Killing Eve

Killing Eve Trailer

Rating: 5/5

“You should never tell a psychopath they’re a psychopath. It upsets them.”

Villanelle – a cold hearted and ruthless assassin.

Eve – the MI5 operative tasked with tracking her down.

As the cat and mouse game begins, a mutual obsession between the two women develops.

One that might cost them their lives…

Killing Eve stars Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer as the characters of Eve and Villanelle, both playing their parts to perfection. As the initially boring and bumbling Eve, Oh is world’s away from her spiky character Dr Cristina Yang in Grey’s Anatomy and has proved she made the right decision to move on from the long running hit US drama. Here she displays a naïvety and innocence that is slowly shed as she comes to grips with her new world away from her desk bound job as she moves out into the field. Having become known for her role in Doctor Foster, Jodie Comer stars in a break out role as the chilling yet slightly eccentric Villanelle. Despite committing a string of truly appalling acts, Comer plays the part with such a delightful wickedness and relish that you can’t help rooting for her. The dark and often tongue-in-cheek humour ensures that Killing Eve is a spy drama like no other.

Killing Eve finished airing on BBC One on Saturday night and, in a clever move, the BBC made the show immediately available on iplayer from the very first episode’s screening. The show has proved to be a huge hit and has previously aired in the US to similar success. The show created history when Sandra Oh became the first Asian actress to be nominated for an Emmy in a leading role performance and the show has been praised for featuring two female actresses in the lead roles. With such a female driven cast, Killing Eve stands out from other action focused dramas and is one of the best shows of the year.

Did you watch Killing Eve? If so, did you watch it live each week or binge watch the whole series on iplayer? Have you read the original book series?

Killing Eve BBC Three Trailer

The Cry

The Cry Trailer

Rating:5/5

[Spoiler Free Review]

“Two faces, two Joannas.”

The Cry stars Jenna Coleman as new mother Joanna, who steps out into a media frenzy in the show’s opening scene. The question of why remains a mystery as the story gradually unfolds through its four episode arc. The first episode weaves through a whirl of multiple timelines, which is often jarring due to its lack of chronology, but is a clever narrative device used to gain a wider insight into the development of the relationship between Joanna and her partner Alistair.

As the story unfolds through each episode, the circumstances surrounding Joanna are gradually revealed with more questions being raised as to what led to these events. Twists and turns are played out to shocking degrees, often with excruciating cliffhangers. With Joanna herself alluding to two sides of her personality in the opening episode, the viewer is kept guessing as to Joanna’s motives and all is not as it seems…

The Cry concluded on Sunday night in a gripping fashion and was full of shocks as the truth behind the story’s events were revealed. The show delivered a fantastic performance from Jenna Coleman, who initially had reservations about the role due to not being a mother herself. However she proved to be the perfect person for the part, displaying a fragile vulnerability as well as a mix of coldness, a sense of detachment from her surroundings and a complex range of emotions. The show must be praised for highlighting the difficulties and pressures of being a new mother and the scrutiny and judgement that they can face, painfully portrayed in a relatable airplane scene that everyone will have experienced to some degree, regardless of being a parent. The show also highlighted the intrusive nature of the press and the impact of media scrutiny and the online world on people’s lives and how destructive those outlets can be, at a time when excessive information can lead to a lack of impartiality.

The Cry is based on the novel by Helen Fitzgerald, which was longlisted for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award. The book has now shot up the book charts as a result of the success of the show. While The Cry had the difficult task of replacing the phenomenally successful Bodyguard in the prime time Sunday night slot on BBC One, it proved to be another must see drama that gripped viewers in the U.K. yet again!

Did you watch The Cry? Did you guess all the twists and turns? Have you read the original novel?

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2 – Episode 1: June

 

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2 Trailer

Rating: 5/5

“Nolite Te Bastardes Carborundorum”

In a world where fertility is rapidly declining, Offred is offered only one option by the new Republic of Gilead: to breed. If she refuses, the consequences are death or a sentencing to the radioactive Colonies. Serving as a handmaid for her Commander and his wife, her main function is to provide the childless couple with a baby. Soon, Offred is complicit in illicit meetings engineered by the Commander, while harbouring a mutual desire for one of his Guardians, who may be an Eye or a source of salvation. With such a precarious position, the value of her life is always a distant threat…

Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel was published in 1985 and is a terrifying concept that is not all that unbelievable. Having studied the novel as part of a Margaret Atwood module at university, I have to admit that originally I couldn’t quite grasp the concepts of her books and so my enjoyment and understanding of her stories were limited. However, after rereading The Handmaid’s Tale, I am happy to say that I completely loved it! Perhaps as we grow older, we also grow as readers. Do you agree?

My reread of The Handmaid’s Tale was in anticipation of seeing Margaret Atwood at the Hay Festival at the end of the month and also the return of the second series of the book’s tv adaptation on Channel 4 on Sunday night. What a return it was! Season 2 opened with a harrowing sequence, played out with added poignancy to Kate Bush’s This Woman’s Work and moved me to tears before the opening credits had even aired. The sheer brutality continued throughout the episode and, for me, makes quite a statement on the horrifying attacks that continue to occur against women all over the world. Sometimes extreme scenes are necessary as a wake up call to make people sit up and take notice or shock people into taking positive action. The violence and degradation depicted towards the handmaids  made me think about so many events going on in the world, such as the barbaric act of female genital mutilation, which has previously been depicted in Season 1.

In this dystopian world where women are merely seen as vessels and need their husband’s signature to acquire contraception, the timing of the show’s return feels eerie with the referendum in Ireland taking place this week. Other scenes in the show highlighted the difficulties and judgements that working mothers face, a challenge that men are never expected to experience.

Season 2 is now working from new source material, with Atwood acting as a consultant on the show. This new and unknown direction will allow for even more scope and development of secondary characters and has the ability to highlight even more topical issues. With women’s rights remaining at the forefront of so many causes and campaigns, Season 2 is proving to be as compelling and relevant as ever.

Did you watch the return of The Handmaid’s Tale on Sunday night? If so, what did you think?