By JO EARLY
Netflix’s miniseries “Clickbait” skyrocketed to the top of the trending list and held its place for weeks. It’s an exciting, mysterious thriller that keeps you engaged from the first 10 minutes on. The word clickbait refers to using an interesting and dramatic title or thumbnail to draw viewers into disappointing and unrelated content, but “Clickbait” the miniseries delivers everything it promises in the trailer.
The plot begins when a video of beloved family man Nick Brewer, played by Adrian Grenier, goes viral. In the video, a clearly injured but silent Nick holds a sign that says “I abuse women,” followed by one reading “if this hits 5,000,000 views, I die.”
Each episode is told from a different point of view of the people involved in investigating Nick’s circumstances. The style changes for a few characters, making you feel more in their heads. Everything turns hazy and slightly dreamy for an unhinged character, choppy and anxious for the fast-moving reporter.
The cast is led by Zoe Kazan, who plays Pia Brewer, Nick’s stubborn and determined sister. Pia forces the investigation forward any time it stalls, and she isn’t afraid to run into the front lines. Betty Gabriel also gives a strong performance as Sophie Brewer, Nick’s worried wife who is protecting a few secrets.
The family deals with internet trolls, invasive press and a judgmental public during their search for the truth. With every episode, we’re introduced to a new suspect and possible motive, while Nick’s view count keeps creeping up closer to the limit. Each episode ends on a cliffhanger, all but commanding you to hit “next episode.”
The only disappointment I had with the series was the final episode. For such a perfectly paced, edge-of-the-seat miniseries, the ending feels like going from running on blacktop to treading high water. It kept sticking and losing plotlines, forgetting to tie a few up. Even so, the final twist is lovely, and gave me an uncomfortable feeling of conflicted sympathy.
Overall, the show is great to binge-watch. I’d recommend you avoid looking at the episode titles, as they spoil one of the first big twists. Speaking of twists, each one is set up to keep you swinging between loving and hating Nick. It keeps you wondering; does he deserve what’s happening?
Each of the eight episodes runs about 50 minutes long, so if you’re looking for a weekend binge, look to “Clickbait.”