“What did I just watch? Terrible dialogue and writing.”
“Everyone is like a cartoon character.”
“Plot holes as bad Swiss cheese.”
These are just some of the many negative responses left on Rotten Tomatoes by people who streamed The Watcher, the newly released Netflix series from Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan — the same team, by the way, behind Netflix’s recent smash hit Dahmer. The 7-episode new show stars Naomi Watts, Bobby Cannavale, Jennifer Coolidge, and Mia Farrow, and it’s noteworthy for at least one remarkable reason — this Netflix release, which only hit the streamer less than a week ago, has already rocketed past Dahmer to take the #1 spot on the US TV list.
What’s hot or not at any given moment on the streaming giant, of course, is certainly not an automatic reflection of a title’s inherent quality. That said, now that it’s dominating the streamer’s TV category at the moment, is watching The Watcher worth your time? We’ll take a look at what people are saying about it below.
The Watcher — #1 on Netflix
Here’s Netflix’s logline for the series, which was inspired by a true story and debuted on October 13:
“After the Brannock family moves into what was supposed to be their suburban dream home, it quickly becomes a living hell. Ominous letters from someone calling themself ‘The Watcher’ are just the beginning as the neighborhood’s sinister secrets come spilling out.”
Cannavale and Watts play Dean and Nora Brannock, a couple that just bought their dream home in the idyllic suburb of Westfield, New Jersey. They put all of their savings into the home and closing the deal. Soon enough, though, they quickly realize their new neighborhood is not exactly thrilled that they’ve arrived.
The Brannocks’ icy welcome quickly devolves into a full-blown living hell once ominous letters from ‘The Watcher’ start arriving, terrorizing the Brannocks and unlocking all the neighborhood’s sinister secrets.
Continues the official description from the streamer: “There’s a kooky older woman named Pearl (Mia Farrow) and her brother Jasper (Terry Kinney), who sneaks into the Brannock’s house and hides in their dumbwaiter. There’s Karen (Jennifer Coolidge), the realtor and an old acquaintance of Nora’s, who makes them feel like they don’t really belong, and nosy neighbors Mitch (Richard Kind) and Mo (Margo Martindale), who don’t seem to understand property lines.”
Unfortunately, the response to The Watcher suggests that it likely won’t get anywhere close to the buzz that Dahmer — now one of the biggest Netflix series of all time — managed to attain.
For starters, the series has God-awful scores on both the critics’ and audience front on Rotten Tomatoes at the moment (33% and 43%, respectively). “If you’re going to start The Watcher on Netflix, don’t,” one Twitter user lamented. “Officially the worst ending I’ve ever seen.”
To be fair, though, there is a chance that those scores could in fact tick upwards, given that they’re based on not that many critics’ reviews and audience ratings. Also, time spent streaming a given title probably matters even more in the long run to the decision-makers at Netflix, and on that score the team behind the new series can at least take comfort in the fact that it’s probably going to chart in a big way when Netflix next releases its updated Top 10 global chart data on Tuesday, October 18.
More Netflix coverage: Netflix Top 10: The most-watched shows in the world right now