There’s so much to like about Killing Eve that I hate to reduce the show to a comparison. That said, I can’t help but feel Killing Eve is the spiritual grandchild of Silence of the Lambs. Based on the Villanelle novellas by Luke Jennings, Killing Eve features an investigator pitted against a brilliant psychopath, and there’s a focus on the relationship between the two. Premiered April 8th, 2018 as part of BBC America, the first season ended a few weeks ago. The story follows brilliant cop Eve (Sandra Oh) on her pursuit of the psychopathic international assassin Villanelle (Jodie Comer). The show primarily focuses on two POVs: Eve and Villanelle.
You’re probably familiar with the ‘cop hunts a serial killer’ formula for this show. We’ve seen it in Hannibal, Twin Peaks, and Mindhunter. What you wouldn’t expect, based on that formula, is just how funny this show is. Killing Eve genuinely made me laugh out loud and has a strong comedic backbone thanks to the outstanding character writing.
The characters are so much more than the cliches we’ve come to expect in the genre and they challenge our ideas of absolute morality. Eve is so much more than the weary cop tortured from years of chasing violent criminals. She’s real, well rounded, and incredibly human. Best of all she’s unique; a real quirky character who fits seamlessly into a genre where such a character would normally feel alien.
This is a classic example of a fresh take on an old story but the quality of the production really elevates the end result. The acting is superb. Sandra Oh is immediately likable, sympathetic, and fascinating in a way few protagonists achieve. Jodie Comer is spectacular as Villanelle and she does an excellent job portraying a complex psychopath. Even that tried and tested archetype of the unthinking, unfeeling evil, gets overworked and completely rewritten by the time the first season reaches its shocking climax. The writing is outstanding. There’s no predictability at all here. The viewer is always guessing, and as the intrigue deepens, the process of seeing into the muddled depths kept me on the edge of my seat.
Music features predominantly in Killing Eve, and in many places, it provides an emotional backdrop to investigation, murder, and espionage. The soundtrack really stands out like it did for films like Drive. I had to download the show’s music because I liked it so much.
Killing Eve will keep you guessing, watching in rapt fascination, from the first episode to the last. The pace is exemplary and doesn’t slow from its breakneck speed for even an instant, carrying us along to a haunting season finale. The ending sticks with me, even weeks after watching the finale, and the memory of that conclusion stirs emotions in me even now.
Original? A fresh take on a familiar idea.
Emotion? A wide spectrum of powerful feeling.
The above picture belongs to BBC America, Killing Eve, and I do not own, nor am I associated with the Killing Eve properties in any way.