If you’re anything like me, you enjoy an addictive, fast-paced thriller. Books such as Gillian Flynn’s “Sharp Objects,” Paula Hawkins’ “The Girl on the Train,” and A.J. Finn’s “The Woman in the Window” have amassed a large fan base with stories about troubled women witnessing a mysterious murder in a suburban neighborhood. The popularity of these novels eventually caught the attention of Hollywood and was quickly adapted for the screen to great success. However, for all their addictive intrigue and drama, it was only a matter of time before they would be spoofed. In Netflix’s new series, THE WOMAN IN THE HOUSE ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE GIRL IN THE WINDOW, it does just that.

In THE WOMAN IN THE HOUSE ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE GIRL IN THE WINDOW (which I’ll be referring to as THE WOMAN IN THE HOUSE moving forward), Anna is a heartbroken woman who spends her days staring out the window and drinking bottles of wine. One day she notices a handsome man and his young daughter moving into the house across the street. After striking up a neighborly conversation with them, she begins to feel a small spark of hope. But after witnessing a murder (or does she…???), the fabric of her being begins to unravel as she questions her own reality.

Staring as Anna, actor Kristen Bell encapsulates the vibe of the “lonely, tragic woman” perfectly. Frazzled, troubled, and dealing with unimaginable trauma, Anna is nothing short of a mess. She’s judged by friends for not moving on from her trauma and is looked down upon for her alcohol dependency.  In order to not make these situations as serious as the films it’s making fun of, Bell’s comedic chops are used to her advantage in order to remind us what type of show we are watching. Additionally, Bell’s personality is warm and welcoming which makes it easy to want to go on this journey with her, however over-the-top it may seem.

[Series Review] THE WOMAN IN THE HOUSE ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE GIRL IN THE WINDOW
Kristen Bell as Anna in episode 104 l Colleen E. Hayes/Netflix © 2021
Rounding out the rest of the cast is Tom Riley as Neil, the mysterious neighbor who moves in with his daughter, Elizabeth, played by Appy Pratt; Michael Ealy as Douglas, Anna’s ex-husband; Brenda Koo as Carol, Anna’s nosey and judgemental next-door neighbor; Cameron Britton as Buell, the unassuming neighborhood handyman; Shelley Hennig as Lisa, Neil’s girlfriend, and Mary Holland as Sloane, Anna’s best friend. With such a strong and talented cast, this allowed the series to feel contained and intimate. Had these actors not vibed with one another I don’t think the series would have been as impactful.

Also, working to its advantage is the humor. Since this is a parody about these serious, dramatic thrillers, using humor to offset that was going to be paramount. Luckily in the case of THE WOMAN IN THE HOUSE, the majority of the jokes and tropes used landed well. Making sure not to cross the line into the outrageously silly territory was a fine line to ride but overall the execution was successful. I applaud the actors for the strength it must have taken to not laugh at the dialogue during every take.

The only downfall to THE WOMAN IN THE HOUSE is that if you’re familiar with these types of films and the tropes used, it’s easy to put together all the pieces of the puzzle. Initially, this can be frustrating but this series has so many twists and turns that it will keep viewers engaged and on their toes. The upside to this, however, is finding all the easter eggs throughout. I’m not sure if that was intentional but there are sprinkles of Gone Girl, A Simple Favor, and “YOU” mixed within. I mean, come on, Tom Riley looks exactly like YOU’s sociopathic protagonist, Joe Goldberg.

Overall, THE WOMAN IN THE HOUSE executes its parody successfully with a breezy murder mystery that has oodles of humor, intrigue, and murder. If you’re staying in this weekend and need something fun to binge, this is it. With only eight, 30-minute long episodes it’s a welcome, fun break from the horrors of the world. So, grab a bottle of wine and some homemade chicken casserole and settle in for a night of absurd entertainment.

THE WOMAN IN THE HOUSE ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE GIRL IN THE WINDOW is now available exclusively on Netflix.

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