Alice Oscura, Featured Writer
Netflix’s new docuseries How to Become a Tyrant traces the path of six infamous Dictators. Narrated by Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones), the six-episode series sets out rules that every tyrant needs to follow to achieve a successful dictatorship.
It starts with Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany, while the following episodes cover Saddam Hussein’s sadistic brutality, Idi Amin’s arrogant barbarism in Uganda, Joseph Stalin’s ultimate control of truth, Muammar Gaddafi’s steps to carve a society into his image, and finally, North Korea and the Kim dynasty. Dinklage presents key points presented as a “Dictator’s Handbook” that outlines the rules that one needs to follow to become the Ultimate Tyrant.
The use of chilling archival footage and graphic animation successfully stresses how each tyrant is a narcissistic megalomaniac with the talent for the type of cold, dark brutality needed to create oppressive regimes. Each episode is at least 30 minutes long and describes the tyrant’s “humble” beginnings, their rise to power, and their subsequent fall. Suffice it to say that most of the tyrants discussed lost their iron fist grip on power, except for the Kim Dynasty which shows no signs of weakness. The series mentioned that maybe North Korea’s investment in becoming a nuclear weaponised country is the reason behind the survival of this particular dictatorship.
The docuseries discussed that in times of a national crisis the desperate populace will be looking towards their political leaders for guidance. Unfortunately, this provides an opportunity for tyrants to rise and shine. It may start with the best of intentions, however, the way to hell is paved with good intentions.
How to Become a Tyrant serves not only as an educational tool but also pokes fun at the ridiculousness and eventual, imminent collapse of such oppressive regimes. The feigned political grandeur amidst the economic and social decline of a people can only last until the citizens themselves have had enough. A case in point is the recent uprising in Cuba against the Castro regime. When people have a grave injustice in common, it will always serve as the final catalyst that will bring the masses together to oppose tyranny.
Rumour has it that a Season 2 is already being spoken about with the success of this docuseries, which makes sense especially when there are so many other tyrants to be covered. Dinklage’s narration with a hint of dark, satirical humor, combined with an excellent source of good knowledge is why this show deserves a perfect score. His voice is perfect, and I hope that he returns to narrate should they decide to proceed with another season.
In closing, I leave with you with one burning question: Who can become a tyrant? The answer is, anybody!
Alice’s Score: 10 out of 10
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Dark Alice has an old soul and a curious mind. I believe that anyone can be a hero and that the good guys should always win! I dislike cruelty to animals and think that they have far superior qualities to humans. My motto is there is no future without the past. I also have a weird penchant for Paranormal TV shows even though the slightest sound makes me jump. I enjoy writing reviews and throwing in fun facts to pique the readers’ curiosity. My ultimate goal in life would be to become a published writer one day. Read More