So So Gay reviews the latest instalment to this original drama from Sky Atlantic.
After the intense lead in with the previous episode, we came back to see Mia and the children as they try to make their new shared lives work for all of them. Hit & Miss continues to be cutting edge without ever really trying, but there were times during this episode where we wished they would stop trying so hard to cause a stir.
Chloe Sevigny’s take on her character continues to move from strength to strength, and we can sense her frustration as she tries to infiltrate herself into this family setting. However the more she tries to reach out, the more she finds herself being pushed away by her adopted family, who continue to have problems adjusting to her as a parental figure. The fact that she is a transexual also remains at the forefront of their mind, and leaves her continually frustrated by their inability to see her as the woman she wants to be. Even though it is hard for the viewer to slip into her shoes as easily as others we cannot help but empaphise with her. That being said, there was one sequence in particular that just felt a little bit too exaggerated – as though it was intended to shock. The show is well written and Mia as a character is brilliant, so there is no need to sensationalise something when it works better as it is understated. There is still something particularly fascination about seeing Mia herself on screen, seeing her fit into her various roles as a caregiver, a killer and a transexual. This episode also marked the beginnings of her dual lives beginning to seep into each other, which will be keeping things interesting in future instalments.
The rest of the cast continue to deal with the new changes to the family dynamic, but at their core the children are still grieving for their late mother. On the one hand they are trying to fight Mia and maintain their independence, but as a unit they are suffering and beginning to buckle under the pressure of keeping the farm going. Meanwhile their wicked landlord is trying to push them out of their home as punishment for Mia’s earlier defiance. While Riley is nursing a potentially cataclysmic secret of her own, Mia’s son Ryan is finding himself more than a little confused about his own feelings about his gender. This led to yet another slightly odd sequence which set off alarm bells for all the wrong reasons.
As we noted earlier, Hit & Miss manages to be fresh and edgy without having to work very hard to do it. There were quite a few instances however which left us wondering what the writers were thinking. The prosthetic penis also came up a few more times than was strictly necessary, which felt like a wrong step considering the first episode kept things deliberately understated. The episode also seemed to suffer from a crisis of characterisation, where Mia seemed to jump from one mood to the next at a high gear which made us feel like we missed something. In spite of those issues, this was a solid episode which continues to be a credit to this continuing series.
Taking the episode as a whole, we do like where we see things progressing. However, if the show wants to continue to do well then it needs to stop retreading the idea of taboo in its own subject matter. Those of us who started watching the series know we are dealing with a transexual killer, and we do not need to be slapped in the face with a prosthetic penis every episode to remind us of this fact. We only hope that the rest of the series continues to perform as well as the original, with a few less mad moments which distract us from what is otherwise an original story.