Some relationships and rivalries have stood the test of time and when we think about them, they seem timeless. Relationships like Batman and the Joker, Sherlock and Moriarty, the fellowship and Sauron, Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader - the list goes on and on. These relationships have gone through several mediums and variations. Yet, they are still are sought out because at their heart, they’re timeless.
For its’ success with shows like Sherlock and Doctor Who, BBC America returns with a new series - Killing Eve. Killing Eve is a series starring Sandra Oh, of Gray’s Anatomy, and relatively-newcomer, Jodie Comer. The series is based off of a series of novellas by Luke Jennings (include link to books). Eve tells the story of an assassin, played by Comer, and British intelligence agent, played by Oh, bent on catching here and their cat and mouse game.
First off, I have to praise Jodie Comer, the titular character of the series. Up until this series, she has mainly been a background performer but she grabs your attention with every single scene she is in. Whether she is speaking or not, even her body language and facial tics possess an extension of her performance that few actors can possess. Her performance grabs you and haunts you long after the credits rolling. Her turn as the female assassin and series’ antagonist alone is worth the watch. The series does a really good job at balancing her character arc throughout the course of the series. For the first half of the season, they really dive and showcase just how smart and complex she is as an assassin. Then you take that layer, in the latter half of the season, and humanize her. Becoming a tragic story longing for connection. Comer rises above the challenge of the arc.
Then, you on the flip side you have Sandra Oh. Oh delivers a really compelling performance as well. Her arc also allows for both the good and bad of the series. Oh’s Eve is a wonderful addition to the series serving as the protagonist. Going through an arc that begs the question how far can you push before you break? An emotional arc with great and terrible prices, Oh proves she is not to be underestimated as an actress. Eve demonstrates that she is far more than the friend of one Meredith Gray.
While Oh does present one of the series’ strongest factors, it also delivers one of the weakest. In the series, Eve’s character is married and that in and off itself isn’t necessarily a problem. Until it develops. As a whole, Oh and her on-screen husband, played by Owen McDonnell, honestly don’t have any chemistry. Doesn’t matter what emotions are being brought to life on the scene, there is no spark between the two of them. Instead of creating what could have been a layer of complexity and intrigue for the character, we are left with something painful and dull to watch. Lack of chemistry aside, he’s one of the characters that honestly don’t bring anything to the story as a whole except for Eve’s sacrifice tally.
Aside from the marriage story arc, the series does indeed have strong legs and could every well go down with the same cult following as other BBC shows like Doctor Who or Sherlock. I will say though, there are these weird moments where the series does attempt humor. Sometimes, it does land but overall, it falls flat and creates a quiet and awkward environment.
Overall, Killing Eve (Season One), has more than just strong character arcs to stand on. The series presents a compelling thriller that fuels its’ greatness thanks to performances by Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh. Comer turns in a complex, dark and beautiful arc that rivals some of cinema’s greatest villains. While Oh turns in a compelling performance and rises above her arc as well. The series is bogged down with lack of chemistry between characters and some truly awkward character moments. Being only 8 episodes, the series is worth a look.
FINAL SCORE: 4/5
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