Things like Stranger Things, The Sea Beast and The Gray Man may have boosted Netflix’s fortunes in recent weeks, but the streamer’s latest thriller series Keep Breathing has taken something of a critical kick.
The six-episode limited series follows Melissa Barrera’s Liv, a young lawyer who finds herself caught in a fight for survival when her private plane crashes deep into the Canadian wilderness.
Keep Breathing arrived on Netflix on July 28, and while the show didn’t have much time to, well, breathe with the general public, reviewers were less enthusiastic about its familiar premise (see Yellowjackets, The Wilds) and monotonous storytelling.
For an overview of the series’ critical performance so far, Keep Breathing currently has a low rating of 38% on the review aggregator site. rotten tomatoes (opens in new tab) and an equally disappointing score of 5.2 in IMDB (opens in new tab).
“Where its predecessors were inventive in their approach, Keep Breathing drags on, tediously unreal and painfully predictable,” the paper wrote. Independent (opens in new tab)While The Guardian (opens in new tab) labeled the series as “a survival drama so boring it’ll put you to sleep”.
CNN (opens in new tab) was equally unrelenting in his assessment: “The episodes are relatively and mercifully short, at over 30 minutes; even so, the show cannot entirely escape the common feel of a film concept stretched out to approximately twice that length.”
Many critics (including those of decider (opens in new tab) and Variety (opens in new tab)) praised at least Melissa Barrera’s performance as the show’s lead, though most still found Keep Breathing to be a mediocre version of a tried-and-true formula.
IGN (opens in new tab), for example, gave the following verdict: “Keep Breathing is well-made, well-acted, and well-intentioned. But as far as the story itself goes, there’s no reason to watch this average take on the survival genre when there are so many other shows that have done it better.”
Analysis: critics be damned?
Despite the series’ less glowing reception, recent trends suggest that Keep Breathing will still manage to break into the upper echelons of Netflix’s top 10 weekly rankings for a sustained period (it’s already Netflix’s biggest show in the UK).
2022 has seen countless critically panned movies and TV shows soar to the top of the streamer’s popularity charts, and Keep Breathing’s easily digestible structure – each episode lasts between just 30 and 40 minutes – will inevitably work in its favor.
Also, Netflix subscribers have proven that they don’t care too much about critics’ opinions. Take 365 Days: This Day, for example, which briefly became the streamer’s most popular movie. despite a dismal 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Or Interceptorwhich withstood the label of “terrible, horrible, not good, really bad movie” to also reach number one in its first week of release.
In front of the TV, Anatomy of a Scandal soared to the top of the platform’s most watched chart regardless of its largely negative critical reception, while the “very hard to watch” First Kill also challenged his detractors.
The point is, viewership numbers are, for better or worse, the most important measure of success for Netflix in its history. precarious current stateand company execs will be more than happy to weather the critical storm of Keep Breathing if the series delivers the goods ahead of the numbers.