The Most Hated Netflix Original Shows
HBO Programming Chief Casey Bloys noted in April 2018 that the network does not release a new show every week because producers want to take their time and ensure that everything they create seems like an event. In saying this, he seemed to be directly calling out Netflix.
As opposed to HBO, Netflix clearly cares about quantity much more than quality. The streaming service does have a lot of great originals, like Stranger Things and House of Cards. But it has almost an equal number of shows that are really not worth watching, and “Netflix original” is hardly a stamp of quality these days.
Here’s a look at some of the Netflix original shows that received the most hate from critics.
15. Haters Back Off
In 2008, comedian Colleen Ballinger created the YouTube persona Miranda Sings; this is a character who is meant to be hilariously inept and delusional. Years later, in 2016, this concept was developed into a Netflix series called Haters Back Off.
But critics didn’t feel that the character translated into a full TV series very well. The first season received a score of 47% on Rotten Tomatoes, with the critics’ consensus reading, “Haters Back Off is bizarre, painful, and often times excruciatingly funny – yet the appeal of the YouTube transport doesn’t quite carry over in the longer television format.”
Haters Back Off did get a second season, which most critics didn’t even review. But Netflix canceled the show after that.
Next: This show stars a hilarious comedian, but it’s not his best work.
Of the three Netflix originals starring Will Arnett, Flaked is definitely the worst one. The show stars Arnett as Chip, a self-help guru who is actually a recovering alcoholic and is struggling to keep track of all of his many deceptions.
Critics were not into the first season of the show, which received a score of just 42% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critics’ consensus was pretty brutal: “Dull and pointless, Flaked makes it uncomfortably clear that the man-child persona is no longer compelling.”
Despite this, Netflix ended up giving Flaked a second season.
Next: The New York Times argued that this show was little more than a collection of television cliches.
Marseille was the first French-language original production for Netflix, but it was not a great start. The series follows the longtime mayor of Marseille, who is challenged for the position by his protégé. Gérard Depardieu stars in the lead role.
The first season of Marseille received a Rotten Tomatoes score of 40%, although with only five reviews. The New York Times argued that the series is just a collection of tropes from better shows and that it’s incredibly ridiculous but too self-serious to have any fun with.
Marseille did wind up getting a second season, though; it premiered in 2018.
Next: This is Netflix’s least successful talk show so far.
Chelsea is a series that received a lot of hate in part for political reasons. This talk show was hosted by Chelsea Handler, who is open about her liberal political views. So already, those on the right were ready to give it one star.
But the show also just wasn’t very well-reviewed in general, with its first season getting a score of 38% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critics’ consensus was, “Chelsea comes up short in its attempts to innovate the conventional talk show format — and even worse, it frequently fails to be smart or funny.”
In October 2017, Netflix canceled Chelsea after two seasons.
Next: This show has one of the best actresses working today in the lead role, so it should have been a lot better.
Gypsy stars one of the best actresses working today, Naomi Watts, and the premise is fairly intriguing: it’s about a psychologist who secretly infiltrates her patients’ personal lives.
Unfortunately, the show was a bomb, earning a score of 36% on Rotten Tomatoes. Critics tended to feel that Watts gave a great performance but that the show as a whole was fairly unconvincing, that the dialogue was often quite bad, and that the pacing was far too slow.
The AV Club argued that the show as so bad that “Netflix might have inadvertently created a new genre: the cringe drama.” Gypsy did not receive a second season.
Next: This animated series seemed to be based largely on a Twitter page.
10. Neo Yokio
Neo Yokio is an original anime for Netflix starring Jaden Smith; it takes place in an alternate timeline in which Smith’s character is a disillusioned demon hunter.
The show received a score of 33% on Rotten Tomatoes, with one of the main criticisms being that the lead character was about as insufferable as Smith’s actual Twitter account. Polygon wrote, “If you’re not obsessed with Jaden Smith’s Twitter persona or the absurd, nihilistic, off-the-cuff comments he makes during interviews, Neo Yokio has nothing for you.”
Next: Vanity Fair called this Netflix’s “first truly terrible show.”
The 2017 comedy Girlboss had an extremely talented actress, Tomorrowland‘s Britt Robertson, in the lead role. It was also created by an extremely talented writer, Pitch Perfect‘s Kay Cannon.
Yet somehow, it all went wrong. Reviews for the show were quite horrible, with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 33%. The critics’ consensus reads, “Girlboss has its charms, but they’re ultimately undone by a fundamental mishandling of the show’s problematic protagonist.”
Vanity Fair argued that Girlboss was Netflix’s “first truly terrible show.” The streaming service canceled Girlboss two months after its premiere.
Next: This is one of those shows that critics hate but the average viewer loves.
8. Fuller House
Here’s a rare example where a Netflix show that critics absolutely hated when it came out went on to become fairly successful among general audiences.
