Should You Try It: Baby Reindeer on Netflix

New comedy is based on real life events.
Baby Reindeer. Ed Miller/Netflix.
Baby Reindeer. Ed Miller/Netflix. /

We’re in the midst of a crowded landscape this April. That leaves plenty of options for viewing, but what options are worth your time and investment? We’re here to help. In this series, we lay out all the information you need to make a decision about diving into new shows. Today, it’s a new Netflix comedy based on a true story.

Series: Baby Reindeer

Where to Find It: All 10 episodes are now available to stream on Netflix.

What’s It About: This new Netflix series comes from Richard Gadd. He created the series and stars as Donny Dunn, a bartender who soon finds himself in over his head. He meets a woman, Martha (Jessica Gunning), who seems kind enough. They spark a friendship.

Turns out that Martha is lonely. She soon latches on to Donny as a potential companion and romantic partner. But does Donny feel the same? When it turns out that Martha’s affections are all too much, he tries to end things. But it doesn’t go as planned.

As the series begins, we know that Donny is being stalked and harassed. He turns to the police for help, and they ask how it began, and what all has happened. As the series plays out, we learn more about Donny and Martha’s connection and how it all went horribly wrong.

You Should Try It If: You enjoy British series, have a love for dark British comedies, or are looking for something that makes for a quick binge.

One Man’s Opinion of Baby Reindeer

This series from Gadd is based on a true story. It lets you know up front that this is drawn from his actual experiences. That provides an interesting twist to the material that made me a bit more curious to see where it’s all going. Additionally, the episodes run under 30 minutes, making the series a breezy commitment and quick binge.

Gadd is fine as a performer and a lead. There were times when I found him somewhat compelling in the role. Gunning does a nice job as Martha, too. But a lot of the early episodes are trying to reconcile a character that seems simple and sweet in person and yet is accused of sending filthy, questionable, and harassing messages. Could Donny have gotten it wrong?

That mystery seems quickly dispatched. Soon, Donny’s schtick wears a bit thin, too, as do the stream of people who seem not to believe him or not to believe that Martha could be a problem. After a couple episodes, I felt like I had a grasp on what was happening and didn’t feel compelled to see it out. I also didn’t totally connect to the style and colloquialisms used at times. Those who have more of a fondness for British comedy might enjoy it more.

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