What is Baby Reindeer? The Netflix show with 100% on Rotten Tomatoes

The TV series has shot up the Netflix charts

Baby Reindeer (Netflix)
Baby Reindeer has shot up the charts on Netflix and is being hailed by critics and viewers alike. (Netflix)

Baby Reindeer is out now on Netflix and has already become a sleeper hit for the streaming service after being celebrated by critics and viewers alike.

Sometimes, word of mouth really is all it takes to get a show seen by as many people as possible. The show is already so celebrated it has a 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes, but what exactly is it and why is it seen as such an important show to watch? Let's dig into it.

What is Baby Reindeer?

Baby Reindeer (Netflix)
Created and starring Richard Gadd, Baby Reindeer recounts the story of a comedian and the warped relationship he develops with his stalker. (Netflix)

Baby Reindeer is a seven-part series that follows struggling comedian Donny Dunn (Richard Gadd) who offers a lonely woman a free cup of tea at the bar he works at in Camden. Little does he know the consequences that this act of kindness will have.

What follows is a disturbing yet compelling tale of the warped relationship between a man and his stalker, and the deep-seated trauma of sexual assault that Donny will have to face as a result of it.

The series began as a one-man stage show presented at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where comedian Richard Gadd recounted the story as seen in the TV show. He has created, written and is starring in the show and is joined by Jessica Gunning, Nava Mau, and Tom Goodman-Hill in the cast.

Baby Reindeer has been hailed by critics, with The Independent's Nick Hilton calling the series a "visceral testimony to the psychological torment" experienced by its creator. The critic added: "This is twisty, mature, self-interrogating stuff that will leave you more troubled than tickled."

Baby Reindeer (Netflix)
Baby Reindeer began as a one-man stage show presented at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. (Netflix)

The Telegraph's Benji Wilson said of the series: "It’s a complex, at times self-defeating portrait of a mind eating itself alive. It’s not fun and it’s not meant to be – that’s admirable as art, perhaps less so as entertainment."

While The Guardian's Rebecca Nicholson said the show is "shot remarkably well" and wrote: "It looks like a horror film. There are uncomfortable closeups; unsettling, just-tilted angles; a disorientating creepiness built into the aesthetic of it.

"It is frightening at times, horrifying at others. The pressure builds and builds. Gadd has not flattened out the moral complexity of the play for television. If anything, he has gone deeper into the grey areas."

Is Baby Reindeer a true story?

Baby Reindeer (Netflix)
Baby Reindeer is based on Richard Gadd's life, and the experiences he faced after being targeted by a stalker. (Netflix)

Yes, Baby Reindeer is based on a true story as the events that take place in the series really happened to Gadd though in an interview with Attitude magazine the comedian said the show goes "to great lengths to protect people’s identities".

He went on: "It’s probably even more close to the truth than I’d care to admit in a lot of ways. I went through all these things. My twenties were a severe period of time, so Donny and me are very close. But it is a performance. I’m not like that guy anymore at all. So, I really had to get back into that character in a way"

Gadd also spoke about revisiting it for his stage show and the Netflix series in an interview with The Independent, saying: "I couldn’t keep my life separate from what I’d been through anymore. It was becoming increasingly hard to play the frivolous funnyman when I’d been through these kinds of things.

Baby Reindeer (Netflix)
Speaking about the show, Richard Gadd said 'it’s probably even more close to the truth than I’d care to admit in a lot of ways'. (Netflix)

"So I had no choice, really, but to conflate the two. Because I don’t think I could have really survived having repressed it, and carried on doing these one-liners and surface-level routines. It was almost a survival choice. Because I was struggling so much."

Reflecting on his personal experience of trauma and sexual assault he went on to say he dealt with a lot of "self-blame", saying: "I’ve lived in a prison of self-hate and self-punishment. But writing it down in a chronological way, and processing it… I guess I learned to empathise with myself a little bit more."

Baby Reindeer is out now on Netflix.

Watch the trailer for Baby Reindeer: