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TV Series Review: Killing Eve, BBC

Benjamin Jackson, MSc Violence, Conflict and Development

Off the back of the highly successful “Fleabag”, English Director Phoebe Waller-Bridge blessed BBC viewers both at home and across the pond, with a bold, innovative adaption of Luke Jennings’ novel. “Killing Eve” is the funny yet gripping story of MI5 agent Eve (Sandra Oh), frustrated by her humdrum desk job yet driven by an acute obsession with female assassins, and Villanelle (Jodie Comer), a ruthless killer – terrifyingly psychotic and schizophrenic, whilst at the same time endearing.

It was a story of cat and mouse, infused with dark comedy, English wit, and sexuality – a must see. Oh’s character Eve is intrepid, expletively challenging and defies her male boss Frank (the hilarious Darren Boyd), who refutes her claims that the killer they seek to catch is a woman. She subsequently risks her marriage through her obsession to catch Villanelle, perhaps more out of a desire to work the mind of her nemesis, rather than have her imprisoned. Comer’s character Villanelle, a skilful assassin, is seemingly incapable of emotion. Her bizarre lifestyle, fashion and kills are evidence of the dark and comic imagination of Waller-Bridge; her use of multiple settings to film the series give the thriller an exotic edge.

“A spy thriller, a story of cat and mouse, infused with dark comedy, English wit, and sexuality – a must see.”

In the process of the hunt for Villanelle, both of the protagonists become possessed by the thought of each other. Throughout its eight episodes, deep undertones of sexual attraction and promiscuity developed between the pair.

“Killing Eve” unequivocally reverses the paradigm of its genre: its protagonists are not only women, but also subtly display feminist qualities. It is of no surprise that this is the show everyone is (still) talking about. It is gripping in a theatrical sense, yet it will surely stay in the mind of viewers for its courageous departure from the archetypal thriller, where men tend to play the lead roles and fall in love with women. It is likely to have positive implications for both the role of women and the theme of sexual liberty in high-profile television in the future.

The full series is available to watch now on iPlayer.

Photo Credit: Creative Commons

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