Killing Eve: How did the BBC’s sharp, innovative thriller get ruined so quickly?

REMOVEsuccess in 2018, New Year’s Eve Killing cut through the confused part of the UK TV scene like a stone through the forehead. Produced by BBC America and BBC Three, this series focuses on the deadly but quirky assassin Villanelle (Jodie Comer) and MI6 agent Eve (Sandra Oh), bent down to catch her. It’s a must-see TV for a while. Having taken several months to arrive in the UK, the US launch was somewhat unusual. In the end, when it came out, it seemed to bring with it some of the styles and inventions of the better American crime movies. The innate processing power that often accompanies even the biggest British horror films can’t be found. Written by Fleabagby Phoebe Waller-Bridge, it’s also a welcome change of the often male-dominated genre: wandering cat and mouse Heatwith plain subtext represented as text.

In Monday, New Year’s Eve Killing begins its fourth and final season. There are several possible reasons for the program to end. First, there’s a burgeoning Hollywood star Comer. There’s been a lot of creative upheaval behind the scenes – the showrunner has changed every season, with Waller-Bridge being succeeded by Emerald Fennell, Suzanne Heathcote and now Laura Neal. But perhaps the biggest reason New Year’s Eve Killing Call it giving up is it’s simply out of the way. The thrill was gone. Its views figures are still solid – although down from the peak of season one – but it has stripped down the cultural conversation, for the sake of a better phrase. For many of us who have been New Year’s Eve Killingbeing the first season, it feels like we’re watching the afterglow of a star that died years ago.

To be fair, the first volume is the tightest and most purposeful New Year’s Eve Killing used to. Its premise, included in its title, is simple and clear. Season one saw Eve and Villanelle get caught up in each other’s psychological orbits; The finale brought them together in a fateful, inevitable confrontation. It ends with the pair sharing a kiss, before Villanelle encounters the business end of a knife. This is TV, however, she escapes – and the whole rigorous process begins again the following season. While there are plenty of other plot themes thrown into the mix – deep intrigues, past traumas, tense twists of trust – Eve and Villanelle’s relationship remains central. of the film and its motivating purpose. But there’s a reason cat-and-mouse horror movies are the most laudable – Heat; Catch me if you can; There is no country for the elderly – usually limited to the short length of a movie. Keep expanding it indefinitely and the whole thing will turn into Tom and Jerry.

I do not know whether the producer New Year’s Eve Killing can be blamed for letting the show persist after its first season; it is probably an oversimplification to assume that the program has become greedy. But it has now joined a club of infamy in the world of TV, with authentic and awe-inspiring sensations that quickly overcame their welcome. Think superhero movie Hero, the swan dived off the cliff shortly after the end of the noisy first season. Or Countrysideestablishes a finite – and actually quite challenging – conclusion at the end of its first season, only to get over it and go on for seven more seasons as a messy, aimless version of itself in the series. past.

It is not a good omen for Russian dolls, the great time loop choreographed by Leslye Headland, Natasha Lyonne and Amy Poehler, released the first part in 2019. It’s a self-contained story with no obvious continuation that won’t betray the ending. end of part one. And yet, it will return later this year with more episodes. Of course, some series manage to eliminate the “unnecessary afterlife” with death. Just look at Search party. During the four seasons of running, Search party seems to lead its story down to some confusing points, building to a point of no return to clarity (a murder; imprisonment; kidnapping). Each time it does, it will change shape, embrace its changed reality, grow in a new and surprising direction.

New Year’s Eve Killing never managed to change shape this way. Instead, it stays stuck on what it did well in its first episode, serving you the same meal over and over, colder each time. What was once a fun genre fascination turned into a dull melodrama. The performances remain solid (especially Oh and Comer, and from the excellent supporting cast) but the plot complexity becomes increasingly hard to sell.

Sleeping with the Fish: Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh) and Villanelle (Jodie Comer) in ‘Killing Eve’

(American BBC / Anika Molnar)

Of course, another showrunner change opens up the possibility of improvement; probably New Year’s Eve Killing will act together in this final paragraph. The fact that it has been confirmed that this fourth season will be the last adds a sense of finality to the proceedings; For the first time since the first season finale, you can really feel the hardships. But it will take more than a few deaths by choice to make the past two years worthwhile. It’s not just about killing Eve – it’s about finally giving her some peace.

https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/features/killing-eve-season-4-jodie-comer-b2022406.html Killing Eve: How did the BBC’s sharp, innovative thriller get ruined so quickly?

Tom Vazquez

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