Swarm review: An intimate exploration of stan culture

Swarm tells the story of Dre, a girl who is obsessed with a superstar, Ni’Jah. As Dre’s life revolves around Ni’Jah, she takes it upon herself to punish those who criticize the singer. The series is now streaming on Prime Video.


Dre lives with her sister, Marissa. The two girls are fans of Ni’Jah, a famous singer, but Dre’s admiration of Ni’Jah is anything but healthy; she is obsessed with the singer.

Dre does not have any friends other than Marissa, as she has never fit in with people her age. When, after an incident, Marissa announces her intention to move in with her boyfriend, Khalid, Dre goes out and sleeps with a stranger.

The next morning, Dre realizes that she missed Marissa’s calls and messages. Marissa found out that Khalid was cheating on her and sought help from Dre. When Dre did not respond, Marissa killed herself.

Marissa’s death changes Dre’s life. She decides to kill Khalid for cheating on Marissa and saying that Ni’Jah is not special. After murdering Khalid, Dre goes on a killing spree, hunting and murdering people who criticize Ni’Jah on social media.

Even as Dre turns into a serial killer, her desire to meet Ni’Jah stays the same. Furthermore, the life that she is living in her head bears no resemblance to reality. Will Dre ever get to meet the woman who is everything to her, or will reality get in the way?


Dominique Fishback is absolutely brilliant in the show. She is capable of carrying the whole show on her own. In a show that is centered on one character, Fishback was able to portray a myriad of Dre’s inner thoughts through her performance.

It is not easy to play a character like Dre, who lives more in her head than in reality, but Fishback made it look so easy. The way she switches back and forth between being a quiet and reserved character and a wild and screaming killer is truly praiseworthy.

Billie Eilish made her acting debut in the show. She seemed to fit the part of Eva very well. With her calm demeanor, she convinced the audience that she is Eva, a woman who can lead a cult by making vulnerable people feel safe.

Heather Simms makes her character, Loretta, stand out. Instead of the protagonist, the show focuses entirely on her character in the sixth episode, and Simms does not disappoint; she is so vivacious that she makes the audience want to listen to her.

The rest of the cast, including Chloe Bailey and Kiersey Clemons, also performed their parts well. The show makers could make the story convincing because of these performances.


The show does not simply depict the dark side of the stan culture; it closely examines it and allows the audience to do the same. The fan takes the center stage, and the celebrity is nothing more than an object of fascination.

It shows the audience how the fan derives their identity from the celebrity. After Marissa’s death, Dre focuses all her energy on defending Ni’Jah, who reminds the audience of Beyoncé, and that becomes the only constant in her life when everything else, even her name, keeps changing.

The show is also a character study. It presents a lonely girl’s motives that drove her to commit murders, and Dre has not had an easy life by any means, but her life story is given as plain facts without attaching any kind of emotion to it.

This show is a satire on modern-day stan culture, and it gets very dark; the cinematography never lets the audience forget it. However, the show never loses its humor, which jumps out when the audience is least expecting it.

While all the other episodes follow the same style, the sixth episode, which focuses on a different character, suddenly adopts the style of a documentary. It is a risk that the show takes, but it works in its favor.


The show’s beginning is slow and not very interesting. This is probably the worst thing about the show. It takes a lot of time to get the viewers invested, and it might be too long for some audiences.


Swarm closely examines the dark side of stan culture. It is also a character study that gives the audience space to analyze the actions and motivations of the protagonist. While it starts off slow, it eventually turns out to be an intriguing story with just the right amount of humor.

Swarm review: An intimate exploration of stan culture 1

Director: Donald Glover, Adamma Ebo, Ibra Ake, Stephen Glover

Date Created: 2023-03-17 21:02

Editor's Rating:

Also Read: Swarm ending explained: Does Dre meet Ni’Jah?

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