Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

3 Netflix documentaries coming this month that everyone will be talking about

Published May 2nd, 2024 4:04PM EDT
Ashley Madison: Sex, Lies & Scandal on Netflix
Image: Netflix

If you buy through a BGR link, we may earn an affiliate commission, helping support our expert product labs.

From films that present everything from a negative view of policing in America to a closer look at a once high-flying naughty website for cheating spouses, this month has several new Netflix documentary releases that should appeal to people who love streaming fascinating true stories.

When it comes to efforts on the documentary front, the streaming giant over the past week or so has actually been on the hot seat thanks to one documentary in particular: What Jennifer Did, which seemed to let AI manipulate some of the photos in the historical record of the story in order to fit a particular narrative. Hopefully, none of the three documentaries you’ll find below go down that route and play it straight.

Without further ado, here’s a closer look at each new release.

Ashley Madison: Sex, Lies & Scandal (May 15)

Ashley Madison: Sex, Lies & Scandal on NetflixImage source: Netflix

First up is a look at the Ashley Madison website, which rose to prominence for its focus on facilitating extramarital affairs. The entire business model of the site was built around a six-word mantra: “Life is short. Have an affair.”

The site raked in millions of dollars and achieved a certain level of infamy, thanks to media attention and the eventual pervasiveness of the brand. Until, that is, it all came crashing down. Interviews with former employees and clients explain what happened after a leak exposed millions of the site’s secrets.

“We all know infidelity can be incredibly destructive and hurtful, but at the same time, the fact that Ashley Madison had 37 million members tells us something else we all know — that committing to one person for the rest of your life is really hard,” series director Toby Paton told Netflix. “Rather than berating people who joined Ashley Madison, we were much more interested in exploring why they were drawn to the site. What were they looking for? What was going on in their relationships? And, crucially: What was their partner’s side of the story?”

Power (May 17)

Power on NetflixImage source: Netflix

As for this next Netflix documentary film coming just two days later, I’ve previously described it as the most woke Netflix release of the year so far.

Power is an anti-cop documentary that purports to bring academic rigor and objectivity to a study about the police, which a voiceover describes as inextricably linked with “wealth, colonizers, and whiteness.” The documentary, which comes from former PBS producer Yance Ford, is also being released at a time when police are being shown front-and-center amid scenes of violence throughout the country on college campuses, with police increasingly being called in to break up chaotic pro-Palestinian protests.

Ask a sane person what the job of a policeman is, and the answer you get in response will no doubt make reference to the maintenance of public order and safety within a jurisdiction. Netflix’s summary of this documentary, meanwhile, sounds more like what would come out of the mouth of a rage-spewing activist: “In the United States, police have been granted extraordinary power over our individual lives.

“The police decide who is suspicious and who ‘fits the description.’ They define the threats and decide how to respond. They demand obedience and carry the constant threat of violence.”

Dancing for the Devil: The 7M TikTok Cult (May 29)

TikTok signImage source: Mario Tama/Getty Images

This final Netflix documentary has a connection to one of the biggest and most important social platforms in the world (TikTok), which may help give this release a bit of prominence all by itself.

From the official Netflix summary: “After TikTok dancers join a management company and its associated church, unsettling details and their dark realities come to light.” According to a report from The Daily Beast, the company 7M Films that the documentary’s title makes reference to has a pastor who teaches about preparing for the “end of days” and who also owns several related companies, including one responsible for a Meghan Markle movie.

A TikTok dance crew that’s described as a “cult,” allegations of brainwashing and extreme religious teachings — this one, if nothing else, should make for a fascinating watch on Netflix.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.