I confess when I first heard about Hit & Miss, a British series about a transgender woman who works as a contract killer starring Chloë Sevigny, I thought it sounded awful. Really, every horrible idea you can imagine. A cis female playing transgender – and she’s a killer. And that title: too cutesy. But a Twitterverse conversation with @Tristen1960 and @Doccubus_Nat about the series convinced me to give it a try. I’m glad I did.
It isn’t awful. It’s actually good. It’s just one series of 6 episodes, filmed in 2012. A lot gets packed into those 6 episodes.
We learn immediately in episode 1 that Mia is a killer. We also learn that she is a pre-op transsexual because we see her heading into the shower naked. There are several shots of Chloë Sevigny wearing a prosthetic penis in the series. There are also scenes of her work as a killer in every episode. The killings are neither spectacular nor bloody. They are quick and efficient.
Emotions run deep and are mostly unspoken in this quiet series. People work out their problems on their own without a lot of dialog. It’s a thoughtful and spare emotional landscape.
Mia is successfully working at her violent profession and saving money for her surgery. She is lonely and disconnected. She lives alone in a vast empty industrial space which is a perfect metaphor for her life. Then she hears from an old girlfriend she lived with when she was still living as a man. It seems she had a son she didn’t know about by this ex. And the ex just died of cancer.
She goes to investigate the son and finds him in a farm house with 3 other siblings. There are two sullen teens who don’t remember her well played by Karla Crome and Reece Noi. There’s Ryan, (Jorden Bennie) her 8 year-old son, and a younger girl named Leonie (Roma Christensen).
The remainder of the series deals with how Mia attempts to take care of this group of children. She herself is so broken that she has a hard time with the simplest things as far as child care. She isn’t good at expressing herself. The children are all grieving and each has problems of their own. It all boils under the surface with missteps and mistakes all round. Trust builds between them slowly. Intimacy isn’t something that Mia or the teens are good at. The younger children are still open and expressive, which is the glue that binds them all together.
Mia slowly comes to look upon them as family, something she’s never felt before.
Mia meets a local man named Ben (Jonas Armstrong) with whom she shares some moments of joy and a dollop of emotional pain because of her gender identity.
Mia’s boss, Eddie (Peter Wight) is the man who knows an endless supply of people that need killing for a fee. He keeps Mia working, even as she’s going through the upheaval her new life brings her.
The series is beautifully acted. Chloë Sevigny is marvelous in her part and so are the children. The series was 100% directed by women: Sheree Folkson and Hettie Macdonald directed 3 episodes each. The series was created by Paul Abbott. It’s streaming on Netflix now.