“Hit and Miss,” a new series created by Paul Abbott (“Shameless”) and originally shown
on the BBC, has made its way to the U.S. via Netflix. The series is a prime example of how
programming in the U.K. is much more accepting of issues that may be deemed too taboo to
light up primetime television in the states.
The show is centered around Mia (Chloe Sevigny of Kid’s and Boys Don’t Cry), a pre-op
transsexual who earns money as a contract killer. Her life is quickly changed by a letter she
receives explaining that a love from the past is dying of cancer, and that she is leaving behind a
son that is also Mia’s child, a product of a time when Mia was living as a man. Along with her
roles as a person striving to be comfortable in their body and a hit “man”, Mia is faced with the
reality of becomingg a mmother to an eleven year old boy as well as a guardian to two
teenagers and a young girl.
Image Credit // Freemantle Media
The first episode quickly confronts viewers with the extremely dark nature of the show.
A hooded figure, Mia, follows an unassuming man in a deserted parking lot. In a few quick
motions, Mia fires three shots into the man’s back. The camera then then cuts to her taking the
hood off and applying lipstick in the rearview mirror of her car as she drives away from the
scene of the crime scene, or, as is later revealed, a day’s work. This is a flawless introduction to
the juxtaposition of the callous toughness and soft, femininity that fuel the internal conflict that
Mia faces throughout the series as she strives to adapt to her new life while maintaining the
secrets that lie within the life before motherhood.
The dark undertones do not stop at scenes of Mia performing the violent work that
comes with being a contract killer. Mia’s role as a transsexual in the midst of transformation is a
prominent theme throughout the series, making this a show for those with an open mind.
Although the series does place a spotlight on theis topicissue, it does so in a manner that does
not mock or view Mia as an outcast, but treats the struggles she faces as a transsexual with an
air of informed sensitivity. The nude scenes are not exaggerated, but are low-key gestures
meant to confront viewers with a reality that many people live with every day.
Although the series is often times very violent and intense, there are breaks in between
that serve as a reminder that another prominent theme of the show is family. The most
touching scenes are those that showing the slow bond that is formed between Mia and her son,
Ryan (Jorden Bennie) and the other children as they grieve for the mother they have recently
lost. There are times throughout the show when Mia quite literally risks her life for her new
family, a touching reminder that Mia has finally found a place where she can love and be loved
and accepted. A romantic interest, Ben (Jonas Armstrong) also cuts through the tension and
creates another complex unique dynamic that pulls viewers in.
The poster for the show reads “She’s not your typical dad.” Although this quirky
sentiment is true, Mia proves to be a great “father” despite her own demons, providing a
character than everyone can relate to in some way. Abbott has managed to humanize what
many people wrongly view as a taboo and tugs at hearts and minds in the process.