Netflix’s new dark comedy-thriller will keep you guessing

“The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window” review.

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(Graphic Illustration by Brian Peña | The Collegian)

Kadyn Thorpe, Arts & Culture

*Spoiler Warning* This article includes spoilers of the Netflix show “The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window.” 

If you think you understand what’s going on, you may want to think again. 

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“The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window” (yes, it is a mouthful) was released on Netflix in late January. In just one weekend, the deadpan show held a spot on Netflix’s Top 10 list, and people were obsessed. 

As a parody of psychological dramas such as “The Girl on the Train,” the show is filled with twists and cliffhangers that you will never see coming. The limited series is a take on the “suspicious neighbor” and “lonely suburban housewife” thriller genre. Fans of dark comedies, thrillers and cliffhangers will love this show. 

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Kristen Bell explained why people should “devour” the show: “It’s sort of made to be binged; every single scene, practically, is a cliffhanger, … and it builds suspense, like a normal mystery show could, but in increasing absurdity.” 

The series follows Anna Whitaker — played by Bell — a lonely woman obsessed with casseroles living in her suburban home alone as she spends her days drinking and grieving the loss of her daughter and the destruction of her marriage. 

A new “hunky” neighbor moves in across the street with his young daughter and girlfriend. Anna, jealous of the girlfriend, is dedicated to finding out who she really is — that is, until she witnesses a murder in their house one night — but did that actually happen? 

When she calls the police to report the murder, they come to her house to tell her that nobody was found. In fact, not even a drop of blood was found at the scene, so the grisly murder she frantically described to the operator couldn’t have occurred. 

During the show, the viewer has to take everything with a grain of salt. The narrator, Anna, has a pill popping and drinking problem as well as an overactive imagination. Many of the things she “sees” could be due to her imagination, or they could actually be happening. 

No one in the show believes Anna when she talks about the murder she witnessed. This uncertainty sends her into a spiral, and she dedicates all of her time to trying to uncover the neighbor’s past while simultaneously running from her own.

As the episodes pass, you learn more about Anna’s past, but many of the events revealed are not confirmed. Viewers are left with many questions about Anna’s past, like what exactly happened to her daughter? The past revealed about the neighbors can’t be confirmed either, since most of them are imaginary scenarios made up by Anna. 

Yes, this series is considered to be a thriller, but there are points when it is completely absurd. Small, satirical scenes occur throughout the series that leave you asking yourself, “Are you serious?” The comedic relief is dark comedic relief; there are not many funny one-liners in this series, but there are events that happen where you don’t know what else to do than laugh. 

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While watching this series, you will be asking yourself a million questions. The main questions — who killed the woman in the window, and did she even die? — are answered, but in a way that creates more questions rather than satisfying you. The show leaves you on constant cliffhangers with no confirmed answers. 

The last scene in the series provides viewers with a final cliffhanger, so the real question is, will there be a season two? Typically, limited series stick to one season, but nothing is out of the realm of possibility. Bell hinted at a season two in an interview with PopSugar, but nothing is confirmed yet. I hope Netflix continues to ride the psychological thriller train by renewing this series for a season two. Whether that be following Anna as she investigates the finale cliffhanger or circling back and diving more into her past, a second season could open up so many possibilities for the characters.  

We will just have to wait and see if all the questions we were left with in season one will be answered — or if we’ll be left to our imaginations, just like Anna.

Reach Kadyn Thorpe at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @thorpekadyn.