Hit & Miss
Shameless creator Paul Abbott has once again brought us a drama series that is outside of the box. Sky Atlantic’s Hit & Miss is a heartfelt story which not only deals with broken families but also – surprisingly – transgender issues.
The opening scenes of the first episode focus solely on Mia – a hit woman who lives alone. We see how she keeps herself detached from society, living in a derelict building and doing all her daily activities in the company of just herself. It’s only when we see her taking a shower that we begin to really understand Mia. The nude shower scene explains so much in just a few seconds. Mia is biologically a man. There is no big reveal, not even much script. It is seamlessly slotted in for the viewer to digest. Instantly, we understand what may have led Mia to a life like this – isolated from everyone, lonely. Even when she carries out murders for work she is alone. Efficient, and alone.
When Mia meets with her boss, she receives a letter informing her that her ex-girlfriend – who she was with when she was still living as a man – is terminally ill. Furthermore, unknown to Mia, her ex gave birth to their son 11 years ago. Suddenly, the story breaks away from Mia’s solitary life, as we see her meeting her son Ryan and three other kids who we can only presume are stepchildren. The brood are a feisty bunch, led by the eldest Riley (Karla Crome), who takes her big sister role very seriously and doesn’t appreciate Mia’s sudden interest in looking after them.
The storyline jerked forward unexpectedly at this point, but it was probably necessary to get to the essence of the show. Chloë Sevigny conveys Mia’s character in an utterly compelling way. You just know there is so much more to her that we are yet to see. It is unfortunate, then, that Chloë’s English accent is so perplexing. For approximately half of the episode it sounded Northern Irish, but we are led to believe she is Mancunian. There isn’t much hit woman action in the first episode either, but what we do see is brutal. Mia clearly has a hard edge that offsets her feminine side.
Moving forward, I hope to understand Mia’s motives for deciding to move in with her new family. She could’ve left them to it after she saw that Riley was taking care of everyone, but she didn’t. Was it out of love for her ex-girlfriend? Is it sense of duty? Is it because it may lead her into a life more promising than the one she’s in now? We see glimpses of a maternal nature; is Mia just trying to be a better person? She tells Ryan: “If things didn’t change there wouldn’t be any butterflies.” And that seems to underline everything that this story is about.
Hit & Miss continues on Tuesdays at 10pm on Sky Atlantic