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Amazon's 'Rings of Power' series debut receives review bombs from fans and Elon Musk

Yahoo Finance's Allie Canal breaks down the response to Amazon's Lord of the Rings spin-off series.

Video Transcript

DAVE BRIGGS: All right, some epic battle scenes, both on and off screen when it comes to the new "Lord of the Rings" streaming series. Elon Musk tweeting his disapproval of Amazon's "The Rings of Power." Yahoo Finance's Allie Canal joins us with more. What's going on here, Allie?

ALLIE CANAL: That's right, Dave. There's just a heck of a lot of drama surrounding this series. The Tesla CEO posting a series of tweets slamming the new show. He wrote, quote, "Tolkien is turning in his grave" before adding, "almost every male character so far is a coward, a jerk, or both."

And has an added layer to all of this, Elon Musk, he has long feuded with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. That rivalry has seemed to have reached a fever pitch amid the space race. But Musk's tweets in particular, it's adding more fuel to the fire. When it comes to the reviews of this show, as of today, the user reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, they look pretty bleak at just 39% compared to a critic score of 84%.

Now, these poor reviews have largely stemmed from hardcore "Lord of the Rings" fans who have criticized the show's perceived deviations from the original source material. This is something known as, quote unquote, review bombing. It's a practice where online users purposely hammer a show with negative reviews largely due to cultural or political issues rather than the actual quality of the show. Another series that experienced this was Disney's "She-Hulk."

And as a result, Amazon took decisive action. They suspended user reviews for a reported 72 hours. We'll see if that suspension will continue. Ultimately, sources did tell The Hollywood Reporter that the suspension will help weed out trolls, ensure that each review is legitimate. But certainly from a PR perspective, this is not the best way to kick off this series, especially since it's one that Amazon is really betting a lot on.

RACHELLE AKUFFO: And I will say, Tolkien fandom, one of the hardest to please, so they got their work cut out for them. Now, as you mentioned there, though, despite all of the PR issues surrounding this series, it still drew in a ton of viewers. So what can you tell us from a ratings perspective?

ALLIE CANAL: Oh, yeah, and that's been the bright spot here. Amazon revealing that more than 25 million viewers tuned in globally to watch the show on its first day. That's the best performance ever for an Amazon original.

And if you compare that to HBO's "House of the Dragon" debut, that series saw 9.9 million viewers. So that's a pretty sizable difference, especially considering HBO previously said that "House of the Dragons" was the biggest series premiere in its history. Now you have Amazon saying that "Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power," that's number one for them. So it's this dueling battle of the fantasy shows.

So we'll see how this series continues to perform as time goes on. Amazon, they typically don't release any viewership data, so industry watchers overall are really hoping that this is a new start of a new trend moving forward. Because at the end of the day, I think people just want to know how well these shows performed, especially considering how expensive it was to produce this series overall.

- All right. Allie Canal, thanks so much for breaking that down for us. Rachelle, I know you are a huge fan of this. And when you take a look at the numbers that Allie was just going through, it's very, very impressive. So it's interesting just in terms of some of the reviews that the series has gotten so far. But I think you love it, right?

RACHELLE AKUFFO: I mean, I love it. I'm just happy to see it on. And yes, when you look at the books and you look at some of the deviations, some of it obviously-- people are accusing the show of trying to be woke, but I mean, these are elves and giants are talking tree people. It's OK. We can cast other people. It's all right, you know? We'll be all right. But, I mean, it's visually absolutely stunning. I love it so far.

DAVE BRIGGS: You're saying dispense with reality a little bit when watching a fantasy show! Yeah, that seems about right, Rachelle. My question to you, Rachelle, is-- my thinking going into this was the timing couldn't be worse because, of course, the launch of "Game of Thrones." I thought that might take so many away from "Lord of the Rings" because there's only so much audience for that type of programming. It appears to have almost helped it. Do you have any theory on that?

RACHELLE AKUFFO: I feel like there is a lot of overlap. If you love fantasy-- there's very few people I know who don't love "Lord of the Rings" and love other shows as well. Obviously, "Game of Thrones--" and it caters to a different audience, but when you're thinking fantasy, I'm like, it's win-win. Be glad you have great content that's still getting pumped out. It might not be exactly as you love it according to the authors, but lots of good content out there.

- Yeah. I'm with you, Rachelle. 25 million viewers on its first day. Very, very impressive.