The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window is a ridiculously long title, and very SEO-unfriendly.
But about the plot, and Anna (Kristen Bell) is a rather complex individual. We first see her making dinner, her actions making me realise she has an overactive imagination. Given that husband Douglas (Michael Ealy) seemingly left her due to her OCD, she does indeed come across as rather obsessive, and has to spend quite some time talking to her therapist over the phone.
She also drinks a hell of a lot of red wine, laments the fact she fell out of the loop with being an artist – and wants to get back into it, but then elements of her past are traumatic. As we join her, she now has her first date in 3 years, yet she’s still trying to move on.
But why deal with reality, when you can just sit by your lounge window and stare at another people across the street.
Moving in across the way, she gets to know new arrival Neil (Tom Riley), and his daughter, Emma (Samsara Leela Yett). But while she’s thinking about him through a drunken haze, she soon learns he has a girlfriend, Lisa (Shelley Hennig), who irritates her in ways that made me seethe – I’ll just give the first meeting as an example, as Anna has some marker pens to give to Emma, yet Lisa takes them off Anna and says she can give them to her, and ends up passing them off as her own gift. It’s all done like a sleight of hand, and drove me up the wall just watching it).
After watching the first episode, I thought that was quite a slow-burner, as it introduces the characters, and based on just that, I wasn’t wholly sold on it. It left me wondering whether it’s going to be a thriller or a daft rom-com between the two leads.
As we learn about Anna in the rest of the series, she suffers from ombrophobia – a fear of the rain, she also fears that people talk about her behind her back, she spends forever getting a mailbox installed – even though but that gives a chance for local handyman Buell to keep coming back into the story, and before long, she witnesses a murder, but as the billing states, “Or did she?”
It’s difficult to say too much about the plot, because it’s a story that plays out, and you need to follow it as it does – the writing, whether for better or worse. However, given how short the episodes are, it’s only around three-and-a-half hours in total, so (mostly) worth sitting through.
The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Windows feels a bit soap opera-y at times. It’s weird – and occasionally ridiculous, but usually interesting, as Anna starts acting all ‘Miss Marple’ in trying to uncover what may or may not have happened.
Thanks to our friends at Netflix for the screener prior to release.
The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window is not available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD, but is on Netflix from Friday January 28th.
Series Score: 6/10
Running time: 20-25 mins per episode (8 episodes)
Release date: January 28th 2022
Director: Michael Lehmann
Producer: Danielle Weinstock
Writers/Creators: Hugh Davidson, Larry Dorf, Rachel Ramras
Music: Nami Melumad
Anna: Kristen Bell
Neil: Tom Riley
Douglas: Michael Ealy
Elizabeth: Appy Pratt
Emma: Samsara Leela Yett
Lisa: Shelley Hennig
Claire: Nicole Pulliam
Eileen: Rachel Ramras
Michael: Christopher Chen
Buell: Cameron Britton
Sloane: Mary Holland
Detective Lane: Christina Anthony
Paul M. Riordan: Michael Hitchcock
Carol: Brenda Koo
Rex: Benjamin Levy Aguilar
Margaret: Karen Y McClain
Bank Representative: Abhi Trivedi
Man in the Nice Sweater: Timothy Davis-Reed
Neighbour: Brandon Paul Johnson
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.