Netflix’s “Queen Cleopatra” appears to have had the worst audience score in television history

While I had heard about the controversy surrounding the Netflix “docudrama” Queen Cleopatra, I hadn’t been keeping track of it much since it was actually released a few days ago. It’s #6 on Netflix’s Top 10 list, and I don’t think I’ve seen it all that much higher.

However, the show has done something I never thought possible. Not only does it have the lowest audience score in Netflix history, it basically has the lowest audience score possible Rotten tomatoes, 1%. Not 10%, 1%. (Update: It only went up to 2%. Still an unprecedented low)

There are not many critical reviews on the site, but these are also low, as the offer reaches 13%. But these audience scores? I’ve never seen anything like this. Not with bad offers. Not with the politically controversial shows that tend to review bombings. Never so bad, not in the history of Netflix. Honesty, I don’t even think so television History, at least with that many revisions in (more than a thousand).

I’ve previously written about a low-scoring series in a Netflix review. The last time I brought up this topic was when Netflix’s canceled Resident Evil adaptation scored 22% with fans, one of the lowest I’ve ever seen on the service. That was down compared to other notable Netflix flops, Jupiter’s Legacy with 73%, Alien Force with 77%, Haters Retreat with 76%, and Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness with 39%. Fans usually rate things higher than critics, even bad performances, and the point is that getting a 1% audience rating seems mathematically impossible, even with the controversy the film has attracted.

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The problem is in conceptualizing what purports to be a historical documentary that says Cleopatra was a black “African Queen,” since this season was supposed to be the first in a series covering various queens from the continent. But there is no terribly reliable evidence that Cleopatra was black, instead she was of Greco-Macedonian descent. Egypt in particular resented the show, which dramatically altered their history and portrayed it as something they believed was unreal in a series that was supposed to be a documentary.

Series creator Tina Garvey, He defended the casting choice:

Why wouldn’t Cleopatra be a sister with pigment? And why would some people need Cleopatra to be white? Her proximity to whiteness seems to give her a value, and it seems really important to some Egyptians. After lots of countless and countless tests, we found her in Adele James An actress who could convey not only Cleopatra’s beauty, but her power as well. What historians can confirm is that Cleopatra was more likely to look like Adele than Elizabeth Taylor did.”

Ghafry celebrated putting the show on Netflix’s slate, and continues to advocate for the decision:

But this did not resonate with critics or audiences. No doubt the low scores are mostly due to the casting and historical adaptations, but at its core the show doesn’t look terribly good even outside of that. I’ve really never seen a show review like this before, and I’d be curious if Netflix would renew the series so it could highlight other African queens who would no doubt be less controversial.

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Update (5/15): curiosity got the better of me, given to the fullest Low scores to be about more than just the main controversy surrounding the series. If at least good, It will have some grades that make up for that.

It’s not a huge shock to report that the show is… not good. Historical accuracy aside though, Adele James’ Cleopatra is actually pretty good the part from what I’ve seen (I can only do part of the first episode before I remember I have about 12 better performances to watch), it all comes off like one of those historical dramas The bad one I used to watch on the History Channel with my parents when I was a kid. The information, which often seems inaccurate, is also very boring, and the whole thing feels like a dry soap opera. I’m not shocked that critics along with fans refuse to even mention Cleopatra’s casting issue.

Since I first wrote this article, critic score has dropped to 11% and user score has gone up to 2% with over 2,5000 reviews at the moment. Again, this is still the lowest score I’ve ever seen with the most reviews counter, and it’s the lowest score by a very large margin for sure for Netflix, at least. It speaks again to Netflix’s lagging quality control system in which projects that perhaps shouldn’t see the light of day are instead given the light. This is far from the worst thing never It aired on Netflix, despite these hits, but no, I’m not sure it should have actually been released. It still ranks sixth in the top ten, and I expect it to slide quickly from there.

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If you want to judge for yourself, it’s only four episodes and 45 minutes long, which was more than an investment I wanted to make, but it’s relatively little compared to other series. Or you could save time and read the Wikipedia entry for Cleopatra, which would likely be more accurate information and less painful to watch.

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