By Dave B.
Have you ever heard of Killing Eve (BBC America)? It’s about Eve (Sandra Oh), a low-level, but highly intelligent MI5 agent who gets recruited to hunt the ruthless assassin Villanelle (Jodie Comer). I had heard of the show, and I knew that it was well-regarded, but besides being vaguely on my radar, my knowledge of Killing Eve was extremely limited and my interest in it was even more so. However, the little voice in my head that tells me when chocolate chip cookies are nearby firmly insisted that I give this show a chance. I’m glad that I listened to it.
The most important thing to realize about Killing Eve is that advertisements for the show do not do it justice. For example, most of the commercials that I’ve seen for it make it appear to be a taut psychological thriller. While it certainly is that in many respects, Killing Eve is funny! In fact, it’s downright hilarious, especially if your sense of humor inclines more to dark, mature comedy. Each episode has at least one interaction or one-liner that made me literally laugh out loud. This points to how truly well-written Killing Eve is. It’s dialogue is fantastic, often managing to be simultaneously witty and low-brow, and always realistic.
It doesn’t hurt that the show’s performances are superb. The supporting cast is on point throughout the series. Oh displays admirable range, transitioning from ribald, to deadpan, to despairing all within a single scene and always believably. But despite Oh’s strong performance, it’s Comer that steals the spotlight. She is…a force of nature. Her occasionally over-the-top take on the manic, brilliant, and completely psychopathic Villanelle is wonderful and it is hard to take your eyes off of her. Every time she is on the screen, the energy level of the scene quadruples. And despite Villanelle’s complete inability to feel empathy for anyone, Comer imbues her with a vulnerability that is both compelling and frightening.
As Eve chases Villanelle around Europe through eight episodes, the strange bond between the two women grows stronger. Likewise, the bond between viewers and Killing Eve becomes more powerful throughout the season. My sole (and very minor) complaint about the show is that in order to set itself up for a second season, it leaves some very interesting mysteries unsolved. Although I find this annoying, I have to admit that it’s also effective, as I am greatly looking forward to the next season (tentatively scheduled to begin airing in April 2019). If it wasn’t already obvious, I’m highly recommending Killing Eve, with none of my usual qualifiers about which type of viewers are most likely to enjoy it. This show has near universal appeal and you should definitely check it out.
I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'll keep doing whatever it is to the best of my ability.