"The Vow" is a fascinating documentary, but we cannot wholeheartedly recommend it.
As we discuss in the latest installment of the Original Content Podcast, HBO's new documentaries tell the story of NXIVM (pronounced nex-ee-um), a self-improvement company that was later debunked as a sex cult and whose leader Keith Raniere was convicted up to 120 years in prison.
The core story is both compelling and terrifying. And The Vow has an astonishing amount of footage showing Raniere and other senior NXIVM members at work – for that reason alone, the series is worth watching for anyone interested in NXIVM history.
However, it is also hampered by some unfortunate storytelling decisions. For one, the series often feels unnecessarily boring and repetitive when the story is spread out over a nine-hour episode.
By focusing on a handful of senior NXIVM members who would later become major whistleblowers and critics (including Mark Vicente, the filmmaker responsible for much of the behind-the-scenes footage), The Vow has also opened to criticism that it downplays the stories of Raniere's real victims and obscures the extent of his crimes (unlike the Starz documentary "Seduced").
In addition to reviewing the series, we'll also discuss Disney + 's latest growth numbers and the new season of "The Bachelorette".
You can listen to our review in the player below, subscribe to Apple Podcasts, or find us on a podcast player of your choice. If you like the show, please let us know by leaving a review on Apple. You can also follow us on Twitter or send us feedback directly. (Or suggest shows and movies for us to review!)
If you want to move on, the episode is broken down as follows:
0:45 Disney + discussion
7:40 am Discussion "The Bachelorette"
30:48 “The Vow” rating