A wildly fun twist on the cat-and-mouse spy thriller.
Genre: Thriller, Action, Drama
Why I watched: I read an interview with Sandra Oh before Killing Eve premiered. I was immediately intrigued (we all know my penchant for well-made thrillers), and couldn't wait to see the wildly talented Oh in her first starring role since she left Grey's Anatomy.
You might also like: Just watch Killing Eve, okay? . . . But I guess you could also check out Jessica Jones for a different kind of lady-investigator show. Or maybe take a load off and watch the two episodes of the Great British Baking Show: Holidays on Netflix.
Between Killing Eve and Bodyguard, BBC has been hitting the spot lately. Written and produced by Fleabag's Phoebe Waller-Bridge and based on the Villanelle novels by Luke Jennings, this series features two fascinating female characters: MI-5 agent Eve Polastri (Oh) and sociopathic assassin Villanelle (Jodie Comer). Eve is obsessed with assassins, and especially a mysterious woman who has left a trail of bodies across Europe. She's determined to catch this "Villanelle," especially after she murders Eve's close friend and colleague. Villanelle, in turn, becomes obsessed with Eve. You can infer the rest.
Except that you really can't. The show offers a surprise at every turn, keeping you on your toes (and making it impossible to browse the internet while watching). Jodie Comer is mesmerizing as the vapid, charming, impulsive killer, who loves high fashion and watching the spark leave her victims' eyes as she kills them. Many fans have expressed rooting for Villanelle, despite her cruelty. And surely her difficult upbringing—which the show dips into a bit—is pitiable. Plus, it feels good to believe that her intentions toward Eve are actually pure(ish), despite her consistently horrible actions to literally everyone else she encounters.
At 25, Comer is nearly half Oh's age and a relative newcomer compared to the more experienced actress, best known (until now, perhaps) for her role as Christina Yang in Grey's Anatomy. But Comer holds her own next to Oh, and the two have terrific chemistry. It's so rare to watch two interesting, complicated female characters grapple with each other in a show like this; it's rarer still that one character doesn't overpower the other. Killing Eve gets this equation just right. The casting, the acting, the writing—they all blend together into a perfect show that feels both familiar and totally new at the same time.
While some critics said the ending of the series spun out of control, I say it was perfect in its absurdity. The last episode was incredible—it surprised me over and over, and that's one of my favorite elements of a show. In a veritable sea of predictable, mediocre, even bad tv (don't get me wrong, I like that, too), I look for the rare show that keeps me guessing, laughing, and gasping. In short, I looked to be delighted. Killing Eve delivered.
Happy Streaming! Grace