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‘Killing Eve’: Why The BBC’s New Drama Is The Feminist Spy Thriller You Shouldn’t Miss

By Micha Frazer-Carroll

MI5 officer Eve Polastri is played by 'Grey's Anatomy' star Sandra Oh (front) who is assigned to track down assassin Villanelle, played by Jodie Comer.

“I think about you all the time. I think about what you’re doing and who you’re doing it with. I think about what you eat before you work…what shampoo you use.”

On first hearing, the words from the trailer of ‘ has been read as canonically queer, it’s ignited a huge LGBT+ fanbase.

Luke Jennings wrote in the Observer: “Fans of the show began to contact me on Twitter. Most were women, and almost all were LGBT. Their messages were passionate and moving. They claimed the show as their own, they told me.”

This represents some of the beauty of putting out a new creation in 2018, regardless of whether the author planned it, theories and plotlines take on a life of their own and enter into the hands of social media fandoms.

Women seem to see a bit of themselves in Eve. Our titular character is not Hollywood – she’s been described by both Luke and Sandra as “fashion-blind”. She’s all of us in her everyday mannerisms. She takes off her makeup at night and doesn’t put the wipes in the bin until her husband tells her to; and even when she does, she’s going to throw it from the bed instead of getting up.

She’s also obsessive and nerdy for true crime, which, depending on the situation, can be both frustrating and loveable. The sadistic nature of the killer is usually the primary focus of crime dramas, but we often get a look into Eve’s bloodlust of her own, in the form of that morbid curiosity that many true crime consumers are familiar with. When she hears the description of the first “kill” of the series, she remarks “cool,” before realising that she failed to read the room.

Villanelle is the multifaceted version of the femme-fatale we’ve always wanted to see. She has what’s alluded to as an adventurous sex life, as well as a thick Russian accent that she can shed in a second. She also steals the tampons, razors and wigs of her kills. Luxury and indulgence threads through her life – Jodie noted that she’d never eaten so much on camera for a part.

“I think about what you feel when you kill someone,” Eve completes her longing monologue in the trailer. To give due credit, the show does a bloody good job of giving us a window in to just that. Glamorous and traditionally beautiful, Villanelle’s psychopathic tendencies are ones we rarely see in female characters, but we get to see a crack of emotion when we get a shot of her eyes, glazed, wet and frantic, as she watches someone die.

Her kill scenes are also stylised from costume to production, we suddenly find ourselves in Baz Luhrmann-esque moments of intense drama, drawn out by high-emotion music and a heavier hand to cinematography.

Across the Atlantic, the US have had the show since early April, and it was an instant awards success, receiving two Emmy nominations: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for Sandra, and Best Drama Writing for Phoebe.

But it was really to be expected. After the first episode aired on BBC America, the viewership jumped up by 86% – a leap which is virtually unheard of. Between the two episodes, people were evidently talking about the show in a way that was cultish, and went far beyond your average casual Netflix recommendation.

In the UK, we finally get ‘Killing Eve’ this weekend. What should you expect? In short, a new and creative interpretation of what spy thrillers can look like, and how women can look in them. Expect a new show you’ll almost certainly binge watch all at once. Expect infinite range. And expect to see women on screen as flawless and powerful; but also unglamorous, and authentic, all at the same time within the same characters, the same frame, even.

In terms of representation, isn’t that the dream really?

‘Killing Eve’ premieres on BBC One on Saturday 15 September at 9.15pm, after which the whole series will become available on BBC iPlayer.

Via:: https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/why-killing-eve-is-the-feminist-spy-thriller-you-shouldnt-miss-this-weekend_uk_5b97cbc3e4b0cf7b0043c075