The Woman in the House Across the Street review: Netflix misses the fake

The series feels similar to the 2015 Will Ferrell/Kristen Wiig film, “A Deadly Adoption,” which in itself is meant to be part of the Lifetime movies.

One only has to hear the word salad that is NetflixNew series of “Woman in the house across the street from the girl in the window” to understand what is irritating: movies and books focusing on alcoholic mothers / alcoholic women (the genre is very fuzzy) stumble upon a mystery, are not to be trusted, and must become their own citizen detective. The Lifetime television network is synonymous with these types of stories. And it was the women’s TV channel that was the main inspiration for this Kristen Bell-series begins.

Bell plays Anna Whitaker, a woman who has suffered the loss of her daughter and the destruction of her marriage in one failed attempt. She spends her days drinking, a lot, and often lives in her bathrobe until a man named Neil (Tom Riley) and his teenage daughter move across the street. . Anna is pictured with Neil, but feels that her flight attendant girlfriend Lisa (Shelley Hennig) is not what she says she is. When Anna witnesses Lisa’s murder – across the street, in the window – Anna has to convince someone of what she saw and tries not to end up like that.

The series isn’t based on any particular novel but it’s never entirely clear whether this counts as a cross-cutting spoof of the women in the danger/detective features ( called “The Woman in the Window,” “The Girl on the Train,” etc.). The series looks similar to the 2015 Will Ferrell/Kristen Wiig film, “A Deadly Adoption,” which in itself is meant to be part of the Lifetime movies. Like that feature, “The Woman in the House”‘s humor is too broad to feel specific to this particular genre, and plays everything so bluntly that it never feels like it’s winking. with anything or even the audience must find it funny.

Meaningful moments inspire televised laughs, especially in the way Anna cavalierly recounts the story of her daughter’s death. Suffice it to say it’s related to the Day of Bringing Your Daughter to Work and a man named the Mike Massacre. The other moments, like a potential criminal and Anna going on about the kind of bread she was going to text her husband to let him know don’t come home, are just as funny for the absurdity of it, but that’s the point. moment only once.

The woman in the house across the street from the girl in the window. Kristen Bell as Anna in episode 101 of The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window. Cr. Colleen E. Hayes / Netflix © 2021

“The woman in the house across the street from the girl in the window”

COLLEEN E. HAYES / NETFLIX

As long ago in the field of male advertising as the famous Zucker brothers “Airplanes,” there’s certainly a lot that could be made fun of with a series like this, but the creators never hard enough. As a character, Anna has everything a woman is in this world: alcohol, a tragic past. But there was never any criticism as to why these women were so beloved. Sure, mystery adds interest to Anna’s life, but is that enough to make the genre a popular one with a slew of movies and books? It feels like someone just read these books and assumed that the barbecue casserole was at the core of it all. There are certainly a lot of questions that arise, like if Anna doesn’t paint and spend her days drinking, how can she afford her beautiful home? How does she afford alcohol for that matter?

Bell draws all the characters she’s famous for. She’s a Veronica Mars a little bit with her powers of discovery, a little bit “Gossip Girl” with the narration. She captures that fragile trait that is Anna Whitaker – a sweet mess – and makes you want to spend 20 minutes with her in an episode. She conveys the trauma of Anna’s life, her loneliness, and considering the way the film puts things bluntly, Bell is on par with other actresses who have played these roles, like Emily Blunt. She brings what feels like a rather limited cast. Perhaps because of the pandemic, Anna’s Street has only about 4 people relegated, with other actors introduced through flashbacks. It creates a surreal, dreamlike feel that fits the series, but leaves Bell with everything on his shoulders.

The rest of the supporting cast is solid although some of the choices you’d expect will be playing more than they have. “Mindhunter” breakout star Cameron Britton is a total chameleon in this series as a handyman Buell who has worked on Whitaker’s mailbox for years. Britton has a chance to play a comedic role, but considering his past roles, it’s unclear if the series wants us to absorb that, especially as the series comes to an end. And justice to Janina Gavankar, who gets to play an important cameo in the series where she’s the game but if you put her character in this genre, how could she not be more involved? However, the one who stole the footage was Samsara Leela Yett, as Emma, ​​Neil’s daughter. She’s just so cute and adorable and her moments ultimately make it worthwhile to watch the entire series.

You cannot find anything in “Woman in the house across the street from the girl in the window” that you cannot find in the countless movies that have scattered across Netflix about women solving crimes. Bell is a strong lead, but if the series is to be a transmission, the humor needs to be more consistent. If he wants to play it bluntly, avoid humor altogether. Decide before you cross the street.

Grade: OLD

“The Woman in the House Across the Street From the Girl in the Window” premieres Friday, January 28 on Netflix.

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https://www.indiewire.com/2022/01/the-woman-in-the-house-across-the-street-review-netflix-1234692147/ The Woman in the House Across the Street review: Netflix misses the fake

Olly Dawes

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