What to Watch: ‘Killing Eve’ and a Horror Streaming Service
From 'Wolf Creek' to 'Fallet,' this weekend's viewing choices are as scary as they are silly.
Welcome to What to Watch, a series where we tell you the best shows, movies and series out right now, both on networks and streaming services.
What if James Bond got bored? That’s essentially the premise of Killing Eve, with a splash of sociopathic Single White Female in there. Sandra Oh plays the titular M-15 agent who begins a cat-and-mouse game with a truly crazed assassin, Villanelle, just to feel something again. Naturally, they become obsessed with each other, and–as the BBC has officially renewed the show created by the magnificent Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag)–we can all look forward to a second season of murderous best frenemies.
James Acaster: Repertoire (Netflix)
Yes, Netflix puts out a ton of comedy specials, and who has time to watch them all? Lucky for you…I do. And James Acaster is a rare breed: over the course of his four-part standup special, he starts out doing broader bits, those of, say, an Eddie Izzard or Ricky Gervais and gradually morphs his set into something else. Performance art? Anti-improv? Fringe-stream? As Steve Greene over on Indiewire put it: “Existing somewhere in an unclassifiable zone between one-man fringe show, stand-up set, and live sketch experiment, “James Acaster: Repertoire” represents the kind of formal trickery that might happen more with Netflix’s slate of offerings as viewers look for something different.”
Wolf Creek + Platform of the Week: Shudder
This is a little bit of a cheat: Wolf Creek, the TV show, based on the 2005 Australian torture porn series by Greg McLean, came to Shudder in October of 2016. So what if it’s not a new show, though? It’s definitely new to you. Most people don’t watch (or even know about) Shudder, the streaming service originally dedicated exclusively to horror movies, but–per market demands–is churning out an increasing number of original series. Also, they have FOUR podcasts: The Darkest Night (with Lee Pace and Denis O’Hare), its spin-off, Deadly Manners starring Kirsten Bell, Congeria and Inside the Exorcist.
As it’s becoming obvious, Shudder is one of the media brands that popped out of curative obscurity with a pivot into brilliant original content (see: FX, TBS, USA, AMC, TruTV…really, all cable networks.) Though it originally ran on the Aussie streaming service Stan, Wolf Creek is one of those gems; a TV show based on a low-brow horror movie about an evil-yet-jolly bushwacker Mick (John Jarratt) who lures, traps and hunts tourists for sport. That was hard enough of a concept to draw out for two films, but for two seasons of television at an hour each?
Yet Wolf Creek the show–season 1, anyway, season 2 is not on Shudder yet– is a brilliant character study of a sulky teen turning into an entirely different type of species of human. When we meet Eve, she’s being forced on a family outing to the outback after a nasty painkiller habit knocked her out of the running for the Olympics. When Mick brutally dismembers her mother, father and baby brother, Eve’s one defining quality–running–saves her life. But over the rest of the season, she stops running and starts stalking. Eve was aimless in her life before Wolf Creek, sullen and spoiled; after, she’s a woman on a mission and a very high tolerance–ironically–for pain.
“A Swedish detective and her timid British colleague’s attempt to solve a gruesome murder case nets mixed results and miscommunication.” Just when you thought writers were running out of “odd couple cops,” the Brits and Swedes team up to outdo us all. Fallet, which stars Adam Godley (Elliott Schwartz from Breaking Bad, reminding us he’s actually British) and Lisa Henni, and is a “spoof on the Nordic crime drama,” a sentence I find vaguely depressing because of the implication that we’ve run out of all the TV in our own country that at this point. But yeah, I definitely would recognize a send-up of a Nordic crime narrative, because there are so many good ones– Forbrydelsen (origin of The Killing), Bron (The Bridge), Broadchurch, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. The only time you have to worry about the quality of these stories is when they get “remade” for American audiences. Oh, wait.
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