This is not the normal kind of TV show I’d choose to watch. Being a huge fan of The Sopranos, Mad Men and the like, Netflix’s new 6-part series ‘Behind Her Eyes’ is about as far from my TV tastes as possible. But after seeing it day-after-day top UK’s most-watched on Netflix, I thought I’d have to give it a try…
Behind Her Eyes tells the story of a single mother, Louise, who “enters a world of twisted mind games when she begins an affair with her psychiatrist boss while secretly befriending his mysterious wife.” It stars Tom Bateman as psychiatrist David, Simona Brown as single mother Louise, Robert Aramayo as heroin addict Rob Hoyle and Eve Hewson (who by the way is Bono’s daughter) as David’s stunning and sociopathic wife.
After reading reviews from the usual host of elitist UK TV critics, I was actually bracing myself for some rather shoddy television, something to put on in the background, it struck me as the kind of series reserved primarily for a hangover day when you simply can’t be bothered to pay attention, or the type of mind-numbing TV young teens binge on a Sunday.
But these critics were just wrong, because what a series it turned out to be! It travelled across genres, touching on all our favourite moods of television: rom-com, thriller, horror, sci-fi… There were bits of everything in there, all potently mixed together, but it was structured enough so it didn’t seem chaotic or overwhelming. And ah, that beautiful setting of a sunny central London must have tingled the tastebuds of the housebound public all over the country in the midst of this pandemic.
For me, the rom-com sections were the highlight; the seesawing romance between David and Louise and the confusing tension between David and Adele were a pleasure to watch. The sheer perplexity created in Adele’s backstory provoked such curiosity in me, that I had no option but to click NEXT and go straight onto the next episode. It kept me hooked the whole time and I’m wishing there was the promise of a second series.
Without spoiling anything though, despite my many complements, I must admit, it was a rather bizarre ending. I didn’t see it coming at all. The character I probably liked and sympathised with most turned out to be something straight out of the darkest of horror films. It was odd to watch and quite unsettling, but it was salvaged by expert performances from a cast of relative newcomers who I sense are on the road to achieving great things.
Still, I’m surprised and disappointed by the onslaught of negative reviews I’ve seen. Common criticisms include tediousness, lack of character development and too many unnecessary twists. I even saw one article focusing on the sex scenes, ignoring totally the deep and dark themes of class duality, desire for wealth and psychopathy.
Even further, the discrepancy between the critics and the many positive social media posts from the public is even more shocking! It’s as if the critics are trying their best to venture as far from public opinion as they can.
Ultimately, I’m with the public on this one – superb series, superb cast and a superb start to 2021’s promise of excellent television!
Image Credit: BT