The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window sounds like a title that someone comes up with after doing a bunch of heavy drugs. That last point is speculative. The penultimate point is definitely wrong because there are actually three creators behind this new Netflix parody miniseries. Those three creators are Hugh Davidson, Larry Dorf, and Rachel Ramras. And their previous work includes a Netflix animation series with the title Mike Tyson Mysteries. I guess that show is about Mike Tyson solving crimes which is more interesting than this miniseries. Before I get too harsh on a miniseries I’m pre-judging, let’s discuss its premise first. The title denotes that it’s a parody of those recent thrillers about housewives or divorcees.
The protagonist in The Woman and I’m not gonna write the full title, Anna (Kristen Bell), is on the latter camp, and she has a phobia of rain. She has to beat that phobia now that she has a new hot brooding neighbour, Neil (Tom Riley). Neil, by the way, looks like a British Chris Watts, and in moving to Anna’s cul de sac, he brings his daughter Emma with him. For a parody, it has enough jokes in the beginning of each episode. And there’s enough variety of humour in those opening episodes. The first one is more physical and the second more subtle and visual. Anna has books in her attic like “You Too Can Be An Artist”. Even though, light spoilers, she’s been painting a decade before the events that the series portrays.
The episodes balance those jokes with actual dramatic scenes that viewers would normally find in the movies that the miniseries is parodying. Bell is actually the perfect actress to lead such a miniseries. I mostly know her from her voiceover work in movies like Frozen and Zootopia, both of which have their comic and dramatic sides, which she displays here. I also applaud her for taking such a role because in doing so, she’s throwing shade on Amy Adams, sparking a civil war of many that gays must fight. Just like Zootopia it’s actually fun to watch her play detective on Neil. The script doesn’t overdo the scenes when she discovers a piece of information that is in front of everyone’s faces but only she can interpret properly.
And going back to the miniseries’ comic side, it lets the other cast members have their own comic moments. The miniseries’ title makes more sense if I explain a little bit more about it without any heavy spoilers. The reason Anna is playing detective is because she discovers that Neil has a flight attendant girlfriend Lisa (Shelley Hennig). And she sees Lisa across the window with blood all over the latter’s throat. So she investigates the murder where she’s the only witness. The cops convince her that it’s just her meds and wine talking but she tries to find the truth anyway. The truth gets her to discover Tom’s past life. These other plot points have their time to breathe in a miniseries format which is quite enjoyable.
- Rated: TV-MA
- Genre: Comedy, Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
- Release Date: 1/28/2021
- Directed by: Michael Lehmann
- Starring: Kristin Bell, Samsara Leela Yett, Shelley Hennig, Tom Riley
- Produced by: Danielle Weinstock
- Written by: Hugh Davidson, Larry Dorf, Rachel Ramras
- Studio: Gloria Sanchez Productions