Credit to Dawn for turning us on to this gem. Filmed at the Sacramento County Jail, “Jailbirds,” on Netflix documents the lives of guards, workers, and inmates using only interviews and no narrator. It is a fascinating and eye-opening look into the lives of the fallen and those who serve. Some inmates seem like life-long losers, while others are sympathetic and some make you say “how did you wind up here?” People who owned businesses on Madison Avenue in New York are occupying the same space as those who decided on a whim to rob some girls in a movie theater as a teenager which started them on their path to endless crimes.
The show focuses heavily on the female population, despite the fact that they are only 10% of the jail…but they are so captivating! There’s nothing like listening to a 28 year-old woman (who looks 45) start a sentence with “my first robbery…”
From falling in love through toilets to learning about the “hood way,” to conceive a child (which apparently involves watching your own brother pleasure himself just prior to inserting his dong into your wife and finishing) there are endless amounts of “WTF,” moments. It’s sad, funny, and all too real, but most of all, it is the epitome of what Netflix does best…destroy weekends. The show is expertly edited to where every time you say “ok, after this episode we’re going to actually get up and do something,” they end it in a way that makes you say “NOPE…gotta watch the next one and see what happens!”
One note…you will probably find yourself constantly pressing pause and asking “what does that mean,” or “why did they do that,” and after wasting 20 minutes with your significant other, friend, group, or dog discussing it, you will press play and be given the answer. Take it from someone who along with his wife got nothing done this weekend by turning 45 minute episodes into 90 minute commitments due to our need to answer questions we were going to have answered had we just kept watching silently.