- Netflix’s “Queen Cleopatra” is a docudrama released on May 10.
- It has received a 2% audience score with more than 5,000 ratings, possibly the lowest in TV history.
- The show received criticism prior to its release for casting Adele James as Cleopatra.
Netflix’s four-episode docudrama “Queen Cleopatra” was released May 10, and it has since received a 2% audience score with over 5,000 ratings on Rotten Tomatoes as of Tuesday.
The show was rated 1% before it was bumped up, but its new score is still an “unprecedented low” in TV history, per Forbes.
“Queen Cleopatra” follows Egypt’s last pharaoh through reenactments and interviews.
Before its release, the show had been criticized for the casting of Adele James as Cleopatra, with many saying that it was a misrepresentation and falsification of history.
The Egyptian government had accused Netflix of misrepresenting Cleopatra, per Insider. An Egyptian lawyer had also filed a case to shut down the streaming service in Egypt, per NME.
Last Thursday, James commented about the negative backlash regarding her casting when she appeared on the British podcast “Steph’s Packed Lunch.”
Along with her costar, John Partridge, James told the host Steph McGovern that people had been focused on the wrong things. “Yes, we don’t know where her mother was from or her paternal grandmother, but also, the show is about so much more than the question mark over her race.”
James went on to explain what she felt the show was really about. “If you watch, it is a very small part of the conversation, really, this is about the fullness of who this woman was, and she was a human being, and she shouldn’t be reduced to her race any more than I should or anybody should,” as per the Independent.
Following the docudrama’s release, the criticism and poor reviews seem to be related to more than just casting.
“It is patchy sub-Game of Thrones cosplay interwoven with academics you’ve never heard of,” wrote Camilla Long, a top critic on Rotten Tomatoes.
While review bombing — an internet phenomenon where a large group posts negative reviews to harm the sales or popularity of a product or business — could have contributed to the poor rating, many viewers have also pointed to it being just a bad show.
“Characters had no depth, subpar acting, historians giving really low-value comments, too much info crammed together without developing any meaningful scenes,” a review on Rotten Tomatoes read.
“The show is not a documentary but a fantasy series. Terrible acting and storytelling,” another user wrote.
“The information, often inaccurate it seems, is also just very dull, and the entire thing feels like a dry soap opera,” Paul Tassi wrote for Forbes.
Nevertheless, some users said that they enjoyed the docuseries.
“I am learning a lot from this series. Very well told and explained. And the visuals are fascinating,” a Rotten Tomatoes review read.
“Queen Cleopatra” is the second season of the “African Queens” series by the executive producer Jada Pinkett Smith and is available to be streamed on Netflix.
This story has been updated to include quotes from Adele James during her appearance on the podcast “Steph’s Packed Lunch”.
Read the original article on Insider