Killing Eve (2018 TV Series) – Review, as of Season Two

Warning: May contain spoilers. (Duh)

“Killing Eve” is one of those series that perfectly underline my point when I say IMDB reviews should be impossible until the first season of a series has finished. Very usually, a majority of reviews are based on the pilot episode, and never get corrected if the quality of the show changes afterwards, for better or worse.

In the case of “Killing Eve”, the pilot, and even the first half of the first season really did earn the relatively high rating they got on IMDB (Still 8.3 at the time of writing). There was great acting, appealingly shot scenes, a good dose of morbid humor, and the hope of an interesting and entertaining, if not all that smart cat & mouse spy thriller being set up. The plot holes could be forgiven, or rather given the benefit of the doubt in light of the truly brilliant lead actresses and just how much fun it was watching them.

Sadly, all that potential for quality went off a cliff after Episode 5 and continued free-falling through season two, when it became ever more apparent that “Killing Eve” was not destined to be a cat and mouse spy thriller, as much as a teenage angst laden rom-com with the gimmick of female bad and good girls taking charge (and making a point of it constantly).

I’m not sure if there was a change in direction, if a key writer left, or if they took on Dumb & Dumber to ru(i)n the show, but the tone of the show changed abruptly, the humor became more and more blunt, and it frankly just got a lot stupider.

Key Areas of Disapproval

  • (Supposedly smart) People’s actions and decisions stopped making any sense.
  • It has become apparent that what once seemed like seeds of intriguing mysteries to come to bear fruit later were actually never meant to grow and develop, rather just duds intended to lend the appearance of complexity and mystery.
  • One such example is Villanelle (The lead bad girl. Sounds like “Villain”, but female… get it?) and her reluctance to speak Russian, her native language. In the first episode it was said that “she does not speak Russian anymore”, hinting at some traumatizing event in her past that would later be revealed. Well, it turns out the only reason she doesn’t speak Russian is a combination of the actress’ inability to speak a semblance of authentic Russian and the assumption that the target audience does not like to read subtitles, as nothing ever came of that promised storyline and she even starts speaking Russian again without anyone acknowledging her past refusal. She does do a delightfully stereotypical (and wrong to boot) Russian accent when she speaks English though. Not that she needs to, as in some scenes she acts as a Brit and somehow speaks with a flawless English accent, bringing to question her usual fake Russian accent (just why, if you can speak accent free and should keep a low profile!? Other than to let the viewer know she’s Russian, that is.)
  • It’s becoming harder and harder to accept that there are no actual police investigations into any of the murders and the people involved in them, just MI6 doing an off the book spy thing.
  • Vilannelle’s original Handler and friend Konstantin was originally a likeable and reasonable character, but has since devolved into a plot armor laden plot device, reduced to responding to almost any given situation with an annoyingly fake belly laugh and appearing whenever convenient.
  • Finally, Eve, our congenial, kind, clumsily funny hero turned anti-hero seems to have completely forgiven Villanelle for killing her best friend in front of her and is turning her back on her handler (quite rudely, which she should know to be unwise) because she loves Villanelle so much. It’s just… unbelievably ridiculous.

Conclusion

This whole show has just become too ridiculous and dumb to uphold any suspension of disbelief. There may have been an internal change leading to this outcome, or maybe this was always how the show was planned to play out, but the result is the same: Disappointment. The least they could have done would have been to make it suck from the beginning as to not hook us only to let us down.

It’s difficult for me to stop watching a show once I’m hooked, even if the quality declines over time. I usually still want to know what happens next, and there’s usually still some charm left in the characters. The only recent examples I have is Vikings, which just stopped being interesting after Ragnar went coocoo for cocaine puffs, but I still continued watching for two more seasons before I couldn’t take the boredom anymore and completely lost hope that the show would return to a semblance of its former appeal. Hell, I’m still watching The Walking Morons, albeit usually condemned to the background, as I do stuff on my phone while the characters are having another special needs moment or the creators forgot to add a plot while they were busy enjoying the warmth of wearing their own butt cheeks as ear muffs, thoroughly enjoying the smell of their own farts.

However, I don’t think I will be watching Season 3 of Killing Eve, the first episode of which was released yesterday. I simply don’t care what happens to anyone anymore. The end of season two also crossed the limit of how often a character is allowed to be shot on screen only to be perfectly fine an episode or two later (one time, not counting Villanelle surviving Eve stabbing her at the end of season one). There’s no way Eve is not alive at the start of season 3 and I frankly don’t even give a shit anymore if she’s not.

The still great acting of the two lead actresses was what held the show together so far, but every glue has a bonding strength limit, and this one isn’t cutting it anymore.

Recommendation

Do yourself a favor and spare yourself the disappointment of watching this story unfold.

 

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