Killing Eve has it all: crime, humor and action, as well as a diverse cast that’ll please any Grey’s Anatomy or Harry Potter fan. And it’s about to become one of the biggest shows on television. It’s time you started watching.
BBC America has created your new obsession — one they’re so confident in, that they already renewed Killing Eve for a second season before the pilot episode even aired. And they’re right to be so proud of it: Killing Eve has everything you could possibly want in a show.
Did you like Orphan Black’s intrigue? It’s here. Strong, flawed female characters like Jessica Jones? Check. Complex, murderous antiheros like Dexter or Hannibal? Check. Conspiracies like in The X-Files? Check. A variety of locations like in Sense8? Check. Just enough humor to make it all fit together? Killing Eve is the show for you.
Based on the Villanelle novels by Luke Jennings, Killing Eve is one of creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s first high-profile shows. It follows Eve Polastri, an MI-5 agent who finds herself in charge of taking down a mysterious serial killer. It also follows said serial killer: Villanelle, a beautiful and unstoppable psychopath.
Already, the show sets itself up to be a thrilling cat-and-mouse chase, the likes of which we’ve already seen before, but never executed this well, or with two women at its center. Eve and Villanelle draw closer and closer to each other, in a chase where it’s never really clear who is chasing who, and their relationship gains emotional — almost sensual — undertones. Meanwhile, the murders become more and more brutal and Villanelle’s own life begins to spiral out of control.
And as events unfold, it becomes clear that there’s a lot more going on than just senseless killing.
But although the plot in itself is excellently written — with just enough humor to make you laugh out loud, even during the most thrilling sequences — it’s the excellent acting on display that keeps Killing Eve from just being a good show, and propels it to greatness.
Fans of Grey’s Anatomy will relish in seeing Sandra Oh’s Eve, a character that finally puts Oh’s talent on full display as the heart of the show. Passionate, smart, flawed and refreshingly unapologetic, Eve retains just enough mystery to keep you surprised with what she does next — a feat that’s hard to achieve in a show that already has a uniquely enigmatic character battling for screentime.
(Fans of Harry Potter will also be shocked and pleased to see Fiona Shaw, Aunt Petunia herself, take the stage as a character that the Dursleys themselves would have hated.)
But the most stunning character of all, of course, is Villanelle herself, played by actress Jodie Comer, still relatively unknown (but not for long!). From the very beginning of the show, her presence is gripping and doesn’t even lose any of its mystique as you get to know her. Playing a beautiful, raging psychopath in a way that feels profound and isn’t objectifying is difficult, but Comer handles it so effortlessly that she makes it impossible to imagine her in any other role. She plays Villanelle with a kind of Jack-Sparrow-like swagger — but it doesn’t get old for an instant.
The show explores a multitude of locations, mostly centered around the UK and Russia, but making use of many different languages and giving Comer a chance to try out a variety of accents. More than that, it’s effortlessly put characters of many different races and nationalities at the center of the story, in an almost even split of male and female roles.
Is it a bit disappointing that Killing Eve went for the easy way out and made Villanelle and her cronies Russian, like in every spy movie ever? A little. But the excellent execution makes up for it. Killing Eve doesn’t confine itself to a mere crime drama: at times, it feels like a hearty comedy, at others, an action-packed thriller.
The result is that you end up feeling like you’re getting the best of television in one very well-executed show, which constantly goes in unexpected directions, yet never lets you down. It’s proof that great things happen when talented women come together to write, direct, produce and act together.
At this point, it’s obvious that Killing Eve will be winning awards left and right, and become BBC America’s new hit. A loyal fanbase is already forming, and with the assurance of a second season, the excitement can only build from here.
Killing Eve airs on Sundays at 8pm on BBC America.