Mr. and Mrs. Smith as a series gets top marks from me. The original movie everyone knows was more famous for the hot gossip about the hot stars than the actual movie. The series takes a different look at the concept and turns in something that’s fresh, funny, and delivers killers who are ultimately human.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith stars Donald Glover and Maya Erskine as John and Jane Smith. They first meet when they enter a new home together and learn that they are a pretend married couple. They are actually spies for some unnamed agency. They get their assignments by text message from someone they call “hihi.” They do more bombing and killing than spying, but that isn’t really the relevant part of the story.
The series was created by Donald Glover, who also directed one of the eight episodes. Women directors (4 episodes) were Karena Evans and Amy Seimetz.
I enjoyed the way the series was structured. There were 96 people in the cast. Only six of them appeared in more than one episode. There were the two leads. Others who showed up more than once were Hot Neighbor (Paul Dano), John’s Mom (Beverly Glover) and another John Smith (Wagner Moura) and Jane Smith (Parker Posey).
Every episode involved a new assignment in a new place for John and Jane. That meant an array of guest stars who had one shot at being memorable. Some of those guests stars were Alexander Skarsgård, Ron Perlman, Sharon Horgan, Billy Campbell, John Turturro, Michaela Coel, and Sarah Paulson.
This was an action series, yes indeed, but that wasn’t the important part of the story. The relationship between John and Jane as it developed over the 8 episodes was the true heart of the series. In the beginning it was laugh out loud funny between them as they learned how to live and work together. It grew hot and heavy for a while. Finally the two were anxious and angsty about each other in ways that interfered with their jobs and futures. They actually went to couples therapy (Sarah Paulson was the therapist) and talked about their relationship as if they were software engineers while scenes of their actual work rolled.
Donald Glover and Maya Erskine were perfect in this. Their comedy timing was razor sharp, their charisma as a couple worked. Their action scenes were awkward but bloody. In the end you aren’t sure whether they love or hate each other. You don’t know if they are willing to kill each other or save each other. The ambiguous ending leaves the door open for another season. I’d love another season.
Every episode of this comedy action series is available on Prime Video now. It’s a fun watch. If you take a look, let me know what you thought of it.