'The Little Drummer Girl': Episode 3 sees a steep fall in viewership as audience complain about complex storytelling
The Florence Pugh-starring show had pulled in almost 5.2m views for its premiere episode, the number had slid down to 3.8m by the second episode, and the trend continues
The third episode of 'The Little Drummer Girl' which aired on Sunday, November 11, saw a steep fall in its viewership. BBC One's second adaptation of a John Le Carre's novel has failed to meet with the success of the previous 2016 adaptation of Le Carre's 1993 novel, 'The Night Manager'. The Tom Hiddleston and Hugh Laurie starring show had pulled in almost 6.61 million viewers for its finale, while the Live +7 views added two million more to each of the first four episodes.
Unfortunately, 'The Little Drummer Girl' (directed by Park Chan-wook) does not seem to have excited the audience as much. Following the third episode, the show has lost more than 40 percent of its audience. However, this does not come as a surprise as viewers have already been complaining about the shows slow-burning nature, in spite of Chan-wook's bewitching cinematography and the actors' convincing performance. Although the Florence Pugh-starring show had pulled in almost 5.2 million views for its premiere episode, by the second episode, the number had slid down to 3.8 million. The third episode saw a further shrink in the number which fell down to 2.9 million.
The espionage thriller has not been able to stand up to the heights of the shows whose slot it had been allotted. The Richard Madden starring 'Bodyguard' had a successful run through August to September as it earned BBC it's largest audience, of almost 17.1 million viewers in the finale, since 'Downtown Abbey' almost a decade ago.
Both the shows are political thrillers set in different periods in time. Yet, 'Bodyguard' probably managed to attract the massive viewership due to its fluid storytelling. In the case of Chan-wook's show, viewers have complained about the show's complicated storytelling and the confusing plot.
#Bodyguard is the UK’s most watched drama since current records began, with 17.1m watching the finale! It's available as an exclusive @BBCiPlayer boxset with the series being released on @Netflix tomorrow! @worldprods pic.twitter.com/V3Ig617ssf— BBC Bodyguard (@BodyguardBBC) October 23, 2018
However, the show's complicated nature shouldn't be the reason behind the falling viewership since the Jenna Coleman starring adaptation of Helen Fitzgerald's 2013 titular novel 'The Cry' was watched by a large number of audience in spite of the controversial and complex subject that it was dealing with.
Falling in the same slot of Sunday 9 pm as 'Bodyguard', the show (which aired through September to October) dealt with the topic of postpartum depression, much unlike its predecessor and successor who have dealt with the political spectrum of the society. The show brought in almost 6.3 million viewers and had an audience share of 30.1%.
Perhaps it is not the complicated nature of the show but the way the story has been told. The audience has complained about not understanding the progression in the show, the continuous time jumps, the introduction of new subplots, and the confusing state of the characters.
However, in spite of its slow-burning nature, the show is vivid in its visualization and the cast is refreshing in their depiction of the '70s. In fact, the show itself has managed to do away with all the cliches attached to the '70s and has added its own flavor to the decade with vivid visuals and sharp political commentary.