Brow Beat

Netflix’s Documentary Long Shot Tells the True Story of How Curb Your Enthusiasm Saved a Man From Death Row

An upcoming Netflix documentary short tells a true crime story that’s definitely stranger than fiction. When Juan Catalan was arrested for the murder of a teenager in 2003—a crime he did not commit—he faced the possibility of the death penalty. Catalan’s attorney, Todd Melnik, needed proof to confirm his client’s alibi: he was at a Los Angeles Dodgers game with his daughter. As Melnik explains in the trailer for Long Shot: “I needed to place my client at Dodger Stadium on that night. Juan remembered they may have been filming something there that day.”

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That “something” was Season 4, Episode 6 of Curb Your Enthusiasm, in which Larry David’s character picks up a prostitute in order to be able to use the carpool lane to get to Doger Stadium. Extraordinarily, the footage from the episode led Melnik to prove that Catalan was there among a crowd of 56,000 when cell phone records and tapes of the game failed to do so.

After he was exonerated, Catalan told CNN he’d never even seen Curb Your Enthusiasm: “I don’t have HBO.” He, Melnik, and David all appear as talking heads for the chronicling of strange circumstances that led the show to save his life.

Long Shot, which is directed by Jacob LaMendola, will debut on Netflix Sept. 29, just a couple of days before the long-awaited Season 9 of Curb returns to HBO on Oct. 1.

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