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Baby Reindeer on Netflix, Harrowing, Funny and Necessary

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Baby Reindeer

Baby Reindeer, the highly anticipated Netflix series, has finally arrived, and it does not disappoint. Based on the harrowing real-life experiences of Scottish comedian Richard Gadd, Baby Reindeer offers a unique blend of dark drama and piercing humor.

The series follows the life of struggling comedian Donny Dunn, played by Gadd himself, as he becomes the target of a stalker, Martha, played by Jessica Gunning. The premise is simple yet chilling: a vulnerable woman walks into Donny’s pub, and he offers her a cup of tea. This act of kindness sparks a suffocating obsession that threatens to wreck both their lives.

Baby Reindeer has its roots in reality. The series is an adaptation of Gadd’s award-winning one-man play, which he first brought to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2019. The show’s seven episodes take us into the intricate details of his harrowing experience. Gadd has described the process of creating Baby Reindeer as cathartic, allowing him to gain a sense of ownership over the trauma he endured.

Baby Reindeer refuses to conform to stereotypical stalker narratives. Instead, it presents a nuanced and complex portrayal of stalking, highlighting the mental illness aspect often overlooked in media depictions. The series explores the impact of trauma on both the victim and the perpetrator, with Gadd sharing his own struggles with sexual abuse and the resulting self-loathing and shame.

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The casting of Baby Reindeer is impeccable. Richard Gadd shines as Donny Dunn, delivering a performance that is both vulnerable and haunting. His portrayal of a man grappling with the complexities of his situation is deeply moving. Jessica Gunning, as Martha, brings a layered and empathetic quality to her character. She masterfully navigates between vulnerability and malice.

The supporting cast, including Nava Mau as Teri, Donny’s love interest, and Tom Goodman-Hill as Darrien, a TV writer, also deliver strong performances.

The series is beautifully shot, with uncomfortable close-ups and unsettling angles that enhance the sense of unease. The aesthetic of the show contributes to the overall feeling of disorientation and dread that mirrors Donny’s experience. The series is directed by Weronika Tofilska and Josephine Bornebusch.

Baby Reindeer does not shy away from difficult conversations. It tackles the issue of stalking head-on, presenting it as a complex mental health issue rather than a sensationalized thriller trope.

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Baby Reindeer has received critical acclaim, with a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an impressive score of 83 on Metacritic. It has been praised for its honest portrayal of stalking, its compelling narrative, and the exceptional performances of its lead actors. The series has left a lasting impression on viewers, with many describing it as “harrowing,” “compelling,” and “unforgettable.”

Baby Reindeer is a must-watch series that tackles a difficult topic with honesty and nuance. The exceptional performances, compelling narrative, and stunning visuals come together to create a memorable and impactful viewing experience.


Andrew Martins, reviewer, recapper, deep diver, scifi specialist. Thinks Blakes 7 is better than Star Trek. Yes I do go to fan conventions and no I don't dress up. Well okay maybe I do a bit.

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