Stephen King Got Something to Say About Netflix's Baby Reindeer Being Weirdly Similar to Misery

Stephen King Got Something to Say About Netflix's Baby Reindeer Being Weirdly Similar to Misery
Image credit: Castle Rock Entertainment, Netflix

Both King's iconic novel and the new popular TV series share many similar plot points, but according to King, the protagonists are quite different.


  • Baby Reindeer was released on Netflix in April 2024 and immediately impressed critics and audiences alike.
  • Many noted how much the story (based on true events) resembled Stephen King's Misery.
  • King himself recognized a number of parallels, but also noted many differences.

The sinister phenomenon of stalking has been explored in a variety of media over the years, as it remains a hot-button social issue that is not easily resolved within the confines of the law. Perhaps the most famous work on the subject is Stephen King's novel Misery, the story of a writer held hostage by his own obsessed fan, which was adapted into a 1990 film with James Caan and Kathy Bates.

Meanwhile, just over a month ago, a new series, Baby Reindeer, debuted on Netflix and immediately impressed critics and viewers. It also deals with the problems of sudden fame and stalking, so it's no surprise that Stephen King, a notable cinephile, was impressed by the new show.

But what does the author himself think about the similarities and differences between Misery and Baby Reindeer?

King on the Similarities and Differences

Stephen King was immediately obsessed with the new Netflix series. On April 26, he published a very brief yet insightful post on X (ex-Twitter).

Stephen King Got Something to Say About Netflix's Baby Reindeer Being Weirdly Similar to Misery - image 1

However, fans have been quick to point out that Baby Reindeer bears many similarities to King's book Misery, an uncomfortable and eerie novel that also builds on the near-phobia that comes with the effects of sudden fame and the audience losing touch with reality.

In a recent interview with The Times, King addressed both the parallels and differences between the two stories. In his opinion, despite the similarities between the antagonists of both properties, Martha Scott and Annie Wilkes, the protagonists are quite different: while Paul Sheldon's plight is a consequence of his selfish nature, Donnie Dunn is a prisoner of his own empathy.

They also react very differently to the situation they find themselves in.

'In Misery Sheldon — bedridden, held prisoner both by a growing drug addiction and Annie herself — reluctantly comes to the conclusion that Annie is right about his new novel, a departure from his Misery Chastain books. She says it isn't very good, and she's probably right. In any event, she burns it. She is the doer; Paul Sheldon is the helpless watcher.'

Stephen King Got Something to Say About Netflix's Baby Reindeer Being Weirdly Similar to Misery - image 2

'In Baby Reindeer Donny finally takes action himself, knocking his sad suitcase of props to the floor and getting honest — brutally so — with his audience.'

Baby Reindeer's Colossal Ratings

When Baby Reindeer premiered on Netflix on April 11, 2024, it quickly became one of the platform's most-viewed shows. For the week of April 8-14, the series made its way into the Global Top 10, coming in at number five with 2.6 million unique views.

The following week, April 15-21, Baby Reindeer held a firmer position, coming in ahead of 3 Body Problem. Baby Reindeer's viewership has only skyrocketed to an incredible 13.3 million.

The show continued to lead in its fifth week on Netflix, from May 6 to May 12, holding the number two spot. As of this writing, the show is still holding the top spot in many regions.

Why Misery Is One of the Best King Adaptations Ever Made

It's not surprising that Baby Reindeer is being compared to Misery, and it's not just the similarity in plot points — after all, there have been more than a few similar stories out there, from Fatal Attraction to 2022's Watcher.

It's the equally colossal fame the movie received upon its release in 1990. After the success of the novel, which won the Bram Stoker Award and the World Fantasy Award, the film adaptation, directed by Rob Reiner, won just as many prizes, including the Academy Award for Best Actress.

Misery now holds an impressive 90% score on Rotten Tomatoes (for comparison, Baby Reindeer has a 98% score) and has appeared on many Best Movies lists. It is one of the 100 best thrillers according to Time Out and Parade, and one of the 100 best horror films according to Rotten Tomatoes and IGN.

Where Can I Watch Both Properties?

If you're curious about where you can catch both the new TV series and the cult film based on King's novel, we've provided a list of all available options.

Baby Reindeer

The new dark comedy-drama based on true events is a Netflix exclusive, so no matter where you are, you can safely turn to the streaming service to watch Baby Reindeer.


Misery, an adaptation of King's 1990 novel, is now available for streaming on Apple TV+ in the US with the Showtime bundle. In other regions, the film is available either on Prime Video or through local distributors.

Source: The Times, X.

Do you think Misery and Baby Reindeer are similar?