TV Review: Netflix's 'Unsolved Mysteries' Premiere Starts Strong

Unsolved Mysteries Allison Rey Rivera Netflix
Image by Netflix
If you grew up watching the original “Unsolved Mysteries,” then you are probably familiar with the eerie feeling that would come as the show's iconic music played viewers in and out of an episode. Netflix's reboot keeps that tradition going with its shocking series premiere, which centers on the mysterious death of Rey Rivera.

In truth, I would watch an entire docuseries devoted to the case featured in the premiere of Netflix’s “Unsolved Mysteries” reboot. Fifty-two minutes is just not long enough to sift through all of the details of the beyond-tragic story of Rey Rivera. The newlywed disappeared in 2006 after receiving a baffling phone call, and what happened next was shocking, disturbing, and mind-bending.

I hope that the coverage provided by the “Unsolved Mysteries” reboot can finally lead to some actual answers in this case. What was explained about it in the rapid span of a near-hour begs for deeper analysis for Rey Rivera’s loved ones. This story being on Netflix could finally lead to a change in status for it, which makes “Unsolved Mysteries” a different sort of show in the true crime genre.

It has the ability to change its outcome where a weekly news magazine usually opts for a story that has closure. While those shows do a good job at what they do, an “Unsolved Mysteries” reboot is a necessary counterbalance. It provides an open-ending that still has time to be re-written and I hope that happens for Rey Rivera and his family.

In the case of the premiere story that “Unsolved Mysteries” started with it might have been best served to spend an entire season on the same case as opposed to its traditional episodic layout. While the show's coverage of the Rey Rivera story is thorough in the premiere, there are some unanswered questions that beg to be answered.

The premiere does not set the stage for the spotlight to shine on everything as brightly as it might have had it been given more time. This story warrants a deep-dive with experts weighing in on the physics among other factors that could resolve it. “Unsolved Mysteries” does do a great job of presenting the facts and giving Rey Rivera’s family a chance to speak.

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As happened with the original many times, I cannot stop thinking about this case after watching the premiere. Growing up watching Robert Stack’s “Unsolved Mysteries,” it is safe to say that the reboot does it proud. With so many cold cases out there, it is wonderful to have this show back as an outlet to generate new leads. Rey Rivera’s case is a terrific place to start.

Rating: 8/10

The first six episodes of “Unsolved Mysteries” are currently streaming on Netflix along with lots of other great (and mysterious) content. Season 1 is set to span twelve episodes total, so stay tuned for those to arrive on the streamer at some point.