UNTOLD: The Girlfriend Who Didn't Exist: Episode Review

Untold: The Girlfriend Who Didn't Exist Episode Review: Unexpectedly Heartbreaking and Emotional

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The Manti Te'o scandal was so big that we even remember being aware about it here in the Philippines - and we're not even into College Football. The biggest question we had was why. What was the motivation behind this and what was to be gained? But we do remember judging Manti Te'o like most people did. And to see this documentary after and seeing everyone's side of the story, even the one who catfished him, was heartbreaking. At least Manti Te'o has this documentary as his redemption arc and one with a lot of lessons to be learned on how we consume media and believe it.

It's September 2012 and Manti Te'o has just learned that his grandmother and girlfriend has passed away hours from each other. He uses this to fuel to lead his team Notre Dame to an unbeaten record and into the National Championship. His heartbreaking journey and redemption becomes the biggest news in College Football which also propels him as a nominee to that year's Heisman Trophy. But when a news outlet unveils that his girlfriend hasn't and didn't exist, the once beloved college icon becomes one of the most hated athletes in the world. 

Life can be unjustly cruel and after seeing "Untold: The Girlfriend Who Didn't Exist", we can honestly say that Manti Te'o was simply a victim of unjust cruelty. The only thing he did wrong was too never verify in person who became his long distance girlfriend - and to conceal it when he was advised to do so. But really, this documentary is both a redemption story for this person but also a warning sign for all of us to be careful. To be careful from others who might do harm to us and to be careful to quickly judge others before we get the full facts. In this day and age of social media and TikTok, believing "facts", judging and harassing others, has never been easier or reckless. What we liked about this documentary is that it provides more or less a complete picture of what happened - for both sides of the coin. Beyond Manti Te'o, "Untold" also heavily interviews Naya Tuiasosopo (formerly Ronaiah Tuiasosopo) who was the person behind the chaos. The documentary was simply effective as we loathed Naya. This person, at least it seems, has not learned anything from her actions. She's still self-centered with her interviews and never really showing remorse for what she did. Overall, "Untold: The Girlfriend Who Didn't Exist" was surprisingly substantial and emotional. You don't have to be a sports fan to enjoy it and by far the best release we've seen from "Untold".   


Rating: 4 reels

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