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Baby Reindeer: Outstanding miniseries

 Baby Reindeer poster. (Courtesy)

The decision to scroll through Netflix, search for and watch the mini-series Baby Reindeer was heavily based on TikTok film critics, who, one after the other promised that it would be a captivating experience.

A story of a young man dealing with a stalker, an older woman, and this being based on a true story would undoubtedly make for good TV, and it was time to grab some popcorn.

But nothing prepared me for the depths of psychological turmoil and horror that would come from watching the seven-episode thriller.

The themes of the series have been described as heavy and intense, and the stellar acting by the cast makes it all the more interesting.

Film website IMDB simply describes the show as one that follows writer and performer Richard Gadd's warped relationship with a female stalker and the impact it has on him as he is ultimately forced to face a deep, dark buried trauma.

Richard Gadd, whose real life experiences the story is based on, plays Donny Dunn on the mini-series. Dunn is a bartender and aspiring comedian.

One day, a woman named Martha (played by Jessica Gunning) sits at the counter, and taking sympathy on her, he entertains her in friendly banter- and she keeps showing up to the bar, eventually wreaking havoc on his life.

“But Martha isn’t just a sad sack; she is a convicted stalker. Soon she is emailing Donny hundreds of times a day, harassing his family and his exes, showing up at gigs and outside his house. It’s relentless, it’s terrifying, it’s … flattering?” The New York Times reports, while describing the show as “an astonishing stalker drama.”

As Donny chases his dream of being a comedian, all the while dealing with Martha’s stalking, he also finds himself in a terrifying loop of drug abuse and later, sexual assault, as one of his mentors takes advantage of him.

Finishing the series leaves one with the feeling of a pit in the stomach, and with questions too.

What is the line between being charmingly interested in someone and stalking, and where does it blur? How can we protect ourselves from potential stalkers? What is the role of law enforcement when it comes to helping stalking and sexual assault victims?

The Guardian reviews Baby Reindeer as featuring “one of the most chilling TV episodes of the entire year.”

The miniseries is an Emmy Award contender this year, as reported by film website Deadline.

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