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Eric series review: There’s more cop and family drama than furry monster in Benedict Cumberbatch-led miniseries

Eric series review: There’s more cop and family drama than furry monster in Benedict Cumberbatch-led miniseries
Eric series review: There’s more cop and family drama than furry monster in Benedict Cumberbatch-led miniseries
Benedict Cumberbatch in Eric

Last Updated: 09.15 PM, May 30, 2024


Eric series story: Edgar (Ivan Morris Howe), the nine-year-old son of Vincent Anderson (Benedict Cumberbatch) a puppeteer and creative director of a children’s show called Good Day Sunshine, goes missing on his way to school, having witnessed his father and mother Cassie (Gaby Hoffman) having yet another row. As the police scramble to figure out what happened to the youngster, Vincent decides that to get his son back he needs to introduce a new puppet on the show – Eric.


Eric series review: The official synopsis of Eric, the 6-part series starring Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead, is quite misleading. It said that it was a desperate father battling his demons in a race to bring home his missing son. Well, that bit is a part of the narrative, but the 6 hours of content is more than just the hunt for a missing boy.

Set in the New York of the 80s, where drugs, racial discrimination, child abuse and homophobia was rampant, cops and politicians are dirty and the rich and mighty controlled all sectors of life; Eric is more about detective Michael Ledroit (McKinley Belcher III) in the NYPD’s missing persons division. Ledroit is black and a closeted homosexual in a long-term, loving relationship with a white man, who, unfortunately, is on his last leg.

A still from Eric
A still from Eric

While looking into the circumstances of little Edgar’s disappearance, Ledroit figures that it may have a connection to an earlier case that remains unsolved – that of a 14-year-old Black boy Marlon, who went missing near a seedy night club almost a year prior to Edgar. As Ledroit does all the procedural legwork in trying to find both boys, Vincent gets working on a new puppet, Eric, a version of Monster Inc’s Sullivan, that Edgar had sketched, which he believes will bring his son back home, while Cassie runs from pillar to post handing out pamphlets with details of her boy.

So, where does Eric come in all of this? For a show called Eric, there’s actually very little of the furry monster with a snarky tongue – a manifestation of Vincent’s fragile mental status that’s also alcohol and drug addled. Vincent is far from being the perfect dad even though his relationship with Edgar is not as strained as that with his father. His process of handling the fact that his son was missing was to pitch the new puppet to the showrunners and then party with the team once it was greenlit. Not really what one would expect from a father desperate to find his missing child.

Ideally, the reaction to that should be – ‘Oh what a self-centred despicable man’. Instead, you feel sorry for the man and hope that he’s able to fight his demons and have a better tomorrow after all. The star of the show, though, is not Cumberbatch; it’s Belcher as Ledroit, as he simmers away quietly about the corruption in his department, racism and homophobia, while keeping it calm and professional at work. And then, when he comes home, he’s a different man altogether, caring with utmost tenderness for the man he loves in his last moments.

McKinley Belcher III in Eric
McKinley Belcher III in Eric

Eric series verdict: Netflix’s show gives you two birds with one stone – a family drama as well as an investigation thriller. I am on the fence if that’s a good thing or not because of all the material thrown at the viewer. But then, there’s Cumberbatch, which makes any transgressions forgivable.


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