Netflix Shading Rings of Power and House of the Dragon is Hilarious

Netflix Shading Rings of Power and House of the Dragon is Hilarious
Image credit: Legion-Media

Even in the history of modern entertainment, it is a rare occasion when two shows with extremely big budgets battle for the role of the ultimate winner of viewers' hearts. But it's even rarer that an outsider beats them both.

As it turns out, while we were choosing between House of the Dragon and The Rings of Power, another show was trending so hard that it managed to beat them both. Or at least Netflix says so.

In the third-quarter earnings letter to shareholders on Tuesday, the streaming giant Netflix attached the chart with Google Trends data showing that the search term for the show Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story skyrocketed in interest after its debut on September 21st, well past The Rings of Power and House of the Dragon search terms.

According to Netflix, Dahmer is its second-biggest English language show after Stranger Things and was watched for 824 million hours in its first month.

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The streaming giant also used the data to protect its' model of binge-watching, when all the episodes of the show stream at once. "We think our binge-able release model helps drive substantial engagement, especially for newer titles," Netflix said in its note. "This enables viewers to lose themselves in stories they love. As the Google Trends chart shows, the ability to watch all of Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story helped drive significant interest in the show."

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Unlike the fantasy stories of HBO and Amazon Prime, Dahmer is based on the real story of the serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer who slaughtered at least seventeen men and adolescent boys between 1978 and 1991. In the series created by Ryan Murphy, the lead role went to the actor Evan Peters, and he was eerie brilliant in it. Perhaps even too brilliant, as the show was immediately criticized both by media and the relatives of the surviving victims as exploitative. It may bring Netflix some viewers and is definitely at least partly responsible for the 2 million subscribers growth. But at the end of the day, was it worth turning a human tragedy into a piece of glamour-looking entertainment?

By telling the viewers that the show is "trending" Netflix seems to ignore the whole backlash altogether or tries to turn it into a good thing. But here it is: we tend to watch the shows that attract us with shock and horror and sometimes deliberately choose to ignore the dark side of the entertainment.