One of the things I love the most about Netflix is that they’re not afraid to produce and feature interesting shows other platforms might see as a risk, as while not every one of these projects succeeds, they certainly are interesting. Steve Lightfoot and Erik Richter Strand’s “Behind Her Eyes” is one such project, having an interesting concept, compelling characters, and interesting drama, but middling reviews.
The limited series is made up of six episodes that are close to 60 minutes in length, starring Simona Brown as our protagonist, Louise Bardsley, a divorced single mother who works as an administrative assistant at a psychiatrist office who hits it off with an attractive stranger at a bar (Tom Bateman), who turns out to be the new psychiatrist at her work, named Dr. David Ferguson. The two shared a brief kiss, which makes things a bit awkward, as David is married.
Almost too coincidentally, Louise runs into David’s wife, Adele (Eve Hewson), and they become good friends. Little by little, Louise learns more about David and Adele’s tenuous relationship, as it is clear that David has no more love for Adele, but Adele still loves him very much, but it seems that she is too socially awkward to fulfill his needs and there’s just too much baggage between the two for him to be happy. It’s also alluded to that Adele is mentally unwell, having been responsible for the deaths of her parents, which left her in a mental hospital for a few of her young adult years, in which she met a charming but troubled individual named Rob Hoyle (Robert Aramayo), who is key to the fracture in David and Adele’s marriage.
Further complicating things is the fact that, early in the show, (light spoilers), Louise has an affair with David. And from there, the show twists its dramatic arcs in interesting and entertaining directions until everything comes crashing together in the show’s finale, which is probably the most interesting thing about the show. I won’t spoil it, but it did elevate the show for me from a forgettable, standard drama similar to “Dead to Me”, to an interesting curiosity. Without spoiling anything, the show ends with a twist that would feel right at home with “The Twilight Zone” or “Black Mirror” (in truth, the show probably could have been condensed into an episode of either).
With all that said, the show’s first five episodes have moments where they are painfully awkward, but it does make sense why they’re intentionally like that at the end. And unfortunately, I do agree with other assessments of this show that its main cast could have been developed far better, as while everyone does a great job, huge chunks of episodes 1-5 feel like unfilling, empty filler that could have been used to make the show’s three leads (Louise, David and Adele) more interesting.
This show would have been given a 6/10 score had its ending not been so interesting — though I admit, some might find it incredibly stupid (it gets into science fiction territory). Still, I believe its twist ending elevates it, at least one full notch. Of course, you have to get to that ending to see what I mean, which can be challenging, as this show didn’t really hook me at any point and I felt perfectly happy turning it off and never returning to it had I managed to find something better to watch.
Still, I’m glad I finished it. “Behind Her Eyes” is weird and interesting, even if it’s nowhere near the best Netflix has to offer.
“Behind Her Eyes” gets a 7/10