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  • Hamish Hart

Eric (2024) Series Review

RATING: 7.5/10

BENEDICT Cumberbatch masterfully puppeteers the feeling of grief and sorrow in Netflix's latest mini-series: Eric. And while the six-episode series certainly makes you sympathize with Cumberbatch's character in a unique and meaningful way, several pacing issues unfortunately put a dampen on what could have been an all-time great show for Netflix.

Set in 1980s Manhattan, Eric follows Vincent (Benedict Cumberbatch), a world-renowned puppeteer who has become struck with grief following the disappearance of his young son Edgar (Ivan Morris Howe). As a means of dealing with his agony and growing alcoholism, Vincent creates a friend named Eric, a puppet based off the monster that lives underneath Edgar's bed. His search for his son eventually leads him in the path of Detective Ledroit (McKinley Belcher III), who decides to assist Vincent in his arduous quest to find Edgar, while also dealing with the ever-growing AIDS epidemic.

The series definitely isn't being subtle when it comes to its message, explaining to the audience that not all monsters are ones that we construct are imaginary. Having the protagonist of Vincent be a puppeteer makes the plot that more believable as it can makes so much sense that a man struggling with alcoholism and loneliness, especially one who spends most of his days with inanimate beings, would create one specifically to cope with these ever-growing problems. Cumberbatch makes Vincent's story even more believable, completely owning the role in what is one of his best performances in recent years; the way Cumberbatch plays off his supporting cast, most notably Gaby Hoffman as Cassie, his wife, is incredibly gripping. The couple's relationship is portrayed as a sinking ship throughout the series, always on the brink of collapsing as Vincent's quest for Edgar becomes more desperate. But despite their relationship being a highlight, it is sadly one of the show's biggest let-downs: all because of poor pacing as a result of the show's mini-series structure.

An argument can be made that Eric excels because of its shorter structure, but for my money, the series had so much more to offer. Six episodes seems like the perfect length for a show as offbeat as Eric, but by the time you reach its, albeit, well-executed finale, there's only one feeling you are left with: the feeling of wanting more. And while that can be considered a good thing, I believe you should always want the viewer wanting more from your show as well as leaving them with the feeling that the story you've been telling has a meaningful conclusion - a feeling that I did was not left with by the end of Abi Morgan's creation.

At the end of the day, Eric is an ambitious series that tells a well-constructed story. However, if you're looking for a series with plenty of substance, this may not be one to add to your list. But on the other side of things, if all you're chasing is a short story filled with plenty of twist and turns, Eric will satisfy your needs through captivating storytelling and its gripping plot.


About Me

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Born in Longreach in Central West Queensland, I have undertaken a number of prominent roles across the region such as Journalist and Digital Media for The Longreach Leader, as well as appearing on critically-acclaimed radio stations ABC Western Queensland and 4LG and West FM to discuss all things film.

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