The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window arrived January 28 on Netflix.
By Elazar Abrahams
What a mouthful of a title. Unfortunately, the seemingly never-ending name might be the best thing about this dud of a parody series. The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window attempts to be a comedic take on the psychological thriller genre that’s gained widespread popularity in recent years (think The Girl on the Train, The Woman in the Window, etc.) but instead of clever satire, audiences are left with eight episodes of trash television.
The show uses every classic trope you’ve seen before. There’s lot of blackmail, intrigue, murder, and wine. In theory that all has potential to be a funny sendup of familiar narratives, but instead of poking fun at the trite devices, the writers just kind of do them… but worse. That’s not comedy, that’s just lazy writing. And because this is a TV show, the lame jokes get repeated episode after episode. Twists are crucial to this genre, and the ones here aren’t wild or unexpected enough to differentiate this as a parody. There’s a notable exception in the finale which I’ll admit I loved, but if I wasn’t watching the series to review, I would not have continued past the first episode and I suspect many others will do just that.
Kristen Bell is a highly gifted actress, and fans know that she can nail comedy with the best of them. It’s disappointing to see her attached to a project such as this, although as mentioned, this premise definitely had potential in early development. One can see how this might have worked better as a concise 90-minute movie that lampooned other films we’ve grown to love. But alas, we are left with a show not nearly gripping, funny, or clever enough to be successful.
The season finale ends with a surprise cameo and set up for a theoretical second batch of episodes. You won’t care.
I give The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window a C-.