The new Netflix original series Clickbait has gone viral. The miniseries jumped straight to the number 1 series spot on Netflix within the first few days after its release, and it shows no signs of slowing down. So far, reviews for the show have been mixed, but many fans seem to love it.
Clickbait is a drama about the cognitive dissonance of social media, and the gulf between a person’s behavior online and in real life. It stars Zoe Kazan, Betty Gabriel, Phoenix Raei, Abraham Lim, Adrian Grenier and Motell G. Foster. There are 8 episodes of the show, each around 45 minutes long. The series has struck a nerve with many viewers who find themselves in awe of how social media has fundamentally changed society on so many levels. However, as with any divisive topic, some are not altogether pleased with the depiction here.
At the time of this writing, Clickbait is the number 1 series on Netflix, and the number 2 title on the streamer overall just behind He’s All That. It’s never clear how many people are watching a Netflix show since the streaming service does not report all of its analytics, but judging by the placement on those lists and the chatter on social media, this is one of those shows a lot of people will be talking about in the weeks ahead.
Clickbait was created by Tony Ayres and Christian White, with Ayres serving as showrunner. The series is set in the U.S., but was filmed in Melbourne, Australia. It Mostly follows Pia Brewer (Kazan) trying to unravel the mystery of her brother Nick’s (Grenier) kidnapping. The day after she has a fight with Nick, he appears in a viral video badly beaten, holding a sign that reads: “at 5 million views, I die.”
The show grapples with online impulse control, the pitfalls of fame and the ethics of punishing abusers, though many critics feel that one or more of these topics was addressed incompletely in the series. Joel Keller of Decider wrote that the title Clickbait only really applies for the first episode, and then the show “becomes a pretty standard whodunit/whydunit” storyline.
For some, that is far from a drawback — mysteries and thrillers are all the rage right now, and a miniseries like this one is easy to commit to knowing it will be self-contained. On the other hand, some viewers may not want to invest the time to watch a show that will not be back for another season. Clickbait is streaming now on Netflix if you want to check it out for yourself.