Following her enormous success with 2016s ‘Fleabag’, Phoebe Waller-Bridge turned her talent to a hugely different project, this time an adaptation of Luke Jennings’ Villanelle novels, and remarkably she found even more success.
I am doing a weekly rewatch of the three seasons of the show and will post a review of the particular season when I get to the end of each specific season, I will review it.
‘Killing Eve’ is a perfect blend of comedy, drama, sex, and tension. Instead of being a cat and mouse game between two men or a man and woman, this is very much the story of two very different women who develop a sudden and unmistakable obsession for each other.
It has the trappings of a classic spy thriller with the stylish assassin killing people in exotic locales and sleeping with people whenever she feels like it, but it also massively subverts the genre by making the agent chasing her an ‘ordinary’ woman, who is also an Asian woman in her 40s, as opposed to the classic mid 30s white guy.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s writing here is superb, as you can feel that influence of ‘Fleabag’ in some of the more memorable and surprising lines, especially from Villanelle, but she also shows what great range she has by building a genuinely great tension and spy mystery that is packed full of shocks and surprises.
The whole cast is great, with legendary performers like Fiona Shaw and Kim Bodnia thriving in supporting roles, but this is very much about its lead two.
After over a decade on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’, many would’ve felt it was tough to see Sandra Oh in another major role, but she absolutely destroys that opinion here with her brilliant lead performance. She has that charming ‘normal person in extraordinary situation’ vibe, per toy nails Eve’s dark and unusual sense of humour, and is also perfect at portraying the confusion and fear she feels due to her growing obsession with Villanelle.
As for Villanelle, she burst onto the scene and instantly became one of the most iconic characters in modern tv, and much of that is due to Jodie Comer’s performance. After making waves as a young star on British TV, this is Comer’s big break.
She imbues Villanelle with such a remarkable sense of fun, childishness, and also genuine evil that it is tough to keep up. Just like Eve Polastri feels towards her, the audience is never quite sure whether they should be terrified of her, feel sorry for her, or fall madly in love with her.
This show has such a great sense of style (costumes and locations) and it really feels like great escapism every time you sit down to watch the twisted games of Eve and Oksana.
*I’m doing a weekly rewatch of all episodes of the show so my review of the season season will go up in a couple of months time.
Rating = 4.5/5