Paramount Plus’ Godfather series is being massacred by critics

Marlon Brandon as Don Vito Corleone in The Godfather
(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

“Look how they massacred my series,” Don Vito Corleone might say if he could see the critical reactions to Paramount Plus’ latest drama, The Offer.

Airing exclusively on the burgeoning streaming service, Michael Tolkin’s 10-episode show re-tells the making of Francis Ford Coppola's legendary gangster movie, The Godfather, from the perspective of its ambitious producer, Albert S. Ruddy (played by Miles Teller). But, for all the craft and style of its source material, The Offer hasn’t gone down well with reviewers privy to its first few episodes. 

Before we dig into the dirt, though, check out the trailer for the new Paramount Plus series below, which begins streaming on Thursday, April 28.

Let’s kick off with the show’s credentials on Rotten Tomatoes. According to the review aggregator site, The Offer currently has a 47% critics rating – which essentially means that over half of reviewers considered the show unworthy of recommendation (based on Rotten Tomatoes’ binary ‘fresh’ or ‘rotten’ metric).

In fairness, that’s not a terrible figure as new movies and TV series go, especially when considering that the latest Sony-produced Marvel movie, Morbius, wears a comparatively shameful 16% critics rating around its neck. Still, a quick read into the substance behind The Offer’s negative reviews betrays a similarly frosty reception.

The Hollywood Reporter’s Dan Fienberg, for instance, described Paramount’s latest series as “an illustrated Wikipedia entry stretched illogically to 10 hours by pandering to cinema fans with endless winking and nudging, and with performances that range from likably cartoonish to Madame Tussauds in a heatwave.” Not great, then.

The Playlist’s Rodrigo Perez was equally unimpressed: “What unremarkably ensues is a kind of broad and tacky Godfather cosplay with zero subtext, nothing to say and very little to aspire to other than telling an increasingly self-satisfied tale of how The Godfather was made.”

Miles Teller as Albert S. Ruddy in The Offer

Miles Teller stars as Albert S. Ruddy in The Offer (Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Refreshingly, Ben Travers of Indiewire began his review with praise for the “vigorous charisma” of Matthew Goode’s Robert Evans – the Paramount studio executive responsible for ordering The Godfather’s creation – though he, too, took aim at The Offer’s overall lack of substance: “[It’s] a soulless, vapid piece of content that’s about as far removed from ‘art’ as professionally produced television can get.” 

IGN’s Siddhant Adlakha similarly criticized the show’s “disconnected subplots, tensionless drama and empty Easter Eggs,” while Slashfilm’s Josh Spiegel simply labeled The Offer “a limited series that should’ve been a movie.”

It would, however, be unfair to ignore the smattering of positive reviews for Paramount’s latest offering. CNET’s Richard Trenholm described the show as “a highly watchable glimpse into the magic of movies [that] makes an offer that's hard to refuse,” also calling it “a treat for movie nerds and Godfather fans.”

Collider’s Maggie Lovitt echoed Trenholm’s enthusiasm: “The Offer is a nail-biting and exhilarating exploration into the making of one of the most iconic and influential films of the 20th century.”

If nothing else, then, The Offer will inevitably prove one of 2022’s more divisive series. Given that the first few episodes of Paramount's live-action Halo adaptation were equally lambasted by critics – we said the show had an "identity problem" in our own review – it appears that the still young streamer has some way to go before it can truly compete with the likes of Netflix and Disney Plus.

As mentioned, The Offer's first three episodes begin streaming this Thursday (April 28) on Paramount Plus in the US, with the remaining seven set to arrive weekly on the same day. The show is expected to debut on Sky and Now TV in the UK, though no release date has been confirmed as yet.

Axel Metz
Senior Staff Writer

Axel is a London-based Senior Staff Writer at TechRadar, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest movies as part of the site's daily news output. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion. 

Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.