Baby Reindeer review[star rating=”1.5″] BABY REINDEER. With Richard Gadd, Jessica Gunning, Nava Mau and others. Netflix.


The most remarkable thing about Baby Reindeer – and there are quite a few, in my opinion – but the BIGGEST remarkable thing is how it lasts for seven episodes. If Richard Gadd had blocked his cell number, or changed his email, Baby Reindeer would have been a TikTok video, not a series. And we would have been spared the “insufferable narcissism” of a man “unable or unwilling to take responsibility for his own actions”, as TV writer Suzanne Moore says.

But no. Richard Gadd, the writer and “star” of this series, turns what is a supposedly true, sad but should-be short interaction into a drawn out, self-indulgent w*nk, in the process undermining what is often a truly terrifying situation for women.

Stage is set

It all starts with Gadd (playing himself) working in a bar, whilst hoping to make his break as a comedian. A woman comes in, visibly distressed, and he offers her a cup of tea on the house. Martha (brilliantly played by Jessica Gunning) is smitten – and thus follows her misguided attempts to make them a couple. Cue the soundtrack from that boiling bunny movie, screen clips of Martha’s endless text messages and emails to Gadd, and the stage is set.

Except is it? Gadd reveals his own vulnerability as somebody who was previously groomed and abused by an older man. This supposedly makes him very sensitive. But it doesn’t make much sense – surely your system would be on full alert to possible danger, or at least to possible unpleasantness, after such an experience? But Gadd doesn’t block his calls, doesn’t change his email, and doesn’t report Martha’s actions (until much later, but you know – horses, stable doors etc).

Basically, what you have is seven episodes of Richard Gadd moaning about how oppressed he feels by Martha, and how shit his life is, and how he should be a comedian instead of working in a pub. But the truth is, he’s pretty pathetic, all round. In every episode he bangs on about “I feel” this and “I think” that and then he cries. Honestly, it all gets a bit much.

And another remarkable thing – Gadd actually reckons he can be a comedian. Which is a bit like a bag of nails thinking it can sing.

Boo hoo experiences

But the worst about it all is that stalking IS a huge issue. Mostly for women. It’s scary, and it often escalates into violence, sometimes even murder. How does Gadd prefer to play it? As somebody who actually masturbates while thinking about his stalker, and has a Stockholm Syndrome thing going down with his groomer.

Oh, and who now has a hit Netflix show based on his boo hoo experiences.

But Karen, I can hear you say – why did you stick around for the whole fecking thing then?

Dear reader, I took one for the team by watching it all, so that others can see this review and then avoid the show. You’re welcome.

What: Baby Reindeer review

Where: Netflix