Intriguingly and briskly plotted and stocked with a great cast, this mystery/thriller series grabs attention and holds it, even if ultimately it's overstuffed with big messages. Catfishing, cancel culture, journalistic ethics in an age of 24-7 news and gossip, the pluses and minuses of living one's life in an age of on- and off-line surveillance: all of these meaty topics and more make an appearance in Clickbait, which unspool Rashomon-style, with each episode taking on the viewpoint of a different character connected to Nick: his unstable sister, his long-suffering wife, a detective assigned to his case, his teenage son, all of whom, it turns out, have secrets and twisty motivations that are lots of fun to watch unravel.
Ultimately, Clickbait wants to make too many points at once, and characters sometimes take a back seat to the ideas showrunners are clearly trying to get across. Yes, we get it, a journalist investigating a hot story can go too far; yes, trusting what someone tells you about themselves online is pretty foolish. Clickbait takes some weird turns while communicating its moral bulletins, and often feels emotionally manipulative and heavy-handed. But as a narrative, it crackles and moves along nicely.