Sun. Apr 21st, 2024

Cleopatra Is Hard To Watch

By Baiting Irrelevance May16,2023
Official Trailer for Queen CleopatraOfficial Trailer for Queen Cleopatra

People are not too pleased with the new Netflix Series Queen Cleopatra. Although the show is advertised as a historical docuseries, many agree it falls far from its intended goal. The big elephant in the room is the race of Cleopatra herself. The show is part of Jada Pinkett Smith’s African Queen series. In the docuseries itself, the titled character is depicted as mixed race. The general public and even some Egyptians do not agree with this depiction. Many feel that it is an example of Netflix’s blackwashing history.

I do not believe that is real, but people are upset. The entire premise of the show centers around a grandmother telling her granddaughter that Cleopatra is black no matter what she hears in school. This line itself is the subject of much internet ridicule. Many historians believe Cleopatra is primarily Greek, although it is worth pointing out that there is some debate about her ethnicity. Depicting this show as a docuseries is a big mistake from Netflix. Most of the show is nothing more than pure fiction with very little understanding of what historically happened.

Again, in all fairness, much of her past is unknown or at least up for debate. Despite this, there are many things that we do know about her history. The story of Cleopatra is fascinating and, if done right, can make for a very captivating series. Sadly, Queen Cleopatra fails to capture any of those attractive elements. Whether you view this show as historically accurate or as a piece of history, you likely won’t find much joy in it. It is hard to tell what the series is trying to be.

The Verdict Is In: Fans Do Not Like Queen Cleopatra

Because of all the confusion, fan reactions to Queen Cleopatra is at an all-time low. As things stand now, the series might end as the worst in Netflix history. If you have a Netflix Subscription, you know this is a rigid bar to clear. There are currently 2500 people reviewing the show on Netflix. With all those reviews, the show is sitting with a score of 2%. This is 100% higher than yesterday when it sat at 1%. As always, some will dismiss the viewer score as people not liking the race of the lead actor.

In this case, though, that point is hard to argue. The most significant criticism of this show is the race of Cleopatra. Since this is a historical docuseries, people feel the showrunners got the casting wrong. However, there are other criticisms of the show as well. It is not just the casting that showrunners got wrong; it is many other historical points. This leads us to the next question: why are you pitching the show as a historical docuseries? It makes a lot more sense if you advertise it as fiction. Many historical shows are pure fiction, and the public loves them.

A great example of this is The Crown. They depict real people but in a fictional way. However, The Crown does get a lot more correct than Cleopatra. Another great example on the History Channel is Vikings, and it depicts real people in an entirely fictional way. Instead, Cleopatra is supposed to highlight one of the great queens of Africa. Instead of choosing an actual black queen, they decided to make one up and pass it off as history.

The Verdict Is In Critics Hate Queen Cleopatra

It is not just fans who dislike Queen Cleopatra. The critics are ripping the series apart online. One thing that I did notice is that critics are terrified of reviewing the show. While there are 2500 reviews from fans on rotten tomatoes, only nine critics are voicing their opinion. This is a very suspicious low number of reviews. Despite this low number, those nine reviewers collectively gave the show a score of 11%. It is likely due to the show’s poor quality that reviewers want to avoid scoring it.

Netflix Queen Cleopatra
Netflix Queen Cleopatra

Usually, critics will jump at the opportunity to review a show like this. However, this time around, there is nothing but silence from then. They likely know that the show is objectively bad. Despite this, they want to give the show a good score. This is likely because they chose a black lead for the show. If they review it poorly, it might seem like they are against race-swapping. Many reviewers have been defending the concept of race swapping and thus do not know how to score a show like this.

Should you be honest and tell the public what you think, or should you shill for your political side? I am also a defender of race-swapping. I firmly believe that if the story is good, the race or sex of the character does not matter. However, I am also clear that this is my personal opinion. An opinion that you can disagree with without being racist. Many online critics hold the same idea as me but do not regard their views as opinions. If you disagree with their views, it must be because you are racist.

There Are Many Black Queens, Why Not Showcase Them

Over the last few years, many traditionally white characters have been depicted as black. This concept we call race swapping. It should be noted that the opposite is also true. Hollywood is filled with white actors who should technically be black or Asian. However, this usually only works if the character is fictional. Showcasing a nonfiction person as a different sex or race cannot work. Why people think they can get away with this is beyond me. You can cast a black James Bond but not a black Conner McGregor. I am sure Netflix will try, though.

There is one big question that people are asking. Jada Pinkett Smith is creating this show as part of her African Queens series. As stated previously, creating a show centered around an actual African Queen will make much more sense. There are so many throughout history. This will allow you to tell a brand-new story, and it will also allow you to highlight some women you claim you want to represent.

Official Trailer for Queen Cleopatra
Official Trailer for Queen Cleopatra

The sad truth is that creating a show around one of these queens garners less attention. You get way more press race-swapping, Cleopatra. It also allows you to pander and talk about what a victim you are. You do things like this, and when you get backlash, you go back to your round table and complain about everything. It is a classic tale, and we have seen it a million times. Luckily for us, people are starting to pick up on this. That is why the show is sitting at a 2% viewer score.


It seems that Netflix will never learn its lesson. No matter how much money they lose from these shows, they keep producing them. When you are desperate for content, you need to do this. Due to high competition from other streaming sites, the focus on quantity over quality will always be there. At some point, Netflix will have to make a shift. I do not see them surviving for much longer if they don’t, and it is only a matter of time before a more extensive network buys them out.

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18 thoughts on “Cleopatra Is Hard To Watch”
  1. […] Netflix’s Queen Cleopatra is having a horrible time. The show currently has one of the worst reviewer scores in history. The release of the series on Netflix did not go over well with fans. After 10000 fan reviews, Queen Cleopatra is currently sitting on a review score of 3%. The critics gave it a solid 15%. The strange thing about the critic score is that only some people reviewed the show. There are currently only 13 reviews from professional online critics. Usually, they will take advantage of an opportunity to review a show like this. […]

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