‘Catch and Kill: The Podcast Tapes’ review: Ronan Farrow’s podcast is effectively transformed into an HBO series
In subsequent installments, Farrow talks to other journalists who had heard and pursued rumors about Weinstein’s behavior, such as Ken Auletta, who was instrumental in guiding Farrow to the New Yorker after NBC — where he was employed — declined to run the story.
“To write about Harvey was to make Harvey mad,” journalist Kim Masters recalls in an interview with Farrow, citing her own attempts to report on rumors that Weinstein had assaulted women.
The style of “Catch and Kill” clearly capitalizes on the manner in which Farrow conjures vivid scenes like something out of a movie. The series’ producer-directors, Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, have overcome the challenge of essentially turning radio into TV by employing small visual and sound cues, like the image of a drink glass and eerie music to augment Farrow’s description of a clandestine meeting in a bar.
Beyond illustrating the painstaking work that went into getting people to cooperate, Farrow examines how Weinstein allegedly alternately used fear and money to silence accusers and quash stories, while seeking to charm those who couldn’t be bullied or paid off.
“Catch and Kill” doesn’t really intend advance the story as much as repackage part of the book (fully titled “Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies and A Conspiracy to Protect Predators”) for TV, and those who might not have read it, in a very effective way.
The question that has frequently arisen regarding Weinstein is how his alleged behavior was allowed to persist for so long. Perhaps foremost, this HBO series concisely illustrates the hurdles that had to be cleared in order to bring it to light at all.
“Catch and Kill: The Podcast Tapes” premieres July 12 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO, which, like CNN, is a division of WarnerMedia.
Jobber Wiki author Frank Long added to this report.