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The news site of Blue Valley High School

BV Tiger News

The news site of Blue Valley High School

BV Tiger News

Baby Reindeer

Student discusses new Netflix show
Baby Reindeer

Baby Reindeer is a beautifully well-written, true story about a man who catches the attention of a stalker who ends up ruining his life. This show delves into the man’s inner monologue as he goes through his past and present to navigate his trauma.

The show stars Richard Gadd, the writer and victim of the situation, playing Donny Dunn, a bartender and aspiring comedian. The show starts with Donny giving a free cup of tea to a woman sitting at the bar he feels pity for. This act of kindness caused the woman, Martha, to return to the bar every day and eventually start stalking Donny outside; showing up at his house, waiting for him at the bus stop, and sending 41,071 emails, 350 hours of voicemails, and a variety of weird gifts.

The name of the show was inspired by a nickname Martha had given him. She told him about a toy reindeer she had gotten comfort from as a child and began calling him ‘baby reindeer’ because he reminded her of it.

Richard Gadd is careful in the way he depicts Martha and himself. Richard explains that he never saw Martha as a villain, but as a victim who was lost in the system, and wanted to showcase that. In interviews with The Independent, he is sure to emphasize the fact she isn’t truly to blame.

“I can’t emphasize enough how much of a victim she is in all this,” he said, “Stalking and harassment is a form of mental illness. It would have been wrong to paint her as a monster, because she’s unwell, and the system’s failed her.”

Richard also doesn’t entirely depict himself as the victim. There are many times in the show where he acknowledges he could’ve stopped it from going further. Episode four goes into his history with someone he had worked with that serves as an explanation for why he hadn’t reported her yet.

“I just couldn’t stand the irony of reporting her but not him. There was always a sense that she was ill, that she couldn’t help it, whereas he was a pernicious, manipulative groomer.” He said in the episode, “To admit to her was to admit to him, and I hadn’t admitted him to anyone yet.”

The last episode has Martha pleading guilty in court and being sentenced to jail after weeks of Richard and his friends and family trying to get the police to act. The last scene shows Donny going to a bar, obsessively listening to Martha’s voicemails, and being offered a cup of tea for free thanks to the kindness of the bartender.

Baby Reindeer is written and shot beautifully to depict Richard Gadd’s mentality and thoughts during that time. It perfectly showcases the blurred gray that makes no one the true hero or villain.

“I think ‘Baby Reindeer’ has stood out so much because it goes back to something about the human condition, which is dark and difficult and challenging, and every human being is a mixture of good and bad,” Richard said in an interview.

The show has gained popularity and is one of the top TV shows on Netflix with nearly 60 million views. This has unfortunately led to people searching for the real-life people the story was based on despite Richard’s hope to keep their identity a secret.

On May 9th, Fiona Harvey, the woman viewers have begun to believe is the real-life Martha, appeared in her first TV interview, Uncensored, with Piers Morgan. She tells the ‘true story’ of what happened, explaining that she was the one being stalked and that this Netflix series is an extension of that. She denies being close to Richard with only a few exchanges, and claims everything depicted in the show was false. She now is threatening to take legal action against Richard Gadd and Netflix.

It is unfortunate to see this story continue due to people’s refusal to listen to the cast only to sate their own curiosity. Fiona Harvey told Piers she felt forced to do an interview because of the death threats she was receiving and Richard Gadd had stated before Fiona’s interview he felt ready to finally move on. Bringing this to light will only cause harm to Richard and Fiona.

Baby Reindeer was a beautiful and thought-provoking show, but viewers need to respect the wishes of the cast and leave Richard and Fiona alone so they can heal and move on.

About the Contributor
Emily Kozlowski
Emily Kozlowski, Staff Writer
Emily Kozlowski is a sophomore starting her first year on the newspaper staff. She is excited to grow her writing and digital designing skills. Emily is also part of KAY Club and Latin Club. In her free time, Emily enjoys reading, listening to and playing music, hanging out with friends, and relaxing with her Goldendoodle.