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Kristen Bell Defends That Long AF Title Of Her New Netflix Show, And It Makes Sense

Kristen Bell is Anna in The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window.
(Image credit: Netflix)

Kristen Bell’s upcoming Netflix series is already drawing attention, though not as much for its notable cast or captivating premise, but rather for its title alone. The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window is a mouthful, but the actress recently explained why she fought for the lengthy moniker, which was originally titled just The Woman in the House, and it actually makes sense.

The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window is a dark comedy thriller starring Kristen Bell as Anna, a woman who watches the world from her window and possibly witnesses a murder. Sound familiar? This type of psychological thriller with an unreliable narrator has been a successful formula for books and movies for years, but it’s the tone of the upcoming series that differentiates this one, which Bell told TODAY is exactly why she fought Netflix when they wanted to shorten the title. 

I said, ‘No way’ because, here’s a little tip of the hat. This show is definitely a satirical psychological drama. It’s based on all of these psychological novels that were written for women, by women. The formula’s always the same. She drinks too much. She might be mixing it with pills. She thinks she sees a murder. No one believes her. There’s so much formula to it that we thought it was about time that somebody poked fun at it.

The premise of the series sounds similar to other projects in the thriller genre, such as Netflix’s book-to-screen adaptation of The Woman in the Window and the Emily Blunt film The Girl on the Train — to speak nothing of how their thing-in-a-thing titles are reflected in Kristen Bell’s series — and without the amusingly long name, Bell points out there would be no indication that The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window is a satire, though not quite a parody

The plot, in fact, sounds fairly identical to The Woman in the Window, and finding its distinction in the tone more than anywhere else was something Kristen Bell struggled with when figuring out how to play the character. 

That was one of my main problems is I was like, ‘But is it — I’m trying to play it sincere, but is it funny?’ And then they kept telling me, like, ‘Yes, just play it completely straight. Everything around is funny.’

It’s the classic comedy rule — and Kristen Bell has been hilarious in enough movies and TV shows to know — that if you want to be truly funny, then don’t try to be funny. It would be a strange role to play, though, acting within a psychological thriller environment while knowing that won't be the tone reflected in the final project. 

Hopefully Netflix is on top of its autofill game, and no one has to sit at home and type out the entire title when The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window is released January 28. Be sure to check out these other great Netflix shows you can binge now, and take a peek at our 2022 TV Schedule to see which premieres are coming up soon. 

Heidi Venable
Heidi Venable

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Can usually be found rewatching The West Wing instead of doing anything productive.