Fool Me Once defies patchy reviews as Netflix viewers hail ‘brilliant’ new series with Michelle Keegan

The eight-part TV show, adapted from the 2016 Harlan Coben novel of the same name, stars Michelle Keegan, Richard Armitage, Adeel Akhtar, Emmett J. Scanlan and Joanna Lumley.

Released on the streaming service on New Year’s Day, Fool Me Once received negative reviews from many critics, including The Independent’s Nick Hilton, who awarded it one star out of five.

“It’s hard to oversell how convoluted and implausible Fool Me Once really is,” he wrote. “Your tolerance for Fool Me Once will hinge entirely on your ability to switch off your brain and allow proceedings to wash over you. The plot, which is not really worth following, is further inhibited by melodramatic dialogue that swings between extremes of emotion.”

“This is not TV to watch with your full attention. It is TV to watch while you think about that letter from HMRC, or you chop potatoes for your Sunday roast, or manicure your dog’s claws. It’s TV that has the capacity to shock you – not because the plot is shocking, but because you’re shocked it’s still on.”

Despite this, fans have shared enthusiastic appraisals of the series on social media.

(Vishal Sharma/Netflix)

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The series follows a family who are left shaken in the aftermath of terrible violence. The show begins with Maya (Keegan) reeling after witnessing her murdered husband Joe (Armitage) breaking into her house.

The weekend has also seen a surprising film rise to the No 1 spot on the streaming service’s movie charts: crime comedy Queenpins.

Michelle Keegan as Maya in ‘Fool Me Once’

(Vishal Sharma/Netflix)

Initially released in 2021, Queenpins was met with mixed reviews and is widely considered a box office flop, having recouped just over 10 per cent of its production budget.

However, the film has proved an unlikely hit on the streaming service, with viewers praising the rediscovered comedy, as well as star Kristen Bell.