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The Student News Site of Olathe West High School

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The Student News Site of Olathe West High School

Owl Post

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The Heartbreaking True Story: “Baby Reindeer”

Content Warning: Stalking, drug use, sexual assault, rape
Photo courtesy of Netflix
‘Baby Reindeer’ captivates audience with it’s heartbreaking story.

The new Netflix series “Baby Reindeer” made its debut on April 11. The limited series show is one season consisting of seven episodes.

The series tells the heartbreaking, true story of comedian Richard Gadd, who stars in the show as himself, under the name Donny. Gadd also wrote the show by himself during the pandemic lockdown. 

The show begins with Donny meeting Martha (Jessica Gunning) in the bar he works at; she claims to not have enough money to buy a drink, so he gives her one “on the house.” From this moment, Martha falls for Donny and begins to become obsessed, progressing into stalking him. 

From the moment Martha was introduced, I was sucked into the story, the whole time I was wondering what was going to happen next. The story is so unlike any other show and despite how dark it is, it’s so entertaining.

Emails Martha sends to Donny are featured throughout the whole show, and even though these messages sound so bizarre, they are real emails Gadd received from his real-life stalker.

These emails are so effective in showing how extreme the stalking is. They strongly portray how obsessed Martha was and how her emotions can change in an instant. The messages she sent made me feel frightened and sad for Gadd, who had to put up with receiving dozens of these messages a day for years.

Throughout the show, viewers watch as Donny is forced to deal with his past and present as Martha’s stalking begins getting more obsessive and aggressive. 

Donny ends up reporting Martha’s stalking to the police. When the police ask why he didn’t report the stalking earlier, he is forced to relive his past.

In the past, we are shown Donny’s experience in the entertainment industry and the dark things he was forced to endure. These events lead to Donny being sexually assaulted, then being too afraid to share his experience with anyone.

The scenes used to portray these events are so sad to watch and the whole time I was watching with my jaw dropped. The way the show lays out this part of Gadd’s life with him reenacting the events perfectly shows that there can be more going on with someone than people see.

The show then goes back to the present to show Donny admitting to all of the things that he has endured through the past few years. We also see how Donny is forced to deal with Martha and what happens to her.

In that moment, Donny’s emotions are perfectly encapsulated, having lived through the events, Gadd’s portrayal of them and his acting is amazing. He shows all of the emotions he has been bottling up for so long and it is so moving to see how hurt someone can be.

Gadd’s bravery in speaking up has been incredibly beneficial to male sexual assault survivors everywhere. Since the launch of the show there has been an 80% increase in first time callers to We Are Survivors, an organization to help male victims of sexual assault and rape, asking for the support they offer.

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About the Contributor
Avery Mathieu
Avery Mathieu, Writer
Avery Mathieu is a junior staff member for the Owl Post. This is her first year on the staff. The other activity she is involved in at Olathe West is theatre. Outside of school, she enjoys reading, crocheting and listening to Taylor Swift. 

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