Season 5 of 'Black Mirror' is its worst-reviewed yet by a wide margin, but it's still a huge hit for Netflix

NetflixMiley Cyrus in ‘Black Mirror.’
  • “Black Mirror” season five is the worst-reviewed season of the show yet with a 63% Rotten Tomatoes critic score, but it’s still a hit with audiences.
  • It was TV Time’s most anticipated returning show of June, and is regularly ranked among Parrot Analytics’ weekly most in-demand streaming shows.
  • Netflix acquired the sci-fi anthology series in 2015 after two seasons on the UK’s Channel 4, and it’s just one of many British series Netflix has gained the rights to.
  • Netflix reportedly sees little value in long-running shows. But since each episode of “Black Mirror” is a standalone story, and considering its popularity with audiences, Netflix likely won’t be giving up on it any time soon.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Season five of the popular sci-fi anthology series, “Black Mirror,” debuted on Netflix on Wednesday, and it hasn’t been a hit with critics.

The season has a subpar 63% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes, the lowest of any season or even the standalone “Black Mirror” interactive movie, “Bandersnatch” (72%) which was released in December. The highest-rated season was the first, at 97%.

“Season five is a mess, and nothing about it suggests that Black Mirror retains its original, unnerving insight into the ever-blurring borders between the digital and the human,”Vulture‘s Kathryn VanArendonk wrote.

READ MORE: 13 essential Netflix romantic comedies, ranked from worst to best by critics

Time‘s Judy Berman wrote that the show “may have already outlived its relevance.” Slate’s Sam Adams tweeted, “as someone who found things of interest even in Bandersnatch, the new Black Mirror season feels close to shark-jumpingly bankrupt.”

But the show is still a hit with audiences. It was television-tracking app TV Time’s most anticipated returning TV series for June, and is regularly ranked among Parrot Analytics’ most in-demand streaming shows on a weekly basis.

Netflix acquired “Black Mirror,” a dark satire of culture and technology, in 2015 ahead of the show’s third season. The first two seasons aired on the UK’s Channel 4. It’s one of many British TV shows that Netflix has gained the rights to as part of its growing international strategy (others include “Bodyguard” and “The End of the F—ing World”).

“Black Mirror” is also one of Netflix’s few original shows to live past two or three seasons. Deadline reported in March that Netflix sees little value in long-running TV shows because they become too expensive to invest in and it’s difficult for new audiences to catch up. The ideal TV series for Netflix, according to Deadline, doesn’t exceed 30 episodes total or 10 episodes a season.

It doesn’t have to worry about that with “Black Mirror.” The series has never exceeded more than six episodes a season (the new season is three episodes), and each episode is a standalone story, meaning viewers can jump in at any point.

Netflix likely won’t be giving up on “Black Mirror” any time soon, despite waning reviews.

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