Viewed – 10 August 2012  Television

Documentaries exploring the dangers of the internet are becoming quite the little sub-genre, what with the acclaimed Catfish last year, and now this, eye-opening true story.  It tells the tragic tale of Brian, a man lured into a web of lies by a woman calling herself Jessie, the tallhotblonde of the title, who over several months, forms a relationship with two men who both work at the same place, eventually causing jealousy and hatred that finally leads to murder.

Directed by Barbara Shroeder, this features candid interviews and disturbing transcripts of online conversations, that certainly drew this viewer in and kept him glued.  As someone who uses the internet, the lure of the freedom the web bestows can be very appealing, but can also be a breeding ground for dishonesty, which in this case turned very bad indeed.  Like Catfish, I found it hard to sympathize with the main protagonists, whose own stupidity and naivety was the cause of much of the trouble.  And although it lacks that film’s gritty, handheld camera style that meant you felt a part of every moment, this still remained shocking in places … even if it had little new to say.

If you don’t already have a bit of knowledge of such dangers, like chatrooms, people pretending to be who they are not, this could paint the ‘net in a rather bad light – but like I have always said, with a bit of common sense, the web can still be safe – just stay away from tallhotblondes, I suppose.

Verdict:  2.5 /5

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