This gripping new original drama series from Sky Atlantic manages to create an amazingly subtle yet bold drama. What’s unusual about the premise however is that it’s about a transsexual hitman, giving it life in a very real and believable way.
From the second the show opens, Hit and Miss sets itself apart from other television programmes by completely embracing the stark reality of its subject matter. Mia, played pitch perfectly by Chloe Sevigny, is far from the elaborate charisma of Beatrix Kiddo from Kill Bill as one might expect and neither does she embody the panache of a graceful warrior assassin like in House of Flying Daggers. She is a hired gun, and there is no fanfare of flash in the work, just a cruel precision which makes her the best at what she does. The opening few minutes of this drama were all we needed to become almost instantly hooked.
As we follow Mia’s story it becomes apparent almost immediately that she is walking a very fine line between multiple lives. As a surrogate parent for a gang of misfit children she is the uneasy support figure, struggling with her identity as well as her responsibilities. As a transsexual, she longs to embrace her femininity and the woman she is becoming. As a killer, cold and mechanical, Mia finds herself beginning to see the humanity of her victims, and the families they leave behind when she has paid them a visit. The character is given real depth and complexity making her so engrossing you can hardly wait for her to come on screen again. Sevigny’s elegant yet brassy portrayal which really is the heart and soul of this production.
The sweeping shots of the countryside and the visuals we have on offer hear really are a treat for the eye, and manage to evoke a naturally harsh beauty which is reflected in the cast as well. We also think that the actors portraying the children were understated and just vulnerable enough that we empathise with their plight and want to reach out to them. It is a rare occasion where a TV show can manage this, and we are thrilled that they got the balance here.
When making a drama about a transsexual character there are inevitable concerns, especially when it comes to the portrayal and attitudes towards the main character. Indeed early drafts of the script indicated that the transsexual aspect was going to be an ever present theme and mentioned so many times that it bordered on childishness. Thankfully this was reigned in and now the subject is dealt with in a more subtle way with a sensitive approach that will go a long way to appealing to the transsexual community.
The main question we have to ask ourselves is this, was the first episode of Hit and Miss any good? The answer is a resounding yes! The brutal visuals couples with the honest acting by the phenomenal lead makes this an amazing show to watch, and we will be following it right here with intense fervour over the next six weeks.
Hit and Miss premieres May 22 at 10pm on Sky Atlantic and will air Tuesday.
Featured image: Chloe Sevigny as Mia. Photograph: Courtesy of Sky Atlantic.