True crime docudramas—flashy re-enactments of real-life events starring overly good-looking actors—are everywhere. As if saturating the podcast market wasn’t enough; now true crime is glutting streaming TV … with shows based on podcasts.

Also, these shows are too long. Most of these docudramas run six to eight episodes—hours longer than needed to cover a movie-length story. In other words, “This meeting could have been an email.”

Here are 10 recent docudramas that committed serial criminal cosplay … some better than others.

The Dropout (Hulu): To get how perfectly Amanda Seyfried nails the bizarre voice and mannerisms of Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes, watch the HBO documentary The Inventor before diving into The Dropout. The story of how Holmes built a $9 billion blood-testing biotech company on nothing but smoke and Yoda quotes is so ridiculous that The Dropout plays like a dark comedy spinning out around Seyfried’s dead-straight performance. Cameos by comic actors like William H. Macy, Laurie Metcalf, Mary Lynn Rajskub and others only add to the quasi-sitcom vibe of The Dropout, which is easily one of the best of the true-crime wave.

Inventing Anna (Netflix): Another oddly voiced grifter, fake German “heiress” Anna Delvey (played to maximum effect here by Ozark’s Julia Garner) scammed New York City elites and banks out of millions to support her (brief) lavish lifestyle. Inventing Anna should feel tenser than it does: Delvey’s compulsive fraud fantasy threatens to collide with reality at every turn, but the series bounces along like an expensive vacation video with a bottomless wardrobe budget (like any other Shonda Rhimes production). As determined as Garner is, the real MVP of Inventing Anna is Anna Chlumsky as the journalist working to expose her.

WeCrashed (Apple TV+): If you’re among those of us who believe Jared Leto’s overacting method should be relegated exclusively to Joker roles, WeCrashed isn’t going to change your mind. WeCrashed, the lazily titled tale of WeWork founder Adam Neumann (Leto) and his infamous failed office-space startup, is carried entirely by Anne Hathaway as his equally narcissistic wife, Rebekah. (Hathaway also did all of WeCrashed’s press and TV PR while Leto disappeared.) WeCrashed captures the walls-closing-in tension missing from Inventing Anna, as well as the real-life consequences skirted by The Dropout … but that Leto problem, though …

Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber (Showtime): Maybe Adam Neumann should have been played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who caffeinated-ly coasts through the role of Travis Kalanick, the hyper-douchey rideshare CEO, in Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber. The seven-episode series never fully commits to drama or comedy; not even the stunt casting of Hank Azaria as Apple CEO Tim Cook or Uma Thurman as Arianna Huffington make much of a splash (but fortunately, a brief appearance by Fred Armisen does). Still, Super Pumped does feature some boardroom drama to rival Billions, and Kalanick’s white-hot hatred of rival Lyft is hilarious.

Pam and Tommy (Hulu): Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee were exploited without consent or compensation in the ’90s by a disgruntled employee who stole and distributed their private sex tape. Likewise, neither participated in Pam and Tommy, a comic account of the scandal co-produced by Seth Rogen, who also portrays the tape-swiper. So … justice? At least Pam and Tommy rightfully portrays Anderson (played by Lily James, a dead ringer for the Baywatch star) as a devastated victim, and Lee (Sebastian Stan) as a rich assclown who also happens to play drums for Mötley Crüe. Also, the Crüe’s humiliating ’90s existence is almost as funny as P&T’s talking penis (almost).

The Thing About Pam (Peacock): This Pam isn’t quite as sympathetic. In 2011, suburban Missouri housewife Pam Hupp (played by Renée Zellweger) was the last person to see Betsy Faria (Katy Mixon) alive before she was found dead by husband Russ Faria (Glenn Fleshler). Despite the recent transference of Betsy’s $150,000 life insurance policy from Russ to Pam, Russ is convicted and jailed for the murder. The Thing About Pam stretches a handful of Dateline segments into five hours, way longer than anyone should have to endure frumpy, Slurpee-sucking Pam, despite the best efforts of co-stars Judy Greer, Josh Duhamel and their respective wigs.

The Girl From Plainville (Hulu): In 2014, 18-year-old Conrad Roy committed suicide in the parking lot of a Massachusetts Kmart after being coerced over the phone by his 17-year-old girlfriend, Michelle Carter. Carter served less than a year in jail for involuntary manslaughter, by which time a Dateline episode, an HBO documentary and a Lifetime movie had already been produced about the case. The Girl From Plainville adds to the overkill, with Elle Fanning as Carter, Colton Ryan as Roy and requisite character actor Chloë Sevigny as Roy’s mother. The series doesn’t let Carter off the hook, but also doesn’t paint her as a complete monster—but is it necessary? Meh.

The Shrink Next Door (Apple TV+): The Shrink Next Door is “inspired by true events,” which is nearly as scary as having Chloë Sevigny as your mom. Psychiatrist Dr. Ike (Paul Rudd) slowly insinuates himself into the life of longtime patient Marty (Will Ferrell), to the point of moving into his home and taking over his family’s business. Besides Rudd and Ferrell’s wildly normcore grooming and eyewear choices, this dark, bizarre comedy also stars Casey Wilson (Black Monday) and Kathryn Hahn (WandaVision) as their respective spouse and sister, and is partially directed by Michael Showalter, who also had a hand in The Dropout and The Eyes of Tammy Faye.

Dr. Death (Peacock): Like The Dropout, WeCrashed, The Thing About Pam and The Shrink Next Door, Dr. Death is based on a true-crime podcast—maybe Squarespace and ZipRecruiter should be held accountable for sponsoring all this malfeasance. Anyway: Dr. Death tells the terrifying true story of Dr. Christopher Duntsch (played by Joshua Jackson), a Texas neurosurgeon who purposefully maimed and killed nearly 40 patients between 2011 and 2013. How did he get away with it for so long? Because he was a handsome, narcissistic psychopath with a medical degree. If he hadn’t been stopped, Duntsch probably would have replaced Dr. Oz on daytime TV.

Joe vs. Carole (Peacock): If you thought the Tiger King “documentary” and its various sequels were a clusterfuck, wait ’til you see the dramatized Joe vs. Carole—or rather, don’t see it. Big cat enthusiasts/mortal enemies Joe Exotic (played by John Cameron Mitchell) and Carole Baskin (Kate McKinnon) trade insults and lawsuits in what was maybe (?) intended to be a serious Lifetime-level drama, but ends up as exaggerated performance-art camp with no intentional laughs or new insights. Sure, the CGI tigers are mildly impressive, as is the endless parade of mullets and wavering Southern accents, but Joe vs. Carole should be buried with all things Tiger King and the year 2020.

Bill Frost

Bill Frost has been a journalist and TV reviewer since the 4:3-aspect-ratio ’90s. His pulse-pounding prose has been featured in The Salt Lake Tribune, Inlander, Las Vegas Weekly, Salt Lake City Weekly...