The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window
After the death of her daughter which destroyed her marriage, Anna struggles with wine, prescription drugs and whether or not she saw a murder of a girl across the street from her house.
Spoiler Level: None
With a title like, The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window, you might think this was a straight up comedy parody in the vein of Airplane or Scary Movie, but the new series on Netflix takes itself seriously. This isn’t as farcical as the above-mentioned films, but more or less plays on the clichés that present themselves in such productions. Anna Whitaker (Kristen Bell) suffers from ombrophobia, the fear of rain. This was brought on by the death of her eight-year-old daughter who died three years prior to the series, which also destroyed her marriage. She takes her medication with huge glasses of red wine, which could cause hallucinations. Through the first two episodes she dreams and imagines several scenarios, culminating in Anna believing she sees a murder through a window across the street from her house, but with her history, will anyone believe what she saw.
I was only able to get through the first two episodes of the series and I have mixed feelings on what I saw. Please remember, that a review is just one person’s subjective view about a production and should not discount or sway any response. The only true way to know if you will like a series is to watch it yourself. The Woman in the House… establishes a great atmosphere using music and sound. The storyline is intriguing. The production value is high, and the performances are stellar. Kristen Bell has an aura about her that makes her a likeable and sympathetic character. You feel for what she went through, even in the absurdity of the situation in which she lost her daughter. She lives a life in fear and is ridiculed by her neighbors who gossip about her behind her back. Tom Riley as possible love interest, Neil, has great chemistry with Anna, but there is a suspicious undertone to him as well. There is a suspicious handy man, Buell (Cameron Britton), who seems to always to be working on Anna’s mailbox, which in and of itself, is kind a weird. How many things can go wrong with a mailbox? Emma (Samsara Yett) is Neil’s nine-year-old daughter who takes a liking to Anna. I am glad that it didn’t take the farcical route and kept the performances rooted in real life, with the situations being satirically made fun of. The parody is subtle.
The series has a lot going for it, but unfortunately production value and acting can only carry a show so far. The tempo of the first two episodes drags on a bit and doesn’t immediately grab the audience. I understand the intention was to manipulate the viewer into not knowing what is real and what is wine and drug induced hallucination, and that takes time, but it took just a bit too long. There is a sensitive balance between action and exposition, and I fear that this show didn’t find that balance. There is a part of me that wants to continue watching, as the mystery intrigued my inner sleuth, but I am not sure I will. There are a lot of shows out there and I am just not sure this one is worth it.
The series has great production value and atmosphere and wonderful performances, but the first couple episodes suffers from pacing issues.
The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window: Netflix and Kill
- Writing - 6/106/10
- Storyline - 8/108/10
- Acting - 10/1010/10
- Music - 8/108/10
- Production - 8/108/10