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New Netflix Thriller Sets Unwanted Viewership Record Despite 86% Rotten Tomatoes Score

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New Netflix Thriller Sets Unwanted Viewership Record Despite 86% Rotten Tomatoes Score

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Summary

  • Ripley
    sets an unwanted viewership record on Netflix, despite positive reviews and a talented cast.
  • The black-and-white format may be causing
    Ripley
    to flop on Netflix, despite critical acclaim.
  • Steven Zaillian’s stylistic choice adds a foreboding atmosphere to
    Ripley
    , capturing the essence of the source material.
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Ripley sets an unwanted viewership record in its first few days on Netflix despite positive reviews. Based on Patricia Highsmith’s novel, The Talented Mr. Ripley, the new Netflix limited series follows the titular Tom Ripley, a down-on-his-luck con artist hired by a wealthy man to convince his rebellious son to return home from Italy during the 1960s, which leads to a web of lies, fraud, and murder. Ripley‘s cast and characters include Andrew Scott as Tom Ripley, Dakota Fanning as Marge Sherwood, Johnny Flynn as Dickie Greenleaf, and Eliot Sumner as Freddie Miles.

In its first few days on Netflix, the new thriller set an unwanted viewership record. According to the website What’s on Netflix, Ripley launched with only 2.3 million complete viewing equivalents (CVEs) over its first four days, the worst opening ever for a limited series released on a Thursday. However, it’s worth mentioning that for the week of April 1-7, Ripley still placed eighth on Netflix’s Global Top 10 chart with 16.9 million hours viewed.

Why Ripley Is Flopping On Netflix

Ripley flopping on Netflix in its first few days is surprising considering the overall popularity of Patricia Highsmith’s source material, which has been adapted to the screen multiple times, including the 1960 film Purple Noon and 1999 film The Talented Mr. Ripley starring Matt Damon. Ripley‘s reviews have also been positive, with much praise for Andrew Scott’s reptilian-like performance and writer-director Steven Zaillian’s rich reinterpretation of the source material. Ripley‘s Rotten Tomatoes score (86%) notably bested Damon’s version (85%), and its audience score is slightly lower, but still strong at 79%.

Title

Critics RT Score

Audience RT Score

The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)

85%

80%

Ripley (2024)

86%

79%

Despite its positive reception, Ripley flopping on Netflix can be attributed to one simple fact – it’s in black and white. No matter how visually stunning or well-crafted it is, Netflix subscribers tend to avoid black-and-white content. Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma and David Fincher’s Mank suffered the same fate when they were released on the streaming service. This is despite both films receiving universal acclaim, including a total of 20 Academy Award nominations and five wins between them.

As is the case with most monochrome content, Ripley was filmed in black-and-white for a good reason. It’s a blatant stylistic choice on the part of Steven Zaillian, who wanted the limited series to feel foreboding and suspenseful, as opposed to the sunny and colorful aura that its idyllic setting can sometimes invoke. This also helped capture the essence of Highsmith’s source material, which has a distinct neo-noir quality to it. No matter the creative justification for filming Ripley in black and white, it’s certainly causing Netflix users to switch off the new series.

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All eight episodes of
Ripley
are streaming on Netflix.
The Talented Mr. Ripley
is streaming on Paramount+.

Source: What’s on Netflix

Ripley

Based on the novel by Patricia Highsmith, Ripley is a drama-thriller written and created by Steven Zaillian. Set in the 1960s, the series follows Tom Ripley, who is hired to attempt to coax a wealthy man’s son to come home – but this job is just the first part of a lengthy and dangerous complex web of lies.

Cast
Andrew Scott , Johnny Flynn , Dakota Fanning , Maurizio Lombardi , Pasquale Esposito
Release Date
April 4, 2024
Seasons
1
Writers
Steven Zaillian
Directors
Steven Zaillian
Showrunner
Steven Zaillian
Creator(s)
Steven Zaillian , Patricia Highsmith



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