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Peacock Preview: HITMEN

Aug 03 Posted by in Features, Preview | Comments

Peacock continues to add some great international shows to its roster of original programming, the latest of which is the British comedy Hitmen. The series originally aired in the UK on Sky One in March, but makes its debut stateside as a Peacock Original on August 6. The half-hour comedy revolves around best friends Jamie (Mel Giedroyc, The Great British Bake Off, Spies of Warsaw) and Fran (Sue Perkins, The Great British Bake Off, Heading Out), who make a living as professional hitmen. Fran and Jamie have been best mates all their lives, and now they are partners, working for a mysterious, unseen boss known as Mr. K. Each episode finds the women in their yellow van, dealing with their latest target. Their captive-of-the-week is usually a bit uncooperative (I wonder why), and something always goes awry, causing the job to get derailed and some hilarious hijinks to ensue. There are some fun guest stars and targets over the course of the season’s 6 episodes—a corrupt lawyer, an embezzling accountant, a man who slept with the boss’ wife, a sleazy wedding DJ, a former hitman gone crazy, and more.

Jamie is a bit dim-witted, and doesn’t always make smart decisions when it comes to the job. Fran is the more intelligent one of the pair, but has made some bad choices in her personal life. While the women are driving, or waiting on their target, they often bicker, or discuss their latest personal life and relationship issues. Fran recently embarked on a sham marriage, marrying a gay man from Portugal so that he could get his visa, and now her “husband” seems to be taking advantage of her. Meanwhile, Jamie has been dating a seemingly perfect guy name Colin, but for some unknown reason is unhappy with him. As the series goes on, we hear about the latest developments in each of these relationships.

Meanwhile, the duo often crosses paths with another pair of hitmen—usually while dropping bodies off into the canal. Liz (Tonya Cornelisse, Catastrophe) is an intense, overbearing woman who Fran secretly (or maybe not so secretly) has a crush on. Her partner, Charles (Asim Chaudhry, People Just Do Nothing), is a meek people-pleaser and former Army nurse, who constantly allows Liz to put him down and crush his dreams. Liz and Charles seem to be more professional when it comes to the job, and certainly have a much better and more-equipped van.

I found this first season of Hitmen to be a lot of fun. Leads Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc are hilarious and have tremendous chemistry—probably from all those years they hosted The Great British Bake Off together! The series comes from the writers of The Amazing World of Gumball. There is a lot of witty banter and physical humor, and some really fun situations the women find themselves mixed up in. While they may not be the best at their job, Fran and Jamie always seem to come through in the end. Each episode brings in some new, fun guest star as the target the women are supposed to kill. However, my favorite episodes are those involving rivals Liz and Charles. The dynamic between angry, intense Liz and meek, always-positive Charles is hilarious. Plus, there is this fun will-they-won’t-they between Fran and Liz—we know Fran likes her, but is there even an attraction the other way around?

While the episodes are pretty much self-contained, there is a bit of serialization in the relationships between the characters—both those we see and those we just hear about. The season also builds to a fun and exciting conclusion. I really hope this series gets picked up for another season as I thoroughly enjoyed these characters and would love to see what happens next especially given how the season comes to a close!

At launch, all six 22-minute episodes of the first season will be available to watch for Peacock Premium subscribers, while those with the basic free tier should be able to at least check out the first episode.