This series shows how the likes of Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and other notorious dictators of the 20th century rose to power. Narrated by the Emmy-winning actor Peter Dinklage, it uses dark humour to present the necessary steps for creating absolute power while offering insight into why tyrannical patterns repeat over time.
Each of the six episodes looks at the steps needed to create a totalitarian dictatorship. The first deals with Adolf Hitler's rise to power in 1930s Germany.
The second episode is called ‘Crush Your Rival', which covers the methods of purging your fiefdom of dissenters. The third and fourth instalment looks at controlling the population through fear and propaganda. It takes a deep look at censorship and “fake news”.
The fifth instalment of the series discusses how dictators attempt to create a new society, which inevitably leads to repression and loss of personal freedom. The final instalment is titled ‘Rule Forever', and it shows how tyrants keep power once you have it – through repression, surveillance, gulags or killing your opponents.
As mentioned before, the series is a humorous take on a serious subject. It's not just a documentary on how dictators come to power. Instead, it's a satirical look at the methods of creating absolute rule.
One criticism of ‘How To Become A Tyrant' is the lack of focus on Mao Zedong, arguably one of the most brutal dictators of all time. The show's creators have responded to these criticisms by saying there are plans for future episodes about other dictators.
Some viewers may find the series a little too ‘light' for their taste. The series has been described as ‘a little too entertaining' and that it glorifies dictatorships.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that the show is not your typical documentary. Rather it's a satirical look at the methods of creating absolute rule. If you're interested in history, sociology, or politics, there are many lessons learned here. However, it might not be appropriate if you have sensitive feelings about Hitler and other tyrants from the past.
I hope you found this review of ‘How To Become A Tyrant' helpful! If you want to learn more about Netflix's newest series, I recommend checking out our Netflix recent releases page.