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The Benedict Cumberbatch Psychological Thriller Series That's Blowing Up Netflix

Benedict Cumberbatch's brand-new thriller, "Eric," is taking over Netflix. The limited series, which features the "Sherlock" actor in the titular role, debuted on the platform on May 30, 2024. Within days, the show began to blow up on Netflix and became the talk of the town on social media. On June 2, "Eric" was the most-watched television program on all of Netflix, making it a true worldwide sensation. Cumberbatch's show is also making waves stateside, standing out as the second most-watched TV series on Netflix USA, overtaking their crown jewel "Bridgerton."

A limited series with just six episodes, "Eric" is a critical favorite that can be binge-watched over one evening. On Rotten Tomatoes, Cumberbatch's latest small screen effort has a positive 71% critics score. "The series revolves around corruption and inhumanity, topics that will thunder in the viewer's mind long after the final episode. Disturbing but profound, the show asks why only certain people are allowed happy endings and what that means for those who won't ever see justice," wrote Variety's Aramide Tinubu in a positive review that also highlighted Cumberbatch's nuanced performance.

Audiences are also in love with "Eric," with users on X, formerly known as Twitter, gushing about its complex themes and performances. "Genius in every way. The writing by Abi Morgan, the impeccable acting, the recreation of 80s New York, the way the storylines weave reality & fantasy. It's got the innocence of a Jim Henson production, an underworld like Dante and tragic heroes like Shakespeare," expressed @OldLondonW14

Eric is a disturbing family thriller with puppets

"Eric" follows puppeteer Vincent (Cumberbatch) as he searches for his missing son Edgar (Ivan Morris Howe) in New York City. As his perilous search through the daunting city continues, Vincent begins communicating with a giant puppet called Eric (also voiced by Cumberbatch). Without getting deep into spoilers, "Eric" is an immersive and complex show about parenthood and trauma that's definitely worth exploring. With just six episodes, "Eric" is a short but difficult watch that rewards viewers who want a unique missing-persons narrative. 

While Cumberbatch didn't initially want to play Doctor Strange, he's consistently appeared as the Marvel hero over the last few years, mostly dedicating his time to large-scale blockbusters. With "Eric," Cumberbatch is thankfully back to his television roots. While the jury's out on whether Cumberbatch will ever star in a potential Season 5 of "Sherlock," his latest Netflix show proves just how versatile and dedicated of an actor he is. 

In a chat with Netflix, Cumberbatch expressed just how grateful he was that "Eric" allowed him to learn a skill as unique as puppetry. "One of the many things I love about my job is this ability to acquire skills that have no purpose in your life other than a moment in your storytelling history as an actor. What a privilege that is — learning how to be a creator and a maker and an operator of puppets," he said. 

Loved "Eric" and need something just as compelling? Check out the best psychological thrillers streaming on Netflix