Netflix’s limited series are either hit or miss but Behind Her Eyes (2021), its latest British release, is one that belongs to the former category.
Reasons to watch Netflix’s Behind Her Eyes
Top-notch acting: Jaw-dropping acts from all 4 main cast members namely Ewe Hewson (Adele Ferguson), Tom Bateman (Dr. David Ferguson), Simona Brown (Louise Barnsley) and Robert Aramayo (Rob Hoyle).
Overall awesomeness: But these performances only form the tip of the iceberg in terms of awesome content which includes, but is not limited to, an immersive plot, near-perfect pacing, picturesque cinematography, unparalleled direction and unforeseeable twists – especially in regards to the final two webisodes.
The showrunner: Steve Lightfoot – best known for his work as a producer/writer on the shows Hannibal and Narcos and for creating Marvel’s The Punisher – the latter being, in my opinion, one of Netflix’s hidden gems and the reason I opted to watch Behind Her Eyes despite its mixed critical reception on Rotten Tomatoes, is responsible for writing the initial two episodes and the concluding two chapters, and his vast experiences shines whereas there was a dearth of storytelling quality in parts 3 and 4 due to Angela LaManna’s lackluster writing in comparison to the showrunner of Behind Her Eyes – though, to be fair, she has written for many of my favorite shows such as The Punisher and The Haunting of Bly Manor.
Comparison to Gone Girl: If I were to compare this show to a book (it has been adapted to the world’s most subscribed streaming service by Steve Lightfoot based on the 2017 similarly titled novel written by Sarah Pinborough) it would be Gone Girl. If I was to compare it to a TV series that would be HBO’s The Undoing not only because it features a love triangle with a rich, white couple played by Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant, with the racially diverse third person being played by Italian actress Matilda De Angelis, but also because it makes use of similar tropes in the psychological thriller genre: flashbacks intertwined with dreams, every episode ending in a cliffhanger, but whereas The Undoing bettered Behind Her Eyes with its direction and that came as no surprise seeing how it a more famous cast and higher budget due to it being an HBO production rather than a Netflix one. But in terms of writing, Behind Her Eyes beats in on all counts even though BHE’s direction (all episodes were directed by Erik Richter Strand) came across as too generous or too uncharacteristic of a British, American or Canadian miniseries because Richter is better known for his local Norweighan works, and thus, it could be that he had a hard time adapting to the British market.
Reasons to avoid Netflix’s Behind Her Eyes
Episode length: The pacing is fine-tuned but marred by an average running time of 45 to 50 minutes whereas shorter episodes would have better suited the narrative.
Same-old, same-old: Monotony is definitely an issue as some episodes keep repeating subplots over and over again as if to just fill in the running time or meet the production company’s order of six episodes.
Overall, the positive aspects of Behind Her Eyes do overtake its negative factors. It is not as much of a must-watch as other miniseries like Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit or HBO’s The Flight Attendant (which started off as a miniseries, mind you, but a second season not based on the source material has been announced), but it is still superior to its counterparts like The Undoing, so it falls somewhere between a must-watch and a miniseries worth watching, and the final two episodes make it fall more deeply into the former category.