My favorite show of the year is No.1 on Netflix — and it’s 100% on Rotten Tomatoes

Richard Gadd as Donny Dunn in Netflix's "Baby Reindeer"
(Image credit: Netflix)

It’s been a strong year for new TV shows so far with the likes of “Fallout”, “Shogun” and “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” all earning well-deserved critical acclaim and plenty of audience attention. But Netflix’s “Baby Reindeer” has surpassed them all to become my favorite show of 2024 yet. That's a testament to the quality of this dark thriller. 

Released earlier this month (April 11), “Baby Reindeer” has rapidly risen through the Netflix ranks and now sits at the very top of the streamer’s most-watched list in both the U.S. and U.K. which is no small feat. 

This achievement is all the impressive as the British show is currently ahead of familiar returning favorites including “The Circle” and “The Upshaws”.  

Not only is “Baby Reindeer” a hit with viewers, but critics are raving about this one too. The Show currently holds a perfect 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes with the site’s “critics consensus” stating, “‘Baby Reindeer" can be a punishing watch but richly rewards viewers with its emotional complexity and excellent performances.” 

If you’ve yet to give this Netflix No.1 show a chance, here’s why it’s my favorite show of 2024 so far, and the early frontrunner for the top spot come the end of the year…

‘Baby Reindeer’ is a must-watch on Netflix  

“Baby Reindeer” is a semi-autobiographical thriller series from Scottish comedian Richard Gadd, adapted from his stage show of the same name. Gadd wrote all seven episodes and stars in the leading role as Donny Dunn, a struggling comedian working in London who is essentially a fictionalized version of Gadd himself. 

Donny came to the Big Smoke with ambitions of making it on the comedy circuit but years later has found himself working in a Camden pub by day, and performing backroom stand up sets to an unenthusiastic audience by night. One day a seemingly friendly customer named Martha (Jessica Gunning) walks into the pub, and Donny’s life rapidly descends into a nightmare. 

Martha takes an instant liking to Donny, and while he initially pities the older woman, he becomes increasingly concerned when she begins turning up at his workplace regularly, sending him hundreds of emails a day and stalking him across London. The situation gets more troublesome when Donny learns of Martha’s criminal past, and her behavior crosses further disturbing boundaries. 

The show is based on Gadd’s own experience of being stalked, and “Baby Reindeer” is a very tense watch. Thanks in large part to a stunning performance from Gunning, you’ll always feel on edge as Martha becomes evermore fixated on Donny and her attempts to entwine herself in every aspect of his life. 

Jessica Gunning as Martha Scott in Netflix's "Baby Reindeer"

(Image credit: Netflix)

Donny’s well-written voice-over narrative provides an insight into his mind as he attempts to let Martha down gently, while also making several foolish errors that only encourage her further. The overarching narration explores how guilt, self-loathing and shame can prevent a person from asking for help. And in turn, this creates a vicious cycle and leads to even more trouble for Donny. 

“Baby Reindeer” is full of standout moments, but my favorite sequence comes in episode 4, where Donny’s traumatic past is explored. This episode isn’t an easy watch, but it fills in many of the blanks that explain Donny’s characterization and why his experience with Martha has such an impact on him. It comes in the middle of the season but it’s the high point of the show. 

While much of “Baby Reindeer” is very dark, and some scenes are pretty difficult to watch, there are elements of comedy sprinkled throughout which gives the show a unique tone. Between the powerful writing, and excellent performances from the entire cast (but especially Gadd and Gunning) there’s so much to appreciate in this new Netflix show.  

I’ve previously seen shows claim the Netflix No.1 spot that I’d personally consider fairly skippable, but “Baby Reindeer” is anything but. This is among the best Netflix shows of not just the year, but ever made. It’s a compelling, occasionally uncomfortable thriller, anchored by two powerhouse performances, and I’m confident it’ll be among my favorites shows when we're looking back at 2024. 

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Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team. 

  • Irish Outlaw
    Its a about a skinny little comedian thats not funny that gets stalked by shreks fat wife. It is garbage. Rotten tomatoes is trash. just like reddit.