Looks like Netflix's next big show is already a critical darling. So, if you're the type to always need a new reason to not cancel Netflix, we've got (probably) good news for you. Netflix has a new hit with critics, the documentary series Jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy — which currently holds a 92% rating on the Rotten Tomatoes reviews aggregation site.
Yes, Netflix's three-part documentary on the most controversial man in music already holds a Certified Fresh badge (which requires "a consistent Tomatometer score of 75% or higher ... at least five reviews from Top Critics ... and a minimum of 20 reviews [for TV shows]."
Debuting this Wednesday (Feb. 16) on Netflix, Jeen-yuhs is a three-part series that will run its second and third episodes on the following Wednesdays. Later this week, The Cuphead Show! and Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022) also debut on Netflix. All three are on our list of new movies and shows to watch this weekend.
Jeen-yuhs starts audiences off in Kanye's early days, back when he was only a producer who liked to rap, before he became the guy in seemingly every third headline. Netflix's "first look" trailer showed West behind the scenes, rapping aside Mos Def, with the lyrics that would later become "Two Words"
We'll get to why critics Jeen-yuhs below, but take a look at the teaser for the movie, which seems to be where we get the rationale behind the docuseries' title. West is telling the cameraman about an argument he's been in with collaborator Rhymefest (who is sitting right there).
The debate, unsurprisingly, is over the question of whether Kanye is a genius, as Rhymefest asks "Who are you to call yourself a genius?"
What critics think of Netflix's Kanye documentary
Over at Deadline, Anna Smith writes that Jeen-yuhs is "raw, rambling and riveting in equal measure," and notes that the series "has an increasing reliance on news and TV footage" in Act III. She also writes "This portrays Kanye incompletely but sympathetically, suggesting that behind the bravado he’s a little lost and vulnerable – while never short of words." She also notes that "there’s not a great deal of insight into his creative process; less still into his relationships with women," and that Kim "is only mentioned briefly."
The Times' Kevin Maher calls Jeen-yuhs "indecently watchable," and notes confusion about why West would have protested the series' release when he asked for total access to the edit room. The only explanation, he writes, would be that West wanted to make the film "slightly more hagiographical."
David Fear at Rolling Stone applauds the film for being the uncut behind-the-scenes content you rarely get, writing "A peek in to the studio reveals Ye messing around with drill-sergeant samples and gospel choirs, and there’s the foundation for “Jesus Walks” in its infancy. Normally, these types of snippets are reserved for blips on a music doc’s radar, little bits to drop into montages to establish an artist’s “Eureka” moment. Here, the entire hour is nothing but these sequences. That, and the growing pains."
Fear also admits that the special may not be fun for those who don't like the current Kanye, but he notes "You may have issues with where Ye had ended up. But watch Jeen-Yuhs, and you can’t help but be impressed by how he got there."
In other big Netflix news, the Netflix Bioshock movie has finally been confirmed (and we've got our concerns), plus the streamer is premiering a new sci-fi movie called Bigbug that is pretty odd (in a good way). Oh, and while Arcane season 2 is in production, it may be a while.
Elsewhere in streaming, it's almost time to watch The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season 4 and Hulu's picked up an ABC show that got kicked off after only 5 episodes. And we've found an HBO Max hidden gem that's utterly addictive. Oh, and in news that we think is sus: Kevin Feige claims we've seen the final Avengers movie.
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Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.