Hit and Miss Episode 1 Review

A transgender assassin and a dysfunctional family prove compelling viewing in “Hit and Miss”

Created by Paul Abbott (Shameless) and written by Sean Conway, Sky Atlantic’s bold new drama, Hit and Miss holds all the hallmarks of a unique series, that puts together a myriad of characteristics not seen enough in current British drama.

Within the first ten minutes we discover the multi-faceted central character of Mia (Chloë Sevigny). who not only is a contract killer, but is also a transgender women. There’s been highly publicised hoo ha surrounding the opening episode (or should i say a certain part of Mia’s male anatomy). In fact there was nothing gratuitous in including the full frontal shot, it merely serves to point out the facts: That Mia is still physically a man so we understood the mentality of the character – and then move on. We also learn Mia has an 11-year-old son named Ryan (Mia’s male name) by a former lover, Wendy, who has passed away from cancer, naming an oblivious Mia as legal guardian to Ryan, and Wendy’s three other children; Riley 16, Levi 15, and Leonie 6.

Mia is a cold, isolated character to begin with, who lurks in the shadows and lives a solitary but regimented life; exercising, boxing and dining alone. When she receives the letter from Wendy, Mia has a new set of obstacles to jump as she comes to terms with having a son, and the hostile rejection from Riley (Karla Crome) and Levi (Reece Noi) who don’t want her there.  At the same time the kids are dealing with their own grief in their own dysfunctional way, ranging from anger to isolation. But with no money or support they are only just keeping the house running, before the electricity cuts out.

Hit and Miss doesn’t shy away from the flaws in each character and tackles sensitive issues without making them feel exploitative and purely for shock value. Mia is a cold-blooded killer, her killings brutal; as is her beating of John (Vincent Regan) the brutish owner of the smallholdings. But there is a determination and a growing affection built upon her love for Wendy and her son. And you have to admire her staying power in the face of opposition she faces from her new unresponsive family.

Chloë Sevigny did appear to struggle with the accent at times, flitting between American and Irish, but it wasn’t so glaringly obvious it detracted from the story, (and i’ve heard a lot worse). Plus the acting and filming style – like the assassination scene at the beginning, in which Mia shoots as the camera pans round is a perfect example of the quality direction. As does the complimenting soundtrack that seems to fit Mia’s character and tone. How will Mia adapt to embracing her humanity as a mother, while continuing her job as a cold assassin? It’s looking to continue being a great series.