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This twisted new Netflix original series is the #1 TV show right now

Published Sep 1st, 2021 9:16AM EDT
Clickbait Netflix
Image: Ben King/Netflix

The first thing most people think of when they hear the word “clickbait” is likely one of the most despised types of content on the internet, because of the trickery that’s involved in its dissemination. It never really stands on its own. It’s something with a sexy headline or irresistible packaging that makes it impossible for you to keep scrolling without having clicked on it. It piques your curiosity. You want to know more. You have to know more. And then — the unsatisfying reveal. There are, of course, exceptions to every rule. And leave it to none other than the world’s biggest streaming video service to create a huge caveat here. Such that, while most people might think of distasteful internet content when they hear the word clickbait, if you actually Google it? The top search result is actually the newly released Clickbait Netflix limited series.

It’s an 8-episode affair, starring Zoe Kazan, Betty Gabriel, and Adrian Grenier. And which as of the time of this writing is also the #1 piece of content on Netflix, having stolen the spot from the wildly popular new Netflix original movie, He’s All That.

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Clickbait Netflix series — streaming now

Grenier plays Nick Brewer in this series. A loving father, husband, and brother, per Netflix’s description, who one day disappears very suddenly and mysteriously. A video of Nick eventually shows up on the Internet. He’s badly beaten and holding up a card that reads: “I abuse women. At 5 million views, I die.”

Continues the official Netflix synopsis: “Is this a threat or confession? Or both? As his sister (Kazan) and wife (Gabriel) rush to find and save him, they uncover a side of Nick they didn’t know existed … Told from revolving points of view, Clickbait is a compelling, high-stakes thriller that explores the ways in which our most dangerous and uncontrolled impulses are fueled in the age of social media, revealing the ever-widening fractures we find between our virtual and real-life personas.”

Reaction

The Clickbait Netflix series is another of those shows that seems to be creating a wide rift between audiences and critics. Over at Rotten Tomatoes, for example, the series currently has a 42% critics score. Compared to a much better 78% audience score. “With an array of flashy, half-formed ideas and thin characterizations,” reads the Rotten Tomatoes critics consensus, “Clickbait is more akin to its namesake than the deeper show it aspires to be.”

Collider’s review is particularly harsh. Resist temptation, the review’s headline implores, and “do not watch this deeply unpleasant Netflix thriller.” Yikes. There’s a Lost-style telling of the story here from different vantage points. The problem, however, seems to be that it just leaves you feeling, well, bad after having gone through the tedium of watching this.

Meanwhile, here’s some of what Twitter users are saying about the new series, and about the inclusion of one of its stars:

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Andy Meek Trending News Reporter

Andy Meek is a reporter 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.