The Netflix Crime Thriller Mystery That Proves Going Viral Can Be Fatal

By Charlene Badasie | Published

The 2021 drama Clickbait is available to stream on Netflix. The eight-episode miniseries was created by Tony Ayres and Christian White, with Ayres serving as showrunner.

The show explores the negative aspects of social media when a father mysteriously disappears, only to reappear in a widely shared video, holding a sign that says he will die when the view count hits five million.

Clickbait On Netflix

Clickbait begins with Pia Brewer (Zoe Kazan) nursing a hangover after a heated argument with her brother Nick (Adrian Grenier) during a family dinner.

The next day, her world unravels when a patient shows her a shocking video of an injured Nick holding a card that says, “I abuse women.” He then holds another card that says, “At 5 Million Views I Die.”

Unraveling A Mystery

Desperate for answers, Pia, armed with clues from an online community, joins forces with Nick’s wife, Sophie (Betty Gabriel), and Detective Roshan Amiri (Phoenix Raei).

As the videos rack up views, the investigation shifts from a missing person case to a potential homicide. Pia discovers a voicemail from Nick, revealing relationship troubles, prompting her to keep Sophie in the dark.

Race Against The View Count

Roshan races against the view count, uncovering clues from a mysterious van and a syringe. But his efforts prove pointless as Nick is eventually found murdered. Searching for the killer, Roshan tracks down a bar brawl on surveillance, signaling a potential motive.

As the pieces of Clickbait come together, suspicions turn toward Sophie.

Nothing Is At It Seems

A deeper dive into Nick’s past reveals he had multiple online personas. Threats target Sophie, and Pia confronts a woman named Emma, who claims to have been in a relationship with her brother.

But nothing is at it seems in Clickbait, as the series showcases the consequences of online manipulation, the role of social media in shaping perceptions, and the lengths people will go to serve their own interests.

The Clickbait Team And Production

Clickbait was directed by Brad Anderson with assistance from Emma Freeman, Ben Young, and Laura Besley.

Principal photography began in December 2019, but production was paused in early 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Resuming in November 2020 in Melbourne, the series was eventually released on Netflix in August 2021.

Mixed Critical Reviews

The series received a relatively mixed reception from critics. Clickbait currently holds a 59 percent rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes alongside a slightly more favorable audience score of 63 percent.

Some detractors felt that the series could have done better in terms of depth and character development.

Clickbait Ratings

However, between August and September 2021, Clickbait topped Nielsen Holdings’ list as the most-viewed original streaming series in the U.S for three consecutive weeks.

It also became the fourth biggest show globally, holding the top spot in the U.K on Netflix in August and September 2021.

At the time, various media outlets reported that the series reached the number one position on Netflix in over 20 countries. So, if you enjoy psychological thrillers with many twists and turns, Clickbait might be worth checking out. It’s especially worth a look for the cautionary tale about trust and the dangers of social media.