- Bill Burr’s directorial debut, Old Dads, is a number-one hit on Netflix despite receiving bad reviews from critics. It debuted on the Global Top 10 and was the most-watched film on Netflix during its first week.
- The success of Old Dads on Netflix can be attributed to the re-emergence of the R-rated comedy genre, which has gained popularity again.
- Bill Burr’s previous collaborations with Netflix, including stand-up specials and the sitcom F Is for Family, show that he has a strong connection with his audience and can draw in viewers.
Bill Burr’s directorial debut, Old Dads, premieres as a number-one hit on Netflix despite the dismal reviews from critics. Rising to fame as a stand-up comedian, Burr is also known for his small but memorable roles in Date Night, Breaking Bad, The Mandalorian, and The King of Staten Island. He recently made the transition to filmmaking with Old Dads, a semi-autobiographical comedy that he directed and co-wrote with Ben Tishler for Netflix. Burr also leads the Old Dads cast alongside Bobby Cannavale and Bokeem Woodbine.
Now, soon after releasing on October 20, Burr’s directorial debut is now a number-one hit on Netflix. Old Dads debuted in the Global Top 10 as the streamer’s most-watched film during the October 16-22 viewing window. In just three days of availability, the comedy was watched for 23.1 million hours and received 13.3 million total views.
Why Old Dads Is A Netflix Hit Despite Bad Reviews
Old Dads arrived on streaming with little fanfare and marketing from Netflix. Burr’s directorial debut was also excoriated by critics as a “boorish and obnoxiously vulgar comedy,” writes Deadline‘s Todd McCarthy, which sums up the critical consensus concisely. The dismal Old Dad reviews resulted in a terrible 23 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes. With a nonexistent marketing campaign and an unenthusiastic critical response, Old Dads appeared to be dead in the water, though its debut on Netflix has been a resounding and surprising success. On Rotten Tomatoes, its audience score is a significantly stronger 88 percent.
The reason for Old Dads‘ success is likely due to the re-emergence of the R-rated comedy. After falling out of favor in recent years, the R-rated comedy has come back in full force with titles like No Hard Feelings, which is also a hit on Netflix charts. In Old Dads, Burr plays a foul-mouthed father who feels behind the times and struggles to adapt to a changing world, which audiences are obviously relating to. In his multiple collaborations with Netflix, which include four stand-up specials and the animated sitcom F Is for Family, Burr is clearly connecting with an audience.