Eric (Netflix)

Eric has his moments, but also becomes unnecessarily convoluted.

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In 1980s New York, the popular Good Morning Sunshine muppets sing about friendship and the power of love. Behind the scenes and behind the fluffy muppet fabric, the truth is much darker. The creator of Good Morning Sunshine, Vincent Sullivan (Benedict Cumberbatch), is trying to drown his inner demons with alcohol in a less than peaceful family life. When his son Edgar disappears without a trace one day, Vincent takes matters into his own hands to clear his name and win back his son's trust.

Oh, and Vincent is also joined by a giant monster muppet called Eric, a swearing hallucination that has arisen from Vincent's guilt after realising he could have prevented his son's disappearance. This is what makes Eric stand out from other similar shows and films, but it also shows the wasted potential behind an otherwise intriguing premise. Eric feels like basically a feature-length film that has mostly just been stretched out into a six-hour miniseries, where after two episodes it quickly becomes apparent that there really isn't that much to tell in those six hours. Thematically, it just treads water and you're waiting for something to happen rather than engaging with the plot.


In addition to the boy's disappearance and his father's horrific behaviour, the show also deals with homelessness and systematic corruption in New York - elements that become central to the story, but which also echo in a void as the design is flat, clumsy at best. The political framing does little to reinforce the basic premise, which becomes less and less important as the series delves deeper into the city's underworld. Unfortunately, what worked the least was the title character Eric. The monster muppet Eric doesn't quite live up to his full potential, as he only exists to constantly remind the viewer who the real monster under the bed is.

That being said, I think there are several aspects that still work. I love the dirty, scruffy 80's look and Cumberbatch is great as both the lead and as Eric's voice actor. I really like the mood, the aesthetic, the music choices and the ambition behind the miniseries. McKinley Belcher III also carries the shaky premise in the role of an honest NYPD cop, who tries to connect his son's disappearance with a similar case that the police force for some reason doesn't want to touch.

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That's why it's such a shame that the series becomes so needlessly convoluted and overly obvious the more it goes on. I would simply have preferred Eric to be in the form of a tight feature film instead, as the mini-series quickly loses the common thread in an attempt to tell more than it can handle. As I said, as a crime series, Eric has its moments, but as a drama series, you mostly wait for it to end.

05 Gamereactor UK
5 / 10
overall score
is our network score. What's yours? The network score is the average of every country's score

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