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The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window

Netflix, January 28, 2022

Jan 26, 2022 Photography by Netflix Web Exclusive
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The mouthful of a title for this eight-episode series from Netflix starring Kristen Bell signals that it might have a sense of humor about itself. The first few minutes also lead viewers in that direction with Bell, who plays Anna, “the woman” in the title, narrating in an English accent and then calling herself out on it and reverting back to her American accent. Tearing into the street for the morning school run in her bathrobe, uncorking another bottle of wine and dumping the cork into an overflowing bowl in her picture-perfect kitchen, her filled-to-the-brim glass of wine, all have a darkly comedic feel.

But then, the neighbor she bumps into while in the street in her bathrobe tells her she needs to move on, a friend calls and leaves a message along the same lines and brings up the fact that Anna hasn’t been painting. She obsessively checks what is presumably her ex-husband’s Instagram. She has an interaction with her daughter then realizes she is imagining the whole thing as the daughter is dead, which starts skewing things in a psychological drama direction.

And then her beautifully designed and decorated house—possibly the best thing about this series—starts becoming spooky. Noises and creaks bring a suspense element into the mix.

A handsome new neighbor who moves into the that is “across the street” provides an instant love interest, at least that’s what Anna thinks, giving the series a rom-com twist.

It takes a few episodes to settle into the fact that The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window, is all of the above. When Anna thinks she sees a woman get murdered in the house across the street, every single interaction and occurrence points to her being out of her mind. She is mixing alcohol with prescription medication, which is offered as an explanation for her delusions. This makes it very difficult for the viewer to follow any kind of credible storyline. Do we trust Anna? Do we not trust Anna? She seems so wacked out, but then she is so convinced of what she believes has happened.

Granted, this sounds like Netflix’s hit series, Dead to Me, but Anna’s sleuthing feels like Bell’s beloved Veronica Mars series. Teenaged Veronica was a lot more together than unhinged Anna, but their use of technology to guide their hunches, following every lead and speaking to a variety of people that assist them before they realize they should probably stop, is extremely similar. Both voiceover narrated series rely on flashbacks to a better time and a traumatic experience that has altered its main character indelibly.

There are two main differences. At no point did Veronica have any doubt about what she saw or what she knew, unlike Anna who is living partially in the real world but a lot in her head, muddled by alcohol and medication. When Veronica solved a mystery, either over the course of an episode or over the course of a season, the unfolding was natural and believable. Everything comes to a head in the final episode of The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window, at which point it turns into a low-grade slasher that is so ridiculous, it is affront to all the time invested in figuring out this maybe-murder. If that’s not bad enough, everything wraps in “happily ever after” fashion, which really is cause for eye-rolling.

The confusion of this multi-genre series and its far-fetched ending is only justified by Bell and her imminent watchability, which works no matter who she is portraying or how shabby the material she’s working with is. Add that to her inspiring, Pinterest board of a house and the half-hour episodes of The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window are an empty calorie binge. (

Author rating: 5/10

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