Content warnings: mention of murder, racism, catfishing.
If you’re a user of Netflix, you’ve probably seen their new show Clickbait advertised. It has been in the Top 10 in the UK today list pretty much since it was released. I succumbed to these advertisements and was consequently not disappointed.
The show opens with a seemingly normal family dinner setting. The episode is titled ‘The Sister’, and it immediately becomes clear that each episode revolves around a singular character’s story of that particular day. The first episode gives a lot away in terms of the negative behaviours of each character, but we are certainly left in the dark when Nick Brewer goes missing.
On the surface, this seems like your typical Netflix original with mediocre acting and an addictive but predictable storyline. But, truly, Clickbait could not be further from predictability. The show takes the traditional crime and murder themes that have been used time and time again over the years, but makes it its own in its unique character viewpoints over each episode and its ability to introduce new characters flawlessly and without suspicion.
As the title gives away, Clickbait makes use of anxieties about technology, as characters find out information about each other easily online and the entire premise of the show is based around catfishing and clickbait. I was about 7 episodes in when I decided to make my Instagram account private, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who made the same decision when watching!
One of the most poignant themes of the show is its handling of men taking advantage of women, whether it be online or in person. At times my mind went to the very worst conclusions about some characters, particularly the male side characters, which were eventually proved or disproved at the end. Essentially, Clickbait will have you thinking the best or the worst of a character, and then crumple that perception in minutes.
The show also deals with themes of racism in America, particularly in dealings with the police. I was happy to see this addressed, since so many shows reject the idea of institutionalised racism particularly in police and detective work. This strengthened the characterisation of the Brewer family, and really ties the storyline to reality.
If you’re looking for something to think about for hours, and to ponder between episodes, Clickbait should be at the top of your to-watch list. The acting isn’t outstanding, but the storyline is phenomenal – and I guarantee you can’t predict the ending!
Image via freestocks