Eric Season 1 Review – Another engaging but forgetful miniseries

Season 1



Episode Guide

Episode 1 -|Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 2 -|Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 3 -|Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 4 -|Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 5 -|Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 6 -|Review Score – 3/5

Limited series are everywhere these days, cropping up to briefly whet our appetites for more in-depth stories than films might offer (while still suting our busy lives). But of course, they’re mostly to satisfy studios’ appetites for a quicker buck. So, does Netflix’s new six-episode crime drama Eric have what it takes to stand out against the ever-growing crowd of always bingeable, sometimes throwaway miniseries?

Not exactly. I don’t see it lasting in our collective memory for too long, although it’s no fault of Benedict Cumberbatch, who does his best to inhabit a poorly written role. He plays Vincent Anderson, puppeteer and co-creator of the popular children’s show Good Morning Sunshine, whose life in 1980s New York and marriage to Cassie (Gaby Hoffman) falls apart when his son Edgar (Ivan Howe) goes missing. Vincent falls deep into a depressive spiral as he attempts to get Eric, Edgar’s puppet design, onto Good Morning Sunshine–convinced it will bring his son home.

Parallel to Vincent’s storyline is a much more dynamic one belonging to McKinley Belcher III as Michael Ledroit, the missing persons detective working on Edgar’s case. As a Black and closeted gay man, Ledroit’s personal life intersects in challenging ways with his role at the NYPD, whose corruption is in full display in its mishandling of the case of a missing Black teenager. Torn between his department’s prejudiced rules and his drive to do the right thing, Ledroit is easily Eric’s most interesting character, and his arc ties seamlessly into the series’ overarching themes of systemic corruption and racial bias in New York.

What’s odd is that a story so concerned with these themes tries only half-heartedly to tie its central character, Vincent, into them. In fact, Vincent and even the titular puppet Eric hardly factor significantly in the main plot at all. It’s not for lack of screen time, but for insignificant arcs that contribute little to the story–causing Eric to come across as a series written for Detective Ledroit that went off the rails in an attempt to make Cumberbatch its star.

There are plenty of twists and turns to keep you engaged when watching this crime drama. Still, Eric struggles under the weight of everything it tries to accomplish–ultimately failing to juggle the mystery, family drama, and social commentary in just six episodes.

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  • Verdict - 6.5/10

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