New sci-fi Netflix series from Game of Thrones creators is dividing critics

3 Body Problem
(Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix's 3 Body Problem has got its first reviews – and the new sci-fi series is dividing critics.

Based on the award-winning novel The Three Body Problem by Liu Cixi, the series follows a young woman in 1960s China who makes a fateful decision that reverberates across space and time into the present day. Created by Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the cast includes Rosalind Chao, Benedict Wong, Saamer Usmani, Jovan Adepo, Sea Shimooka, Zine Tseng, Eiza Gonzalez, Alex Sharp, and Liam Cunningham.

Ahead of the show's debut, critics have weighed in, with many praising the premise and storyline and others critiquing the show's pacing and character development.

GamesRadar+ gave the show 2.5/5 stars, stating that despite the show's "solid sci-fi premise," it was "continually weighed down by flat, often two-dimensional characters and a weak script."

Slashfilm lauded the new series, writing that, "The Netflix adaptation of 3 Body Problem sets a new standard for what sci-fi is capable of."

"Benioff, Weiss, and Woo have been remarkably successful at transforming Liu’s work into a gripping sci-fi thriller, without either dumbing it down or boring viewers with hours’ worth of whiteboard lectures," wrote TIME.

"3 Body Problem reworks Cixin Liu’s mammoth book trilogy for a wider audience to great success, though it may annoy some viewers with its far-out sci-fi and speed-of-light plot machinations," said IGN.

Consequence gave the series a B-, but commented that it "just doesn’t know what to do with its terrestrial cast of characters, and the globalization of its cast dulls what was otherwise a distinctly Chinese perspective with the original novel."

TV Guide gave the show a 7.7/10, writing: "3 Body Problem functions perfectly well on a character level, so if you're happy to accept a healthy dose of scientific malarkey, then you're golden."

"3 Body Problem moves at a brisk, often breakneck speed to convey a sense of spectacle and awe. But in the process, it sacrifices the thing that made Three-Body so singular in the first place: the science," Inverse wrote in a less favorable review.

Meanwhile, IndieWire called it a "brutal dud". They wrote: "Where Game of Thrones paired diabolical plots for power with astonishing action, 3 Body Problem offers little personal intrigue to balance its increasingly unimpressive attempts at spectacle."

3 Body Problem is set to hit Netflix on March 21. For more, check out our list of the best new shows coming your way in 2024 and beyond.

Lauren Milici
Senior Writer, Tv & Film

Lauren Milici is a Senior Entertainment Writer for GamesRadar+ currently based in the Midwest. She previously reported on breaking news for The Independent's Indy100 and created TV and film listicles for Ranker. Her work has been published in Fandom, Nerdist, Paste Magazine, Vulture, PopSugar, Fangoria, and more.