Does it matter that reviewers don’t like Netflix’s Marco Polo?

Curious. Are there limits to predictive algorithms? Do viewers like to feel that they are in sync with those ‘in the know’ – and seek validation from critics? [Guilty pleasures are an obvious exception]

Well, it doesn’t appear that we will have to wait too long for the first binge-ers to start reporting their findings.



Marco Polo may be one of the most ambitious shows Netflix has produced thus far — but will it also be its biggest flop? One could certainly think so after reading a few reviews.

The streaming service is set to release the entire first season of the 13th century explorer drama — ten episodes total — on Friday, but critics had advance access to a few episodes of the show, and they didn’t like what they saw. Here are a few examples:

Time’s James Poniewozik had this to say about the drama:

Marco Polo (…) feels less like precision targeting than a flurry of wildly fired arrows, the scattershot, overstuffed result of a “You Might Like…” algorithm run amok. If you like Game of Thrones, and historical drama, and pay-cable softcore, and martial arts movies (…)–and you want them crammed together, narrative sense be damned–you might like this…

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