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. Photo credit: Colleen E. Hayes/Netflix © 2021

The Woman in the House Across the Street From the Girl in the Window is the event murder mystery thriller to kick of the new year.

Please make sure to set aside four hours before you press play. You need to set aside 196 minutes for this satirical limited series. Seriously. It’ll be over before you know it! This series was made for binge-watching, which is what I did back on January 9. In a perfect world, I’d have been in Los Angeles for the Critics Choice Awards but if I can’t do than, I can spend an afternoon watching the great Kristen Bell do what she does best: solve a mystery. Oh, man–could you imagine Veronica Mars trying to solve this case?!?

Anna Whitaker (Kirsten Bell) is a grieving mother. Her routine is the same every single day: stare out the window while reading a book and drinking wine before taking pills before bed. Let me warn you right now: there is a lot of alcohol in this limited series. The only person in her life trying to help get her life back together is art gallery owner and best friend Sloane (Mary Holland). When a new neighbor, Neil Coleman (Tom Riley) moves in directly across the street, you get this sense that things might change. Could Anna finally be rebounding from her grief? And then it happens. A woman is gruesomely murdered across the street. Or maybe not…because nobody seems to believe her, not even the no-nonsense Detective Lane (Christina Anthony).

Rachel Ramras, Hugh Davidson, and Larry Dorf have written a brilliant satire of the murder mystery/psychological thriller. It’s as if they watched Rear Window repeatedly and decided to satirize the film along with the rest of the genre. I know it’s probably a cliché but this is the best Alfred Hitchcock limited series that Alfred Hitchcock never made. Similarly, Nami Melumad’s score is a brilliant and beautiful homage to the likes of Franz Waxman, Bernard Herrmann and others who work in the genre.

If you’re spending this weekend watching films and such through virtual Sundance, please tread carefully this weekend. Obviously, I’m not going to spoil it but you know how the internet can be. I imagine it’ll be a few days before all of the post-launch interviews run.

The best way to describe The Woman in the House Across the Street From the Girl in the Window is what if Rear Window were a comedy.

CREATORS/WRITERS: Rachel Ramras, Hugh Davidson, and Larry Dorf
DIRECTOR: Michael Lehmann
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Rachel Ramras, Hugh Davidson, Larry Dorf, Kristen Bell; Will Ferrell, Jessica Elbaum, Brittney Segal, Michael Lehmann
CAST: Kristen Bell, Michael Ealy, Tom Riley, Mary Holland, Cameron Britton, Samsara Yett, Christina Anthony, Benjamin Levy Aguilar

Netflix launches The Woman in the House Across the Street From the Girl in the Window on January 28, 2022.

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Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.