The Vow (TV series)

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The Vow
The Vow title.png
GenreDocumentary
Music byMac Quayle
Original language(s)English
No. of episodes5
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • Jehane Noujaim
  • Karim Amer
  • Geralyn White Dreyfous
  • Mike Lerner
  • Nina Fialkow
  • Lyn Davis Lear
  • Regina K. Scully
  • Nancy Abraham
  • Lisa Heller
Producer(s)
  • Victor Buhler
  • Rosadel Varela
  • Claire Read
  • Aleks Gezentsvey
  • Sara Rodriguez
  • Christina D. King
Cinematography
  • Sam Price-Waldman
  • Bowie Alexander
  • Ian Moubayed
  • Omar Mullick
Editor(s)
  • Aleks Gezentsvey
  • Christopher Passig
  • Alicia Ellis
  • Rebecca Adorno
  • Karim López
  • Nyneve Minnear
  • Erin Casper
  • David Osit
  • Arielle Sherman
  • Daniel Koehler
Running time56-58 minutes
Production company(s)
DistributorHBO
Release
Original networkHBO
Original releaseAugust 23, 2020 (2020-08-23) –
present (present)

The Vow is an American true crime documentary series revolving around the cult NXIVM and its leader Keith Raniere. The nine-part series premiered on August 23, 2020 on HBO.[1][2]

Premise[edit]

The Vow follows members who joined the self-improvement group NXIVM – whose leader, Keith Raniere, was convicted of sex trafficking and racketeering conspiracy, among other crimes – and reveals the emotional toll of unfolding events. Former members Sarah Edmondson, Mark Vicente, Bonnie Piesse, Anthony Ames and Barbara Bouchey appear in the series. Whistle blower and journalist Frank Parlato also appears on the series. Frank Parlato helped to start reporting the criminal activity of NXVIM[3]. Catherine Oxenberg appears in the series as she attempts to rescue her daughter, India.[4]

Episodes[edit]

No.Title [5]Directed byOriginal air date [5]U.S. viewers
(millions)
1"The Science of Joy"Jehane Noujaim
Karim Amer
August 23, 2020 (2020-08-23)0.342[6]
2"Viscera"Jehane Noujaim
Karim Amer
August 30, 2020 (2020-08-30)0.338[7]
3"At Cause"Jehane Noujaim
Karim Amer
September 6, 2020 (2020-09-06)[a]0.341[9]
4"Building Character"Omar MullickSeptember 13, 2020 (2020-09-13)0.304[10]
5"Class 1 Data"Jehane Noujaim
Karim Amer
September 20, 2020 (2020-09-20)TBD
6"Honesty & Disclosure"TBASeptember 27, 2020 (2020-09-27)TBD

Production[edit]

Production on the series began in 2017, initially focusing on Sarah Edmondson, Mark Vicente, Bonnie Piesse, Anthony Ames, and Catherine Oxenberg as a way to document their escape from NXIVM as they were fearful of being sued by Clare Bronfman, and wanted to protect themselves by having it taped.[11]

Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer initially didn't set out to make a documentary series on the show, but after Noujaim took NXIVM courses after being recruited by Sara Bronfman, they had begun to hear about abuse within the organization and began documenting.[12] In April 2019, it was announced the series had been greenlit by HBO, with HBO Documentary Films producing.[13][14]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the series holds an approval rating of 81% based on 21 reviews, with an average rating of 7/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Though The Vow' scope at times exceeds its reach, its empathetic approach to unpacking NXIVM's manipulations and the consequences therein make for necessary, difficult viewing."[15] On Metacritic, the series has a weighted average score of 76 out of 100, based on 15 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[16]

Ratings[edit]

Viewership and ratings per episode of The Vow
No. Title Air date Rating
(18–49)
Viewers
(millions)
DVR
(18–49)
DVR viewers
(millions)
Total
(18–49)
Total viewers
(millions)
1 "The Science of Joy" August 23, 2020 0.07 0.342[6] TBD TBD TBD TBD
2 "Viscera" August 30, 2020 0.09 0.338[7] TBD TBD TBD TBD
3 "At Cause" September 6, 2020 0.06 0.341[9] TBD TBD TBD TBD
4 "Building Character" September 13, 2020 0.05 0.304[10] TBD TBD TBD TBD

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "At Cause" was released on September 4, 2020 (2020-09-04) on HBO's website.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hassan, Steve (May 4, 2020). "Former NXIVM Member Sarah Edmondson Talks About Being Recruited Into and Escaping Keith Raniere's Cult". Freedom of Mind. Retrieved May 17, 2020.
  2. ^ "HBO Documentary Series "The Vow," Taking an Inside Look at the NXIVM Organization, Debuts August 23 on HBO". The Futon Critic. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
  3. ^ https://www.oxygen.com/crime-time/frank-parlato-keith-raniere-sex-cult-NXIVM
  4. ^ Ryan, Maureen (25 August 2020). "Review: 'The Vow' Follows Nxivm Down Dark, Damaging Paths". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 September 2020.
  5. ^ a b "The Vow – Listings". The Futon Critic. Retrieved August 8, 2020.
  6. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (August 25, 2020). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 8.23.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved August 25, 2020.
  7. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (September 1, 2020). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 8.31.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved September 1, 2020.
  8. ^ HBO Documentaries [@HBODocs] (September 4, 2020). ""This is exactly what you need to be strong." @TheVowHBO episode 3 is now streaming early on @hbomax. #TheVowHBO" (Tweet). Archived from the original on September 6, 2020. Retrieved September 6, 2020 – via Twitter.
  9. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (September 9, 2020). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 9.6.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved September 9, 2020.
  10. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (September 15, 2020). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 9.13.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved September 15, 2020.
  11. ^ Dickson, EJ (August 21, 2020). "How HBO's 'The Vow' Tells the Non-Sex-Cult Side of NXIVM". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 24, 2020.
  12. ^ Miller, Julie (August 20, 2020). "HBO's The Vow Proves NXIVM Is More Than a "Sex Cult"". Vanity Fair. Retrieved August 24, 2020.
  13. ^ Pederson, Erik (April 18, 2019). "HBO Sets Docuseries On NXIVM, Self-Help Group Tied To Sex-Trafficking Case". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 17, 2020.
  14. ^ "HBO Documentary Series to Look Inside the NXIVM Organization". HBO. April 18, 2019. Retrieved May 17, 2020.
  15. ^ "The Vow: Season 1 (2020)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved September 13, 2020.
  16. ^ "The Vow (2020)". Metacritic. Retrieved August 26, 2020.

External links[edit]