Fuller House, the revival of the classic 1990s sitcom, debuted on Netflix in 2016. At the time, critics lambasted it as nothing more than empty nostalgia. It received a 33% on Rotten Tomatoes, with the critics’ consensus reading, “After the initial dose of nostalgia, Fuller House has little to offer to anyone except the original series’ most diehard fans.”
However, Fuller House is undeniably a hit, and it’s going into its fourth season.
Next: This was only the second original Netflix show ever, and it’s still one of the worst-reviewed.
7. Hemlock Grove
Hemlock Grove was actually the second Netflix original show, coming out two months after House of Cards. Although that latter series received rave reviews, it became clear with Hemlock Grove that not every Netflix original would be equally good.
The first season of Hemlock Grove received a Rotten Tomatoes score of just 27%, with the critics’ consensus being, “Hemlock Grove is an ugly, unpleasant affair that throws crazy ideas together without much forethought.”
Despite the negative reviews, Hemlock Grove did wind up receiving two more seasons before Netflix canceled it.
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6. Marco Polo
The expensive historical drama series Marco Polo was released on Netflix in 2014, but it was far from the next Game of Thrones. Its first season received a score of just 24% on Rotten Tomatoes, with the critics’ consensus reading, “An all-around disappointment, Marco Polo is less entertaining than a round of the game that shares its name.”
This is a rare instance, though, where a show turned critics around with its second season. Season 2 ended up getting a score of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, although with only five reviews. Still, the first season was bad enough that no one wanted to get to Season 2, and so Netflix canceled the show after that.
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5. Friends From College
Just based on the cast alone, you’d think that Friends From College would be a surefire hit. It stars Keegan-Michael Key, Cobie Smulders, Fred Savage, and Billy Eichner, featuring guest appearances by Kate McKinnon, Seth Rogen, and others.
But the show received shockingly poor reviews, getting a Rotten Tomatoes score of 23%. A common complaint was that the lead characters are all quite unlikable and not people that we particularly enjoy watching. Vox wrote that “it’s not nearly as much fun to spend time with these characters as either they or their creators think.”
Despite the negative reviews, Friends From College has been picked up for a second season.
Next: The creator of some of the most popular sitcoms of the 21st century was responsible for this stinker.
In 2017, Chuck Lorre, the creator of popular sitcoms like The Big Bang Theory and Mom, co-created the Netflix original Disjointed. In this comedy, Kathy Bates plays a woman who runs a cannabis dispensary.
The show received absolutely dismal reviews, earning a score of 23% on Rotten Tomatoes. CNN called it “as stale as an unwashed bong.” Variety called it “sloppy.” And The New York Times said it was less of a TV series and more of “a collection of clunky sketches.”
In February 2018, Netflix canceled the show. This made it one of the few Netflix originals to not get a second season.
Next: This Canadian series was criticized for its poor acting and cliche dialogue.
The Canadian drama series Between is set in a town where a mysterious disease kills everyone over 22. The young survivors must then fend for themselves while quarantined by the government.
Although the premise is interesting, critics really hated the show; it received a score of 22% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critics’ consensus reads, “A poorly acted regurgitation of post-apocalyptic cliches, Between falls short of Netflix’s other high quality offerings.”
This wasn’t an example of critics being out of touch; the show also has a fairly low IMDB score of 6.0 out of 10 and tons of one-star reviews on Netflix itself.
Next: It’s hard to believe a show that’s part of such a successful series could be this bad.
2. Iron Fist
Iron Fist was the first entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe that was a complete and utter flop. Sure, some of the movies like Thor: The Dark World, and some of the TV shows like Agents of SHIELD, were not universally praised. But no entry into the MCU received remotely the same critical thrashing as Iron Fist, which got a dismal score of 18% on Rotten Tomatoes.
The critics’ consensus reads, “Despite some promising moments, Iron Fist is weighed down by an absence of momentum and originality.” Even hardcore Marvel fans tended to agree, feeling that the show was a total miss.
Unfortunately, many of those fans felt obligated to finish the entire thing to prepare for The Defenders.
Next: This Netflix original has a 0% score on Rotten Tomatoes.
1. Real Rob
The Netflix original Real Rob actually managed to achieve a score of 0% on Rotten Tomatoes. That was with only eight reviews, but based on the quality of the show, it’s safe to say that more reviews wouldn’t get that score up much higher.
Real Rob stars comedian Rob Schneider as himself, i.e. Louie or Curb Your Enthusiasm. But like virtually all of Schneider’s recent work, critics found it to be unfunny and at times downright offensive. In their review, the New York Times couldn’t believe that Real Rob even managed to make it into Netflix. Critic Mike Hale asked, “What’s Real Rob doing on Netflix, besides bringing down the curve?”
These critics were shocked when Netflix actually gave Real Rob a second season, which premiered in 2017.
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