Freud on Netflix: between disappointment and praise

Freud's series on Netflix is dividing critics and viewers alike. Let's see why this happens.

Frame from the trailer of the series 'Freud'.

The series hit the platform on March 23. / Photo: youtube.com/Netflix

LatinAmerican Post | Ariel Cipolla

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Leer en español: Freud en Netflix: entre la decepción y los elogios

When Freud's series was announced, many lovers of psychoanalysis were delighted by the news. Basically, the possibility of getting to know one of the masterminds of history was interesting, especially if we got to see how his main theories emerged. 

However, things started to change when we found out where the series would go. According to the specialized site Indie Hoy, who had exclusive content of the series, the first season would consist of eight episodes where the young Sigmund would appear, although his story would be different.

For example, the plot was about an investigation carried out around different murders that occurred in Vienna at the end of the 19th century. This is far from what many people expected: to see Sigmund applying his theories in a much more realistic field and not so close to the world of crime. Let's see, then, what happened at the premiere.

What were we able to see in the Netlfix Freud series?

The first thing we can say is what is mentioned on the website of La Nación, where it is argued paradoxically that,  "this is not a story from Freud's life." In other words, the beginnings of psychoanalytic theory are not explained, nor is his character elaborated on, but is rather an excuse for talking about events in Vienna at that time.

From the first moment, we observe that Freud's role as the protagonist of this story is only a kind of "hook" to catch a larger number of viewers. As he is the most recognized image in modern psychology, many people might expect some interesting aspects of the human psyche to be covered.

However, throughout the plot we can observe a police environment similar to that of noir films, where they try to accumulate different historical elements, but without delving into what the viewer tries to find: psychoanalysis. In that sense we are disappointed, but we are also hooked on the dark narrative that it has.

It's actually a pretty good suspense story, which explains why some people like it. According to what the medium Diez Minutos mentions, the writers wanted to “show a Freud never seen before”, which is why many people compare this story with that of other hits, such as The Alienist or Mindhunter, since its pacing is perfect. 

Similarly, the first season of Freud's series on Netflix focuses entirely on detective cases. But what if this kickstarted his famous psychoanalytic theories? In other words, the first season may have attempted to attract a massive audience, and then move on to more specific psychological fields.

Also read: Bored? Try these Spanish and British series

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Be that as it may, the important thing,  is to admit from the outset that it is a non-biographical series. When we immerse ourselves in that world and forget about reality, we realize that it is a very well-made product, even in terms of aesthetics. If  it continues with a much more reality-based story in the second part, we could be talking about an absolute success.