This new Netflix series has a one per cent score on Rotten Tomatoes
A new series has launched on Netflix, and already received an extremely low audience rating of one per cent.
The new series in question is titled Queen Cleopatra, and is the second instalment of the African Queens franchise.
Produced by Jada Pinkett-Smith, the new series launched on Netflix on Wednesday last week (May 10). Now, just five days since it premiered on the streaming platform, viewers have been quick to blast the show online, and given it an audience score of one per cent on Rotten Tomatoes.
Queen Cleopatra follows on from the first part of the franchise — African Queens: Njinga — which also received a mostly-negative reception from viewers: 22 per cent, to be exact.
While both Njinga and Queen Cleopatra have been on the receiving end of mostly poor reviews from viewers, the latter has got a noticeable negative reaction from critics too. Njinga earned an impressive 88 per cent from critics, meaning there was a noticeable gap between the two responses. Queen Cleopatra, on the other hand, received a similarly cold response from critics as it did from fans — with an average rating of 13 per cent from the former.
While many fans have criticised the four episodes of the series for having “bland” performances and an inaccurate plot, the main reason behind the poor reviews seems to be due to the casting choices.
Previously, the series received backlash after British actress and screenwriter Adele James was cast as the eponymous queen who leads the series. The decision to cast a black woman in the titular role spurred controversy, particularly for people in Egypt, and reignited the debate about the ethnicity of the real-world historical figure.
“Besides the whole race controversy, it is very inaccurate in multiple aspects of Cleopatra as a character. It feels like made her black and then didn’t know what to do beyond that,” wrote one viewer, who awarded the show with less than one star out of five.
Another agreed, adding: “This is not a documentary, it is a fallacy about a real person and it is disrespectful to all Egyptian culture, I do not recommend watching it.”
Last month, the series’ director Tina Gharayi hit back at critics who criticised the choice of James as the lead actress. She argued that “it’s more likely that Cleopatra looked like Adele than Elizabeth Taylor,” who famously portrayed the historical figure in 1963’s Cleopatra.