Baby Reindeer

Baby Reindeer

TV-MA

netflix

Comedian Richard Gadd gets deeply personal in this deeply troubling, but incredibly honest miniseries

The Very Best

8.5

TV Show

United Kingdom
English
Drama
2024
Alexandria Riley, Amanda Root, Danny Kirrane
237 min

TLDR

It’s not an easy watch. But it’s definitely the type of show that raises the questions we need to discuss, and it’s brave for Richard Gadd to lay it all out here. Jessica Gunning and Nava Mau are forces to be reckoned with, too.

What it's about

After showing an act of kindness, struggling comedian Donny forms a toxic and terrifying dynamic with a female stalker that forces him to face his trauma.

The take

Baby Reindeer is a tough watch, starting out with out of kilter comedy that eventually and unrelentingly reveals its darker and darker sides. But not only was this a hard show to watch, this story is genuinely difficult to tell, because of how entangled all the threads of Donny’s trauma gets– it’s not a straightforward story about going through one traumatic incident and then immediately moving to logical forms of healing. It’s about one traumatic incident keeping him stuck and leaving him and his loved ones vulnerable to even more abuse. It’s a terrifying situation. And it’s terribly, terribly honest.

What stands out

Baby Reindeer is terribly personal, but the ending was terrifying. There’s a sense of hope that somehow things would change, but given the previous episodes… It’s gutwrenching.

Comments

Patchy. Some parts are searingly powerful, such as the impact of being groomed by another man. But then the writer makes a really poor choice when all the father has to say to indicate that he was molested is ‘I went a Catholic school.’ Apparently that is all that needed to be said. Eqivelant to “I was sent to be educated by depraved paedophiles”. What? He wrecked the authenticity by such a cheap play on popular prejudice. The point is that anyone might molest someone, just as a person pretending to be his friend did.

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