatever they wanted, provided they did it in her house. The justification on the part of this mother than I knew was likely the same as the woman portrayed in the series: She thought she was doing a service to the girls by ensuring their safety inside the walls of her home IE, she would rather them do it there under adult supervision than to be running around doing it somewhere else on the streets.

This was a very cool place to hang out and it resulted in my real-life friend having a lot of "cool" people constantly hanging out there. What I didn't realize until many years later was that this mother, as well as the one in the series, was actually encouraging her household to be filled with degenerates and was encouraging self-destructive behavior in anyone who came by there.


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Reena doesn't really have any friends so she adopts the lifestyle of these popular girls and is willing to do just about anything in order to be a part of their crew. She turns her back on her family, who are rather oppressive Jehovah Witness members. The life with her friends is the polar opposite of how her home life is, where she has almost zero freedom. She quickly becomes problematic at home and starts to disobey her parents on a regular basis and commits completely to the friends that she so admires and aspires to be like.

The "friends" are manipulative and rather cruel as they put her through initiation missions of sorts, one after another. They go back and forth with accepting her as a member of the CRC, when 2 of the members have no intention of ever truly allowing her in.

This is a mix of "Mean Girls" with a true-crime, horrific story who's basis in reality is one of the main reasons why I stuck around for the entire thing and also seriously screwed up my sleep schedule.


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When Reena doesn't come home one night, the story evolves into a story that follows Rebecca, a journalist and the author of the book the show is based on, as she returns to the British Colombia area to both visit her own parents who live there, as well as investigate the disappearance of Reena for a book she is working on. While visiting she revisits her own past as well as a childhood friend turned police officer, Cam Bentland. Together, the two of them as well as other law-enforcement, put the story together and implicate a great many teenagers in the process, who all have rather mixed stories about what happened that night the Reena disappeared.


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What happens next is something that I will leave you, the viewer, to find out by yourself. What I have told you so far is something that is laid out for you in both the trailer and the first 10 minutes of the first episode and therefore I do not consider it to be a spoiler.

Each episode digs further and further into the psyche of each of the characters, and the entire story intertwines between each of their lives eventually revealing who the real demons are in this story. I'll give you a hint: It isn't one particular person and some of the eventual discoveries will definitely surprise you.

Should I watch it?

I think that if I had sat down in the correct mindset the first time I switched this on I would have gotten into it from the start. I was distracted and that was the only reason why I ended up walking away only to return a few weeks later and go on one of the longest binges that I have encountered in the past year. This is a really good show but be warned! They end each episode in such a way that it is quite difficult to turn it off when you know you have the next episode on deck. In that regard I kind of wish I had gotten involved when it was being released week-by-week if that was ever the case.

If you are a fan of true-crime thrillers or simply a glimpse into the brutality that can be teenage life, then this might the right series for you. It took me two tries but I ended up thoroughly enjoying this story! I do need to point out that this is NOT casual viewing, if you are busy doing something else or constantly looking at your phone the story will pass you by and you will end up confused. So maybe save it for a time when it can have your complete attention.


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The only legal way to stream this is to have a Hulu membership, but of course there are other ways to get it as well



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2 comments
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Tough one considering I am fussy lol. Girl gangs or gang stuff in general just has no interest with me and why I would skip this one.

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When I was writing this I contemplated writing a section that was specifically aimed at you because I knew this would not be your speed :)