Critics Are Saying Netflix's New True Crime-Inspired Comedy Will Be Your Next Binge-Watch

Robyn Cara, Siobhán Culen and Will Forte in Bodkin
Robyn Cara, Siobhán Culen and Will Forte in Bodkin ENDA BOWE/NETFLIX

Netflix’s new dark comedy Bodkin has slowly been climbing up its most-watched list since it began streaming last week.

The seven-part series is set in a fictional Irish village, where an American podcaster attempts to capitalise on the true crime boom by teaming up with an investigative journalist to help get to the bottom of a local mystery.

Clearly, it’s been a hit with viewers (at the time of writing, Bodkin is at number two on Netflix UK, behind only the apparently-unstoppable Baby Reindeer), and it’s also got a not-too-shaby 68% score on the reviews site Rotten Tomatoes.

Meanwhile, even some of the reviews claiming the show is a little slow to begin with have pointed out how ideal it is for binge-viewing.

Check out what the critics are saying about Bodkin below, before making up your own mind...

The Guardian (3/5)

“It all works, in the end. By the third episode, Bodkin has found its groove and settled into it. There is enough credibility to the mystery, enough jokes to keep it from becoming a straight thriller (including small touches like a singalong starting to Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow at a wake) and enough oddity to keep things interesting without unbalancing the whole.”

The Telegraph (3/5)

“Writer Jez Scharf throws everything at the wall with absurdist relish, including secret children, sensationally negligent policing, yoga nuns, server farms, Semtex and eels. Not all, but a good deal of it, sticks.”

NME (4/5)

“Gradually you’ll come to love all the characters in this quirky ensemble. It’s a slow-burner, filling your glass gradually like a good pint of Guinness. But sup down one episode and you’ll be racing through the rest, desperate to crack open Bodkin’s multiple mysteries.”

The Hollywood Reporter

“If you go in looking for big reactions to anything, you’ll be disappointed. If you look for some minor insights into our instinctive love of voyeuristic storytelling, some smartly rendered Irish settings and a few terrific performances… Bodkin makes for an easy seven-episode binge.”

The New Statesman

“The satire feels too muted, lost in a thicket of shamrock jokes that are doubtless aimed mostly at the Americans in the audience [...] All the same, I quite like it: the acting, the plotting, the generalised weirdness.”

Rolling Stone

“The series is a tricky balance of tones and ideas that works at some times, but not at others. And its own interest in the mystery of what happened that night of the Samhain festival comes and goes. But many of the performers do interesting and appealing work.”

Paste (7.0)

“Bodkin is a trip (both literally and figuratively) with some great deadpan humor and a rough-around-the-edges, small-town setting that offers a variety of goofballs, Irishmen and otherwise. If that’s your jam, you should definitely take it [and] even if you become weary of it (like I have towards the end), there’s still a lot here to keep you engaged throughout these nearly seven hours.”

The AV Club (B+)

“The humour in Bodkin is, to put it mildly, droll. It sets a mood as much as the dramatic elements of Scharf’s story, and that blend of wit and melancholy mostly clicks. It makes much of the events that transpire in this fictional town feel both conceivable and ridiculous at the same time, even if those barbs are eventually sanded down by kindness and virtue before the end.”


“Bodkin represents a low-key addition to [the Obamas’ production] slate, but still makes for a passable binge; still, what looks like a distinctive show gradually blends into its saturated genre – less a commentary on true-crime podcasts than a reminder that even with series that start out well, there’s not always a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.”

The Times (2/5)

“To be clear, Bodkin will give you a perfectly pleasant few hours, the daft plot notwithstanding. But for me, ‘fish out of water in a foreign country’ is an overridden horse. I may be wrong, but it feels as if it is aimed more at an American audience. If you want immersive dramas about Ireland there are better ones out there.”

Financial Times (3/5)

“There are few wry quips at the expense of podcasting gimmicks, Gilbert’s American optimism and Dove’s lugubrious schtick, but actual laughs are scarce and the tone verges on gloomy. Crucially, it struggles to build an engaging rapport between the odd-couple characters. If you’re here for the craic rather than the crime, you might be left wanting more.”

Evening Standard (2/5)

“The ironically lifeless murder mystery is only redeemed by some much-needed comic relief, some fancy title sequences and a fabulous score filled with Gaelic music. For a show that’s entire shtick is about the power of a good story in true Irish-revival fashion, it fails to tell one that has any real effect.”

The Irish Times

“[Bodkin] plumbs the depths of diddly dee twaddle. In particular, it fails to do any justice whatsoever to west Cork [...] here, it’s just Netflix recreating Father Ted without the jokes or self-awareness.”