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This popular new Netflix show has a crazy twist that everyone’s talking about

Published Apr 26th, 2022 2:51PM EDT
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Image: Ana Cristina Blumenkron/Netflix

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The #5 title on Netflix in the US today is yet another streaming series book adaptation, something that’s proving increasingly popular for services like Netflix, Apple TV Plus, and others as they race to flesh out their content libraries. The show is Anatomy of a Scandal, a limited series based on Sarah Vaughn’s novel of the same name.

Since its release two weeks ago, the show has raced up the Netflix charts. It has also left a number of viewers, well, scratching their heads. Thanks to not just a huge plot twist, but also out-of-place oddball moments like this one.

How, for example, does one of the main characters in this straight-laced, prestige drama react when he’s accused of rape? Click that link and see for yourself (he flies backward in the air for no discernible reason).

Anatomy of a Scandal Netflix

Here’s how Netflix, meanwhile, describes the new show. “A psychological thriller and gripping courtroom drama, the series infiltrates Britain’s elite through personal and political scandal, where the truth lies between justice and privilege.

“James and Sophie Whitehouse live in a blissful and rarified world. A Minister in Parliament, a loving family at home, James’ trajectory appears without limits. Until a scandalous secret suddenly comes to light. Barrister Kate Woodcroft has a trajectory of her own, and her prosecution threatens to tear into Westminster, the Whitehouse marriage, and her own personal esteem.”

This is another of those titles that seem to have been concocted in the bowels of Netflix’s secretive content creation factory, wherein ingredients like a photogenic cast and a potboiler that mixes sex and power are slapped together to produce streaming gold. Did it work? Well, check out the reviews below and see for yourself.

Is Anatomy of a Scandal based on a true story?

As noted above, this series is based on a novel. So it’s not a true-life story, per se. But Britain, and certainly the US, have given us an abundance of scenarios like this, so much so that it can feel like the story here is an amalgamation of sorts. Plucking narrative strands from people and events that we already are familiar with.

Rotten Tomatoes reviews

The series, unfortunately, has had a middling response so far from critics. And an even worse one from audiences.

On Rotten Tomatoes, Anatomy of a Scandal currently enjoys a 61 percent critics score. That’s based on 38 reviews, like this one from the UK’s Independent: “Is this an erotic thriller? A courtroom drama? An expose of social issues? At times it is all of these things, though most of the time it exists in the listless space between any clear genre — or sense of identity.”

The viewer response to Anatomy of a Scandal has been even worse, and there’s more data to go on there. The Rotten Tomatoes audience score currently stands at 44 percent, based on 104 user reviews.

anatomy of a scandal
Michelle Dockery as Kate Woodcroft in Netflix’s “Anatomy of a Scandal.” Image source: Ana Cristina Blumenkron/Netflix

More Netflix coverage: For more Netflix news, check out our coverage of the latest new Netflix movies and series to watch.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.