Words: Emily Maskell; pictures: Netflix
DAHMER – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story has set a new record as Netflix's most-watched new series on record for week one of its release, despite the highly divided reaction to the show.
Created by Emmy-winning writer-director Ryan Murphy, the show earned a massive 196.2 million hours viewed in its first week of availability after it debuted on Wednesday (21 September).
Murphy shared on Twitter that he and DAHMER's star Evan Peters had heard the news and they were "shocked and grateful," thanking fans for watching.
"Evan Peters and I were just talking about this article, the viewership records our show is breaking, and how shocked and grateful we are. Thank you so much for watching. " pic.twitter.com/yK7GprTJzd— Ryan Murphy Productions (@ryanmurphyprod) September 27, 2022
While other shows have amassed higher streaming numbers, no new show has managed to pull in such whopping viewing statistics.
For some context, Netflix's highest ever viewing numbers (the weekly Top 10 lists only date back to late-June 2021) 571.76 million hours viewed for week three of Squid Game's availability.
In the 10-part series DAHMER, American Horror Story's Peters plays Jeffrey Dahmer, the gay American serial killer and sex offender who committed the murder and dismemberment of seventeen men and boys between 1978 and 1991.
While the show may be pulling in big viewing numbers, not everyone is happy with how this story is being re-told.
Eric Perry, the cousin of Dahmer victim Errol Lindsey, slammed the show's handling as "retraumatising": "I know true crime media is huge rn, but if you’re actually curious about the victims, my family (the Isbell’s) are pissed about this show. It’s retraumatizing over and over again, and for what? How many movies/shows/documentaries do we need?"
I’m not telling anyone what to watch, I know true crime media is huge rn, but if you’re actually curious about the victims, my family (the Isbell’s) are pissed about this show. It’s retraumatizing over and over again, and for what? How many movies/shows/documentaries do we need? https://t.co/CRQjXWAvjx— eric. (@ericthulhu) September 22, 2022
In later tweets, he continued: "[Netflix] don’t notify families when they do this. It’s all public record, so they don’t have to notify (or pay!) anyone. My family found out when everyone else did."
Following this backlash, it seems Netflix has removed the 'LGBTQ+' tag from the show as many were criticising the label as unnecessary and inappropriate – Netflix hasn't commented about the change.
Critics are also divided on the show, on Rotten Tomatoes the series has a 50 percent critics score while the audience score is higher at 86 percent.
Murphy's other projects for Netflix have included The Prom, Hollywood and Ratched.
DAHMER – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story is out on Netflix now.
The Attitude September/October issue is out now.