Fool Me Once: Netflix’s Surprising Triumph Despite Mixed Reviews

Netflix’s latest offering, “Fool Me Once,” has sparked a divide among critics and viewers alike. Despite receiving a range of patchy reviews, the eight-part series, adapted from Harlan Coben’s 2016 novel, has found unexpected praise from its audience.

The Cast and Controversy

Starring Michelle Keegan, Richard Armitage, Adeel Akhtar, Emmett J. Scanlan, and Joanna Lumley, “Fool Me Once” hit the streaming service on New Year’s Day. However, not all reviews were favorable, with some critics, like The Independent’s Nick Hilton, criticizing the show’s convoluted plot and implausible scenarios.

Hilton, awarding the series a mere one star out of five, expressed skepticism: “It’s hard to oversell how convoluted and implausible Fool Me Once really is.” He cautioned viewers that their tolerance for the show would hinge on their ability to disengage their brains.

Fans Defy Critics

Despite the negative reviews, Netflix subscribers took to social media platforms to sing the show’s praises. One viewer expressed being hooked just 20 minutes into the series, while others lauded the cast, with special mention to Michelle Keegan’s brilliant performance.

“Absolutely loving FOOL ME ONCE on Netflix… Great cast and Michelle Keegan absolutely BRILLIANT as always,” remarked a fan, emphasizing their enjoyment despite the critical reception.

Viewer Recommendations

The enthusiastic viewer response extended to recommendations for fellow Netflix enthusiasts. Some described “Fool Me Once” as “real good,” while others deemed it “proper sink-into-the-sofa TV for New Year’s Day.” Such user-generated content can significantly impact a show’s popularity, indicating that despite critics, the series has resonated positively with its target audience.

The Plot and Premise

“Fool Me Once” revolves around a family grappling with the aftermath of severe violence. The narrative kicks off with Maya (played by Michelle Keegan), who is left reeling after witnessing her husband Joe (Richard Armitage) breaking into her house after being murdered. The intriguing premise has managed to captivate viewers, keeping them engaged in the unfolding drama.

Unexpected Rise: Queenpins

In a surprising turn, another Netflix title, the crime comedy “Queenpins,” initially met with mixed reviews and considered a box office flop, has risen to the No 1 spot on the streaming service’s movie charts. Despite its initial reception, viewers have found newfound appreciation for the film, praising its comedy and the performance of star Kristen Bell.


“Fool Me Once” and the unexpected resurgence of “Queenpins” on Netflix demonstrate the unpredictable nature of audience preferences. While critical reviews may sway opinions, the genuine reactions of viewers on social media highlight the diverse tastes and the potential for a show to find its audience despite initial setbacks. As the streaming landscape evolves, the success of a series may increasingly depend on the genuine enthusiasm it generates among its viewers, as seen in the case of “Fool Me Once.”


Q1: What is the premise of “Fool Me Once”?

A1: “Fool Me Once” follows a family dealing with the aftermath of severe violence. The narrative begins with Maya, played by Michelle Keegan, witnessing her murdered husband Joe, portrayed by Richard Armitage, breaking into her house.

Q2: How has the show been received by critics?

A2: Critical reception has been mixed, with some reviewers expressing concerns about the convoluted plot and implausible scenarios. However, viewer response on social media has been overwhelmingly positive.

Q3: Who are the main cast members of “Fool Me Once”?

A3: The main cast includes Michelle Keegan, Richard Armitage, Adeel Akhtar, Emmett J. Scanlan, and Joanna Lumley.

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