Eric (2024 Netflix) 

By: Rachel Brodeur

In an intense drama by Netflix, Benedict Cumberbatch plays lead character, Vincent, as he fights both real and invisible monsters in the harsh streets of 1980s New York City. 

Cumberbatch is known for playing nuanced characters (The Imitation Game, Doctor Strange) and Vincent may be his best to date. Vincent is the temperamental visionary and puppeteer behind a fictional children’s show, “Good Day, Sunshine” that encourages children to be kind to one another and feel the sunshine in the streets. But Vincent’s own life is not so sunny. Cracks in his troubled marriage, issues with his family, problems at work, it all pales to the very real problem Vincent faces when his nine year old son, Edgar, goes missing. 

In this 1980s period piece, there are no mobile phones to reach or track people, the faces of missing children are on milk cartons, and people rely on evening news broadcasts that fill them with fear of AIDS, crack, and a changing world. 

Like any good investigative drama, Eric unveils layers of subculture, crime, and desperation that most people prefer not to see. In much the same way “Good Day Sunshine '' portrays an urban utopia of muppets and men that isn’t the reality of the city, it becomes clear that almost everyone is holding up a mask to hide something they’re afraid of letting the world see. No one is without their invisible demon. The key to unlocking the mystery seems to lie in Edgar’s drawings of a character he names Eric. 

Eric is about a missing child in a city full of crime, homelessness and secrets. It is dark. It is uncomfortable, but it’s not bleak. There are always characters to root for, and hope for, and each episode carries with it a surprise that will keep a viewer engaged. The theme song to “Good Day, Sunshine” tells people to be different, and this show truly is different in a spectacular way. 

Rachel’s Rating: 9/10   Benedict Cumberbatch proves his star power on the Netflix stage in Eric. His dynamic performance as the father of a missing child carries the audience through a compelling investigation that uncovers the real demons of 1980s New York City.