Netflix has a disturbing new drama based on a true story — and it’s 100% on Rotten Tomatoes

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

It’s not often that a show or movie gets the perfect Rotten Tomatoes score. “Baby Reindeer” has joined this elite group — telling the most chilling story that has captivated global critics and audiences. 

This new drama-thriller stars Richard Gadd as Donny Dunn, a comedian who lives through a nightmare when he is stalked and harassed by a woman named Martha (Jessica Gunning). What makes this series so successful is that it is actually based on a true story. Gadd, being the one who experienced months of mental torture from his stalker, created these lightly fictionalized episodes to better emulate his trauma.

“Baby Reindeer” first came out in the form of an hour-long play. Gadd performed this play in Edinburgh in 2019 by focusing on the most important details. The seven-episode Netflix series gave him the chance to fully flesh out his stalker experience, which so far, has left people stunned. 

As of April 15, “Baby Reindeer” has 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, with an average 88% audience score. This rating represents its chilling tone, raw acting, palpable fear, and ability to deeply impact anyone who watches it.  So, add this new drama to your top 5 shows to stream this week on Netflix.  

What is ‘Baby Reindeer’ about? 

“Baby Reindeer” is a true story based on Richard Gadd's encounter with a stalker and how it spirals out of control. When his fictional alter ego Donny first meets the woman ‘Martha’ while working at the pub, the two share some flirty banter, which ultimately creates her obsession with the comedian. 

The true fear behind this series comes from the raw experience. Gadd uses this character to show how he felt during that time, and just how much Martha was destroying his life over the years. Gadd wanted to express his trauma and the way he dealt with the situation, especially when he was already battling demons from his past. 

Want to know a chilling fact? Gadd's stalker actually sent him 41,071 emails, 46 Facebook messages, 106 letters, 744 tweets, and voicemails adding up to 350 hours. With that social media harassment came random gifts too, including a baby reindeer toy, since that’s what she liked to call him. 

Truthfully, “Baby Reindeer” is an important series to watch. It shows how the legal system isn’t serious enough about this type of harassment, and that Martha was suffering from a mental illness that she wasn’t getting help for. 

What the critics are saying about ‘Baby Reindeer’ 

Richard Gadd as Donny Dunn and Jessica Gunning as Martha in Netflix's Baby Reindeer

(Image credit: Netflix)

As you can imagine, the reviews for “Baby Reindeer” have been nothing but positive. It has an official certified fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes due to the praise from top critics. 

Rebecca Nicolson of The Guardian praised this series for its “original, compelling, and unforgettable” nature. Commended for its borderline horror aspects, Nicolson also states that this is a “self-loathing horror that is relentlessly bleak.”

Vicky Jessop of the London Evening Standard perfectly described this series by saying: “Martha and Donny’s toxic relationship is fascinating to watch in the same way that a car crash is, spiraling out to infect everything around it even as the show digs deeper into their backstories.” Meanwhile, The Independent’s Nick Hilton also said: “This is twisty, mature, self-interrogating stuff that will leave you more troubled than tickled.”  

Should you stream ‘Baby Reindeer' on Netflix? 

Obviously, the answer is a resounding "yes!" If you want something utterly raw and deeply chilling, Gadd's seven-episode series will have you on the edge of your seat. It’s safe to say that this story will root itself in your mind and leave you uncomfortable for days on end. 

I could go on about how much of a masterpiece “Baby Reindeer” is, from the extremely remarkable acting to the harrowing stalking that Gunning’s character carries out throughout the show. But it’s important to focus on the message here: how mental illness and the policy of stalking should be taken more seriously. 

All seven episodes of “Baby Reindeer” are available to stream on Netflix right now. Go check it out if you want to experience something brilliantly eerie and tense. 

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Alix Blackburn
Staff Writer, Streaming

Alix is a Streaming Writer at Tom’s Guide, which basically means watching the best movies and TV shows and then writing about them. Previously, she worked as a freelance writer for Screen Rant and Bough Digital, both of which sparked her interest in the entertainment industry. When she’s not writing about the latest movies and TV shows, she’s either playing horror video games on her PC or working on her first novel.

  • Irish Outlaw
    You're the type of person that would write letters to a serial killer or get married to one. If you like disgusting shows like this.