Eric

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1 season

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An emotionally intense time capsule of urban life in the 1980s as the search for a missing boy reveals private monsters and public darkness in New York City.

Synopsis

Eric is a limited, fictional series that portrays the paralyzing fear of parents whose young son, Edgar, has been abducted and the grueling personal and public search to find him in 1980s New York. Vincent, Edgar’s dad, becomes obsessed with creating a new puppet and alter ego monster, Eric, for his children’s show Good Day, Sunshine, in the hope that it will redeem himself as a father and lead his son home. People from the same community, yet different worlds, are connected in a struggle against the city’s social ills and political corruption that interfere with finding Edgar. At the same time, the “Eric” within each adult character rises to the surface as they confront their own inner vulnerabilities and complicities. Though this series may appear to be nostalgic in its setting, it is far more chilling and revealing in its retrospective look at how we treat and protect each other and how quickly that can fail.

Carrie's thoughts

As a child of the 1980s, I can remember milk cartons with photos of missing children sitting on the breakfast table while simultaneously watching the childhood utopia portrayed on “Sesame Street.” This strange paradox was played out in front of my eyes with heart-wrenching performances by the actors in Eric. Each episode made me want to frantically check on my adult children and thank the universe that they grew up so protected. The mothers’ experiences in Eric especially left me considering the contrasts in approaches to parenting and childhood across generations and all the influences we don’t want to acknowledge that are beyond our control. Though this series could have left me feeling bleak and discouraged, I actually found it reinforcing and hopeful.

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In many ways, Eric demonstrates how far society has come in terms of accepting others, echoing its fictional puppet show message that encourages kids to embrace friendship and kindness despite differences. Yet, the series drastically showcases how far short society has fallen of these ideals despite the passing of four decades (and hundreds of children’s programs). The external threats of violence, discrimination, marginalization, and indifference are as present and scary in the series as the title monster character and the abduction of his puppeteer’s son, and they are just as relevant and important today. Eric reminded me that though Good Day, Sunshine may only be a world for puppets, we all deserve safety and dignity living in the world we’ve got.

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Watch Eric on Netflix!