Is Netflix’s ‘The Witcher’ The Next Big Thing?

| Entertainment
Netflix The Witcher Next Big Thing

Netflix recently debuted their newest show, The Witcher, a dark fantasy based on a famous series of novels. Sound familiar? Now, people are comparing The Witcher to everything from the obvious, like Game of Thrones, to the less obvious, like Stranger Things and The Mandalorian. Did Netflix release the next big thing with The Witcher? Let’s find out!

The Witcher: Netflix’s Next Stranger Things?

Every TV and streaming network continually works hard to develop the next big thing, the next show everyone will discuss. Hulu has The Handmaid’s Tale, HBO had Game of Thrones and now Westworld, and Amazon is trying to make anything stick. Now, however, it looks like Netflix might take the cake! With The Witcher, the company may have released something more compelling than even Stranger Things!

The Witcher is a live-action adaptation of the fantasy book and video game series of the same title. In the streaming version, Henry Cavil (DC’s former Superman) takes on the role of Geralt of Rivia, the main character. Cavil shared in an interview that he had been a massive fan of the books and the video games – “The Witcher instantly meant something to me. I often thought about playing Geralt. When the opportunity appeared, I didn’t let the chance pass me.”

While the show might lack more than one headliner, relative newcomers Anya Chalotra and Freya Allan fill out the cast, it more than makes up for it with incredible set pieces and design. And with these ingredients, showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich (The Umbrella Academy) concocted a hit. In fact, before a single episode debuted, Netflix renewed the series for a second season, to premiere in 2021.

The Witcher vs. The Mandalorian 

The Witcher The Mandalorian
Walt Disney Studios, Netflix

As a private company and not a national network, Netflix does not need to release specific viewing numbers. However, the company did reveal that The Witcher has become the streaming platform’s “second biggest” show in terms of budget. Falling behind Stranger Things, this means Witcher already bested hits like Black Mirror and House of Cards – in just one season!

Meanwhile, Parrot Analytics, a company that measures internet demand, shared that The Witcher bypassed Disney+’s The Mandalorian in terms of interest. But the showdown does not end there. According to Forbes, The Witcher has trended further and longer than The Mandalorian, supporting Parrot’s findings. Some claim that these results are skewed, given that Netflix has been around for much longer than Disney+, Disney’s new streaming service and the home of Mandalorian. Plus, it seems as though viewers enjoyed the Witcher less overall. Comparing the two shows on both IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes shows that the Mandalorian is more beloved by viewers and critics alike.

The Next Game of Thrones?

Game of Thrones The Witcher
HBO, Netflix

It’s hard not to compare The Witcher to Game of Thrones: both are based on famous fantasy series and feature quite a bit of violence. They both even contain main characters with white hair! And many fans disappointed with the last season of Game of Thrones view Netflix’s new show as a way to right those wrongs. So far, it seems as though The Witcher has done well. Unlike Thrones, critics and viewers alike have complimented the show’s female characters and their arcs. Perhaps it is due to the female showrunner?

Fans of both shows have also pointed out how differently The Witcher treats violence. Anyone familiar with Game of Thrones will know that many criticized HBO’s hit for “glamorizing” sexual abuse and using violence for pure shock value. Meanwhile, the Witcher takes a more cinematic, less gore-and-shock-laden approach. It seems that The Witcher‘s writers and directors studied Game of Thrones and other fantasy series, and took notes. As a result, they executed stories, character arcs, and the wide world of the show incredibly well. Expect this one to stick around for some time!

The entire first season of The Witcher is now available for streaming on Netflix.

Sources: The Daily Beast, DirectExpose, Forbes.