In what has to be one of the biggest divides ever seen between critics and audiences, the new Netflix comedy series Hard Cell is racking up rave reviews on Twitter despite sitting at a rock bottom zero percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s the official synopsis for the Catherine Tate series that began streaming last week much to the chagrin of critics who really did not care for it:
Hard Cell is a documentary-style comedy set in the fictional female prison, HMP Woldsley. Writer and creator, Catherine Tate plays multiple characters from Laura Willis, the Governor who believes creativity leads to rehabilitation, to Big Viv, the psychopath lifer. Set over a 6 week period during which the inmates rehearse a musical directed by ex-Eastender’s star Cheryl Fergison. Rehearsals draw together an oddball collection of women as they find their voices, grow in confidence and strengthen their friendships. Funny yet surprisingly moving, Hard Cell leans into the comical truth of prison life.
While Tate is a veteran comedian, this is her first stab at delivering a full-fledge sitcom and the critics are not impressed. “This is one show that should remain behind bars,” wrote James Field of Pajiba.
“Above all, it feels terribly dated, with endless toilet humour and a mock-doc approach that could only be described as Gervaisian,” said Gabriel Tate of the Daily Telegraph.
“Tate used to be a take-no-prisoners (pun intended) satirist, blasting away at homophobia and general ignorance,” wrote John Doyle of the Globe and Mail. “But here the humour can get raw, and gags about sewage and masturbation are more clangers than they are clever.”
However, over on Twitter, audiences are loving the new Catherine Tate comedy series and demanding a second season. You can see just a small taste of the reactions below, and the unlike critics, viewers are apparently here for Hard Cell:
Don’t make the mistake of thinking you know what #HardCell is all about. I have never seen a comedy go from silly to pathos-filled to gut-wrenching so deftly and cleverly. Well done, Catherine Tate and team. This was brilliant and astonishing. #Netflix
— Jacquelyn Hagen (@jacquelyn_hagen) April 16, 2022
Just finished binge-watching Hard Cell. Thoroughly enjoyed it. No spoilers, but holy hell that ending!! Amazing!
— Kristina Carr (@raynebowanger) April 15, 2022
I’ve just binge watched this. It is amazing. Catherine Tate is unbelievably talented. Watched the last episode and forgot I was watching a comedy/mockumentary, it was so emotional. Hope there’s going to be another season. #hardcell
— Denise Pennington (@Penningt1Denise) April 15, 2022
Just spent the entire morning watching the whole lot. Really enjoyed it! Fingers crossed for a second series 🤞🏻
— H annah (@Hannahbanana811) April 12, 2022
— Katherine 💙 (@katblossom) April 18, 2022
Just binged watch this ABSOLUTELY FECKIN BRILLIANT
— Angie Bostock (@AngelaBostock1) April 13, 2022
Need a 2nd series -PLEASE!!!!! Absolutely loved it xx
— Heather (@Heather06347150) April 13, 2022
Such a great show! Catherine Tate is a fantastic writer and actress. Loved it – please, please, please commission a second series!
— Danielle Roe 🏳️ 🌈 (@DJROE95) April 16, 2022
(Via Rotten Tomatoes)