'Jodi Arias Dirty Little Secret' Seen As 'Too Soon' For Some Critics
Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret, the Lifetime movie that retells Jodi Arias' relationship with Travis Alexander and the eventual murder, premiered on Saturday to mixed reviews. It’s been five years since the brutal slaying, and merely a month since Arias was convicted of first-degree murder and avoided the death penalty when the jury who could not reach a unanimous decision on her sentencing. Arias will face a new sentencing jury on July 18.
Lifetime, who has brought many ripped-from-the-headlines murder stories to the small screen, pushed to air Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret in the thick of the legal action. Though many reviewers found the film premature, others complimented the network’s handling of the material and some could have done for something a bit more lurid.
The New York Daily news critic wrote, “It’s a sad, tragic, awful story, of course, and viewers might wonder why we need it retold in dramatic form so soon after the real-life case ended with her murder conviction. The question is valid. The answer is Tania Raymonde, who plays Arias with a disturbing intensity that makes her more than just another psycho stalker.”
But other publications were less impressed, and unable to find the entertainment value in the movie’s subject matter. “The film finds no spark in its clumsy mix of religion, sex and death,” wrote Geoff Berkshire for Variety. “Any guilty-pleasure potential is spoiled by the unsettling aftertaste of a real person losing his life to make the movie possible.” KTAR’s Joe Huizenga agreed, writing, “Travis Alexander is dead and it was tough to watch this film as entertainment when you know what his family went through the last several years and particularly in court in Phoenix the last five months.”
Meanwhile, Zap2It’s Rick Porter felt shortchanged by the film’s lack of sensationalism – a promise taken for granted in Lifetime films. “Lifetime chose to tell a by-the-numbers tale of passion gone wrong,” Porter noted. “Honestly, I thought I'd be doing a "X most outrageous things in the Jodi Arias movie" sort of post here, but "Dirty Little Secret" is no Drew Peterson: Untouchable in terms of camp factor. Instead, it's just a riff on Fatal Attraction with a less menacing murderess.”
Already, casual viewers and entertainment writers alike are picking through Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret to find the film’s more satisfyingly shocking moments, as well as its inconsistencies with the truth. Though the film does have it’s admirers, it seems like a common consensus that those seeking lurid courtroom entertainment would be better served with a copy of the trial proceedings than the made-for-TV retelling.