WHAT: ‘Killing Eve’
WHY: ‘Killing Eve’ is a show so wildly different from what we are used to for this genre, that it is almost impossible to look away. The characters, both good and bad, are complex, motivated and likable in an off-key sort of way, making it a tricky feat to decide who to root for.
WHO: While not the main character, British Blacktress Kirby Howell-Baptiste shines in her supporting role as ‘Elena Felton‘, the close friend, and confidante of ‘Eve Polastri‘ (Sandra Oh). Howell-Baptiste is a London based actress and writer and is someone to look out for in the future with her excellent comedic timing and complementary acting style.
WHERE: BBC One
WHEN: Now available on BBC IPlayer
Season 1 Episode 1
Going into this new series, frankly, I was excited to see what all of the fuss was about. ‘Killing Eve’ had already been released in America earlier this year and had stirred up quite the following. When it finally arrived here in mid-September, a similar reception greeted it; and I now understand why.
The show had me interested throughout the first episode and looking to move on to the next straight after. Our introduction to the main character Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh) is done early on with such humour and levity that, when the real story kicks in soon after, the gritty and brutal spy VS assassin storyline we all know so well almost came as a shock. The show is both a comedy and thriller, a nail-biting race against the clock from the start.
The opening scene, as all openers to a brand-new series, should, intrigues. We see the emotionless face of ‘Villanelle‘ (Jodie Comer) creepily smile at a child across from her in an ice cream shop in Vienna. When the child fails to return her smile, choosing to smile at the shop’s member of staff, Villanelle copies the more successful smile of the shop worker until the child finally smiles back. But that doesn’t stop her from knocking the little girl’s ice cream over as she leaves. This opener is successful in showing us who this character is going to be for the rest of the series, an isolated, depraved and socially inept woman with seemingly little regard for others. Contrast Villanelle with Eve’s dysfunctional humour and the audience is hooked already. Eve brings light to many hard to stomach situations and is a character you want to succeed, if not only for her ability to make you laugh.
Eve, overall, is just like you and I. She has a loving marriage and stable job that she, like many, finds boring and stagnant. Despite being surrounded by close friends, Eve feels that her life lacks something. Even just looking in from the outside, one can see the stark difference in the drab grey and beige that characterises Eve when she is on the screen and the bright, bold and colourful freedom that Villanelle exudes.
The humour that runs throughout this series works to highlight the underlying similarities between our two main characters. Eve uses her awkward and teasing style of comedy to take away from the boredom and discontent she feels at both work and in her marriage. Villanelle uses her style of morally ambiguous humour, pretending to be dead to scare her handler, for instance, to detract from her similar feelings of the dissatisfaction she feels as an assassin. Eve and Villanelle are so similar in many ways, which is testament to Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s writing style. She has managed to create two characters with fundamentally different core values into a kind of kindred spirit.
These two women exist in a male-dominated field, without it dominating their stories. Instead Waller-Bridge focuses on them both showing a similar indifference to the work they have become obligated to complete. When they meet therefore, it is no surprise that, even in those few seconds of interaction in the first episode, the two form a connection. Both Eve and Villanelle strive for more, and it is thrilling to follow them both as they battle similar obstacles in their attempt to achieve massively conflicting goals; one to kill and the other to save.
Overall, despite suffering from a slow-moving first episode the slow burn eventually pays off. Killing Eve is something that I am thrilled to see more of. Its portrayal of not only realistic but the range of characters serves to set up an exciting season.
WHAT: Yo! MTV Raps UK
WHY: Histed by Poet and Snoochie Shy, the show features interviews and live performances from some of the best UK rapsters.
WHO: Ms Banks and A2 discuss the South London music scene. The presenters speak to 67 about drill music and its importance. Performances by Ms Banks and Youngs Teflon.
WHEN: Tuesday 9th October 11pm
WHAT: Beats Bass and Bars: The Story of Grime
WHY: Grime music has dominated the UK music scene for the past 20 years and has influenced youth culture, music, fashion and has also been heavily discussed in politics. This documentary examines the music genre further by looking at what influenced the emergence of grime, its birth in the council estates of East London and its roots in music culture that began in the 80’s.
WHO: Rodney P
WHERE: BBC 4
WHEN: Friday 12th October 10pm
WHAT: Black Hollywood: They Gotta Have Us
WHY: This documentary by Filmmaker and Photographer Simon Fredrick discusses with what it was like to be pioneers in a White movie World. Fredrick speaks to film veterans and contributors such as Diahann Carroll, Harry Belafonte, and Earl Cameron.
WHO: British/ Caribbean filmmaker and photographer Simon Fredrick
WHERE: BBC 2
WHEN: Saturday 13th October 9pm
WHAT: Snowfall (Season 2 Episode 2)
WHY: Snowfall is a drama set in Los Angeles in the outset of the Cocaine epidemic that spread throughout the region in the early 80’s.
In the second episode, Franklin finds a new cocaine supplier in Teddy/ Reed Thompson who is holding him hostage and under duress and a threat to kill Leon has convinced Franklin to sell the drugs to him.
WHO: Stars Damson Idris who plays character Franklin Saint, a young street hustler/ entrepreneur who is on a quest for money and power.
WHERE: BBC 2
WHEN: Saturday, October 13th 10:35pm
WHY: In 1965 Selma became the battleground of the civil rights movement in the fight for suffrage. Amidst the unrest Dr. Martin Luther King planned a peaceful march across Alabama from Selma to Montgomery, his crusade in the hopes of convincing then president Lyndon B Johnson to allow Black people to register to vote.
WHO: The film stars David Oyelowo as the beloved Dr. Martin Luther King. With Carmen Ejogo as his wife.
WHEN: Sunday 14th October 11:15pm