Baby Reindeer Review: The Perils of Stalking (and Grooming!)

Prepare for some Spoilers, matey!
Now here's a story about two losers one, an aspiring comedian who does a day shift at some local pub, the other, Martha Scott, a delusional morbid obese woman who Donny feels sympathetic to give her a cup of tea on the house and one would think it ends there, right?? Not before Martha becomes highly infatuated with Donny to the point of stalking and harassment in this Netflix dramedy limited series based on a true story??

After bartender slash aspiring comedian Donny Dunn (played by series creator Richard Gadd, that's based on his real-life experiences)
Martha Scott holds lengthy conversations with Donny, every day, then works her way through boundaries to the extent of making unwelcome advances even offering to take it up the bum as the English calls it. There’s that hilarious scene where the scorned Martha harasses Dunn, by calling him a “Bumhole pervert.”

When constantly faced with rejection, Martha dials it up 100 by showing up at his gigs proclaiming how they were once lovers, or further embarrassing Donny in front of his Transexual acquittance Teri by making racial slurs and ripping Teri's hair from off her scalp all while going full on Scottish! Well, actually she comes off more “Irish” when it comes to her vulgarity.

It's gets even more batshit during the fourth episode when Donny recollects his past as told in a flashback montage where he experienced drugs followed by sexual assault from a middle-aged predatorial groomer who seduces Donny under false pretenses of boosting his career in showbiz, only to drug and sodomize him.  His sordid past provides an explanation if you will, for having empathy and compassion for Martha who is a few "frostings" short of some Pop Tarts!

Donnie becomes a hot mess when it comes to intimacy. He can't get it up for his then attractive black girlfriend, yet sleeps around with women and men, all because he was "converted" by his predator so called mentor. Now there is that common stereotype about a neglected obese woman who can't get a date as far as Martha is concerned however, dating trends have changed or progressed since the internet boom. So, despite her weight, and low self-esteem, Martha has a bubbly personality where she can meet a man of her stature. After all, “They say that there’s somebody for everybody, right?” 

Ollie: That’s if someone has a fetish,why sure. "Huzzzah!"

While part of the outcome was somewhat fulfilled, ironically the mentally challenged Martha was not 100 percent the villain she was purported to be, as Donny took advantage of her weak-mindedness, for his own self-gratification. Things unfold in a Cat and mouse scenario where one has the stronger leverage leading to a twisted finale.

This predatorial behavior is never a good thing and it's borderline disgusting to bring oneself down by pursuing this "object of desire." These two characters are highly flawed and man, does it show! Both Gadd and especially Jessica Gunning deliver credible performances one minute, I found them despicable, the next, empathy. Can't say it's Emmy worthy but satisfactory. Donny’s assault arc didn’t provide the closure many would have hoped, especially when it comes to revenge against his groomer yet its very alarming as there are many groomers within the entertainment industry who seduce those seeking fame be they in their ripe 20’s or much, much younger. Just look at Brian Peck from Nickelodeon, Roman Polanski, Louis B. Mayer, Harvey Weinstein and so forth. Hell, you even had comedian Jerry Seinfeld at 39 dating Shoshanna Lonstein when she was 17!
On the surface, Baby Reindeer is a comedy, albeit a dark one if you will, but a psychological manifestation of self-worthlessness, abuse, unchecked infatuation and addiction, whether it's unattainable addiction to love, or love for attention. While I found some of the subject matter disturbing, as with Fleabag, It's still an interesting British binge.