A $300 Million Series That Frustrated Critics Is Winning Audiences and Number One Spots on Streaming

We can't always see eye to eye.

Image via Prime Video

Prime Video’s new blockbuster series Citadel might be leaving critics feeling cold, but the show is a verified success with audiences. Amazon’s streaming platform is reported to have pumped $300 million into the series in an effort to entice new users onto the service and develop a new mega-franchise.

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Despite a Rotten Tomatoes rating of just 53% from critics, the costly spy drama has hit the number one spot in 91 different countries this week, according to Flix Patrol. The show is also enjoying a much better Audience Score of 70%, with an average of 3.8 out of 5 stars from over 500 audience reviews.

Citadel is currently catching flack from critics due to some awkward dialogue and a slightly wooden performance from Richard Madden, whom folks may know as Robb Stark from Game of Thrones, but he should really be a household name due to his fantastic turn in Jed Mercurio’s Bodyguard for the BBC. Priyanka Chopra Jonas, who stars opposite Madden as another deadly spy, also seems to be a bit burdened by the clunky dialogue. Both play secret agents who have had their memories erased, a somewhat tiresome trope that was already getting tired with the second Bourne movie.

Fans seem to be loving the show, however, propelling it high up the streaming charts all around the world and once again proving that it is not necessary to be a critical darling to get eyes on your series. This could very well be down to the involvement of the Russo brothers as producers, who have certainly proven that they know what the audience wants with the massive success of their Marvel movies.

With only three episodes released so far, we have no idea if the audience numbers are enough to sustain Amazon’s initial plan, which was for a massive multi-series franchise. Sadly, it looks like the company may have been searching for its own Yellowstone, Paramount’s colossal success from Tyalor Sheridan and John Linson, without the original, organic success that is required for that to happen.

With more episodes on the way, and a wonderful turn by Stanley Tucci largely propping up the series right now, we hope that Citadel can end the first series with confidence and continue to earn fans and that all-important second season.

About the author

Aidan O'Brien

Aidan has been playing games for over three decades and has been writing about them for about five years. When not getting stomped on by the creations of Hidetaka Miyazaki he enjoys spending too much time in Warframe, Destiny 2, and any ARPG with a solid grind. When not writing, he is doing inexplicable behind-the-scenes magic.