If You’re Not Watching Killing Eve, We Can’t Be Friends
For a while, I thought BBC America was only good for scratching my David Tennant itch, whether through Broadchurch or the occasional Doctor Who marathon. But some weeks ago, while hubby was tuned into the network watching Star Trek, I saw an ad for a new show, Killing Eve. I saw that it was starring Sandra Oh, and I decided to give it a shot. Now, four episodes into the eight-episode season, I am convinced it is one of the best things on TV.
At first glance, Killing Eve might seem like a run-of-the-mill crime drama, but with the traditional male roles of lead detective and scary serial killer going to women (Oh and the beguiling Jodie Comer). However, it’s not just a simple role reversal – Killing Eve really embraces its feminism as it unravels the two leading ladies and reveals their various relationships and motivations.
MILD SPOILERS AHEAD…
In a nutshell, Oh plays Eve, an MI5 agent who goes from bored and underutilized to hot-on-the-case thanks to Comer’s Villanelle, a deadly – and fashionable! – hired assassin who is wreaking havoc all across Europe. Eve has a fascination with female killers generally and with Villanelle specifically, so she is seemingly the perfect person to track her down and find out who she is working for and what their ultimate aims may be. At first glance, the two women appear completely different – Eve has an outwardly conventional life of rule-following and a drab, ordinary wardrobe, while Villanelle travels the globe in designer frocks and then lives the life of luxury in Paris. However, they both contend with men in their personal AND professional lives who are interested in holding them back, protecting them (unnecessary as that might be), and confining them to the roles and behaviors they deem appropriate, if not traditional.
I know I’ve mentioned clothing and fashion quite a bit, and there’s good reason – the costuming in the series (done by Phoebe de Gaye) is exceptional, and not just because of the beautiful couture with which Villanelle surrounds herself (and others…). To me, the wardrobe is nearly as big of a presence as the lead actresses themselves, subtly AND directly tying stories and themes together in a visually fascinating way. Indeed, it’s yet another way that Killing Eve discards the stereotypical crime thriller playbook, littered with beige trench coats and other somber neutrals.
Good news – there is still time to catch up! Episode 5 will air Sunday 5/6 at 8 pm, and the series has already been picked up for a second season. If you’re already watching, what do you think of the show so far? Any favorite outfits? Shout out in the comments!
Betty is a Whovian living in Washington, DC. By day, she is a community servant for Jared Allen's Homes for Wounded Warriors, a nonprofit that builds custom homes for combat-wounded veterans. By night, she has a skincare business that enables her to change peoples' lives while earning extra coin to go to more cons. Betty also loves playing with her pibble (Jack), traveling the world with her husband, yelling about hockey on Twitter, and taking every opportunity to meet new, awesome people.