Benedict Cumberbatch shines alongside big fluffy monster in extremely strange abduction drama

Benedict Cumberbatch shines alongside big fluffy monster in extremely strange abduction drama

Benedict Cumberbatch shines alongside a big fluffy monster in an extremely strange abduction drama, Eric, now streaming on Netflix. The series, set in 1980s New York, features Cumberbatch as Vincent, a grouchy puppeteer whose life spirals into chaos following the disappearance of his nine-year-old son, Edgar. Vincent’s grief manifests in the form of a furry, sarcastic monster named Eric, who becomes his unlikely companion.

Eric, a peculiar blend of the Gruffalo and Maurice Sendak’s wild creatures, is a seven-foot-tall beast with horns and a knack for biting humor. This bizarre premise, greenlit by Netflix and created by Welsh playwright Abi Morgan, surprisingly works, offering a gritty yet heartfelt portrayal of parental anguish and the grimy underbelly of New York City.

Cumberbatch’s portrayal of Vincent is both compelling and pitiable. As a man consumed by his own demons, Vincent is a grumpy alcoholic and a terrible husband and father. Despite these flaws, Cumberbatch infuses the character with a raw humanity that makes him relatable. His interactions with the irascible Eric provide moments of dark humor and emotional depth.

The series also delves into a police procedural subplot featuring McKinley Belcher III as Detective Ledroit, an African American cop navigating a prejudiced police force while grappling with his own secrets. Ledroit’s storyline adds layers of complexity, addressing issues of racism, homophobia, and the AIDS crisis.

Eric is not just a tale of a missing child but a deep dive into the societal issues of the 1980s. The series explores themes of mental health, family dysfunction, and the monsters that lurk within us all. Vincent’s deteriorating mental state and his hallucinations of Eric highlight his struggle to cope with his son’s disappearance.

The supporting cast, including Gaby Hoffmann as Vincent’s wife Cassie and Ivan Morris Howe as Edgar, deliver strong performances that enhance the narrative. Cassie, a loving mother trapped in a failing marriage, and Edgar, a creative child seeking escape through his drawings, add emotional weight to the story.

Eric’s unique blend of surrealism and gritty realism makes it a standout series. The monster, initially a small part of the narrative, becomes a symbol of Vincent’s inner turmoil and a reflection of the darker aspects of human nature. The show’s ability to balance these elements is a testament to Morgan’s writing and Cumberbatch’s nuanced performance.

In Eric, Benedict Cumberbatch takes viewers on a strange yet captivating journey through the heart of 1980s New York, exploring the depths of grief, the complexities of family, and the monsters that reside within us all.

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