‘Hit and Miss’ Recap (Series Premiere)
I don’t know who exactly was waiting for a drama about a transgendered Irish Traveller assassin raising a brood of unruly children, but whoever it was, they had the right idea.
“That’s not all, though” is one of the first lines spoken by Hit and Miss‘ protagonist, Mia, and it could basically be the motto of this show. The premiere opens with Mia (Chloe Sevigny) competently and calmly taking out a target — OK, Hit and Miss is about a female assassin. The next few scenes, however, reveal with equal calmness that Mia is also a pre-operative transgendered woman — OK, so Hit and Miss is about that, too. Not even five minutes into the premiere, however, Mia meets up with her affable boss, Eddie, and finds out from him that an old ex-girlfriend is dying of cancer. Is this what Hit and Miss is about? Furthermore, Mia fathered a son with this ex, Wendy, about ten years ago. Is that what Hit and Miss is about? When she finally gets to Wendy’s home, she finds it’s not a home at all, but a farm full of parentless kids that she’s been made guardian of without her knowledge. This all happens within fifteen minutes. The pitch meeting for this show must have been incredible.
The four kids don’t want Mia there, having already carved out a self-sufficient (if dysfunctional) life for themselves — Hit and Miss was created by Paul Abbott, of Shameless, so this aspect of the show is comfortable territory for him. Riley (Karla Crome) is the oldest child and has stepped in as matriarch of the family; she is instantly suspicious of Mia. Next in line is Levi (Reece Noi), who at home diligently carries out farm chores but goes out on the town to record videos of his friend pantsing women. Mia’s biological son Ryan (Jorden Bennie) has slept in a tent outside ever since his mother’s death and is bullied at school, while youngest Leonie (Roma Christensen) cuts the hair off of Barbie dolls and pretends she’s speaking with her mother.
Mia doesn’t know what to do with these kids. Used to a quiet life of isolation and killing people, she takes a break from the tension of the household to go to a karaoke bar (MORE karaoke bars, I think I’m being haunted by karaoke bars) where she meets Ben (Jonas Armstrong, who was previously the star of the bizarre series Robin Hood, he had that strange receding hairline they always tried to hide with bangs? And his face was always kind of a little…full? Youuuu know the guy. He’s okay here though, I guess.), whom Wikipedia tells me is Mia’s romantic interest but he does very little of consequence in this episode. At the bar, she also encounters sleazy John, who hits on Mia after bad-mouthing Wendy and turns violent when rejected. John is having an illicit affair with Riley, is the father of the boy bullying Ryan, and is additionally the landlord to the family’s farmhouse. By the time John rolls ’round to the family home in the last minutes of the show, we have already seen Mia kill three people, so we already know what’s going to happen when he continues to badmouth Wendy, extorts money from the kids, and threatens to fuck Mia up.
Hit and Miss has the craziest premise, and even more crazy details (Levi’s pantsing thing? Riley’s affair with the landlord? Karaoke bars???), yet everything is so calmly addressed that you just go with it. The direction is awesome, and the at-times distant camera complements the bleak Yorkshire atmosphere very well (I keep expecting the kids from Andrea Arnold’s version of Wuthering Heights to roll on in any minute). The kids are fantastic, and so endearing and so likeable; and while Chloe Sevigny is a little uneven at times, overall, she does an excellent job playing this quiet loner of a woman. I think this show would have provided an extraordinary opportunity for portrayal of a transgendered woman by an actual transgendered woman, but Mia’s gender identity is handled well. She will also make you fear stealth assassination at all times in all places, be it a parking lot or your own couch.
Hit and Miss is airing on DirecTV, but has already run a full season of family drama and assassination in the U.K. on Sky Atlantic, sooooo…you know, if you are the kind of person who would maybe possibly know how to acquire it sort of you know, go ahead and enjoy a torrent of assassinations. If you are the kind of person who likes torrential…enjoyment. It’s a torrenty good time. You know? You know. Hit and Miss is awesome, go watch it now!
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