A New Kristen Bell Series Is A Hit On Netflix

By Doug Norrie | 3 months ago

kristen bell netflix

Kristen Bell knows a thing or two about having hits when she puts out new movies or shows. She’s had a ton of success in both mediums in the past. She’s something of a dual-threat with her on-screen stuff coming off successfully and the voice-over work also garnering significant critical attention. And it looks like she has yet another hit on her hands, this time on Netflix. Her news series, The Woman in the House Across the Street From the Girl in the Window is climbing the charts on the streamer since releasing on January 29th. It’s currently sitting at number two in the television section after just three days on the platform. 

The Woman in the House Across the Street From the Girl in the Window follows Kristen Bell as Anna, a woman grieving the loss of a child and the breakup of her marriage because of it. The series follows some familiar tropes from the thriller genre in that Anna has some issues she is dealing with while also thinking she may have been the witness to a murder. For starters, she has an intense fear of the rain which confines her to her home more than the average person. This “homebound neighborhood watcher” theme is something we’ve seen many times before in a number of different shows and movies. Check out the trailer for The Woman in the House Across the Street From the Girl in the Window. 

And to compound her quasi-shut-in situation, she is also dealing with severe mental issues and possibly substance abuse as well. She spends her days drinking gallons of wine and popping anti-depressant pills that cause her to have hallucinations and just generally have distrust in things she’s “seen”. This latter part is at the heart of the story when she believes she’s witnessed a murder in her neighborhood. Because of this, her life begins to unravel further, though unlike some other movies and shows around similar themes, this one has a bit more of a dark comedy vibe to it.

You can see from the trailer that in The Woman in the House Across the Street From the Girl in the Window, Kristen Bell has some of the same vibes that we’ve seen in other movies like this including Disturbia, Girl on the Train, The Woman in the Window and many others. But again, the difference here is that this one is in series form, so the story plays out over a significantly longer run-time. And here, Bell offers gives off a slightly funnier tone, seemingly inconvenienced by the whole affair, but also unsure of herself enough to not be positive exactly what’s going on. This combination does have the tone lighter than we’ve seen in the past while also fulfilling the need for Netflix to put out mystery/ thriller content as much as possible. There’s a reason this one is performing so well on the platform. 

kristen bell netflix

In addition to Kristen Bell, The Woman in the House Across the Street From the Girl in the Window also features some other key players in the cast. Michael Ealy is Anna’s ex-husband Douglas who just happens to be a serial killer profiler for the FBI. So you have a little chicken-or-egg situation where Anna gathers her assumptions about witnessing a murder. There’s also Tom Riley as her neighbor, the dude she suspects might be picking people off when others aren’t looking. There’s also Mary Holland as Sloane, Anna’s best friend. And at the helm of the series are husband-wife team Rachel Ramras and Hugh Davidson along with Larry Dorf who also all co-created the Melissa McCarthy series Nobodies for Paramount. 

For all the Netflix chart-climbing, the Kristen Bell series hasn’t exactly taken off with the critical crowd. The show is sitting at just 50% on Rotten Tomatoes through more than 40 reviews. The general critique has been the show is much too cliched in its premise while not necessarily adding all that much to the genre. It’s kind of easy to see considering the premise and general tone. Treading new ground in this territory would be a tough thing to do at this point. But for Netflix, this isn’t all that big of a concern. Conceptually, this kind of murder mystery is what a huge segment of their subscribers want to see a ton of. It totally plays that they have this series and we are likely to see many more of them over the years.