Having invested six hours of my life in this thing—for lack of a better word—I feel compelled to pen a review. There is no question that Hit & Miss is watchable—I watched the whole thing, all six episodes, in spite of the fact that much of what I saw was less than appealing. I viewed two installments of Hit & Miss each of three nights in a row, finding myself unable to resist. Perhaps the best comparison to make would be to a road kill. I simply could not stop watching this production, no matter how unsavory it became. But the question remains: is that a good or a bad thing? The story features a trans gender hit woman, actually a hit man in the process of becoming a woman. She's about half way there, popping hormones and dressing the part, though one glaring anatomical piece remains dangling between her legs. The female hormones have done nothing to mitigate her icy ability to dispatch anyone at any time for a wad of cash. In fact, it is her hits which are permitting Mia (played by Chloë Sevigny) to undertake the expensive sex change, which, it is implied, she would have been unable to afford otherwise. Mia, formerly known as "Ryan", grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, so to speak. We learn among other things that her father was an abusive thug, her family having been firmly anchored in white trash culture. The setting, by the way, is the United Kingdom, so apparently white trash is not a purely American phenomenon.
Suggestions of biological determination abound in this series, which brings us to the radical moral ambiguity of the production, made quite explicit by Mia's discovery that she is the father of a child now parent-less, as his mother has succumbed to cancer. Feeling a responsibility to care for the son whom she sired, Mia moves in with the motley family of bastard children mothered by Mia's former lover—back when Mia was still a he.
The entire series revolves around the role of Mia as she attempts to care for the family of stray kids while simultaneously continuing on as the trusty contract killer of a criminal boss of sorts—he actually seems more akin to an agent, but rather than real estate or manuscripts, he "closes" hits for prospective buyers. Mia's boss regularly calls her to meetings in the upholstered vinyl booth of a seedy café where he pays for previous jobs and hands over a folder of data about the next victim from what appears to be an endless list of persons to be executed for whatever reason was deemed adequate by the person who fronted the cash.
On the one hand, the viewer is pulled to sympathize with Mia as a trans gender protagonist attempting to realize her dream of being a woman—having been, as they say, trapped in a man's body for most of her life. She seems genuinely to care about the children whom she has taken under her wing. On the other hand, the viewer can only be repulsed by the clinical, mechanical conduct of the hit woman, who does not bat an eye at the idea of killing anyone for any reason, provided only that the price is right. For each hit, she dons an eerie "Grim Reaper" black hooded sweatshirt, pants, and boots, which imparts a ritualistic feeling to her fulfillment of the contracts. She works out and trains for the challenges of her profession in a huge empty warehouse, which might be construed as a metaphor for the vacuity of a hit man's soul. The cold, solitary nature of contract killing is more effectively conveyed in classic films such as Le Samouraï (1967), directed by Jean-Pierre Melville and starring Alain Delon; and The American Soldier (1970), directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder and starring Karl Scheydt.
The bizarre, nearly schizoid, character of Mia may be intended to illustrate the general philosophical thesis that people are not black or white but only shades of moral gray. Mia is clearly a repository of moral sentiment and tries to be a good "dad" (more like a mother, given her current appearance), while at the same time supporting the family with funds procured from terminating with extreme prejudice other "dads", and thereby rendering their children fatherless. Does any of this make any sense? Not really. It's not a "banality of killing" case à la Adolf Eichmann, because Mia is not an administrator who "facilitates" the slaughter of human beings by other human beings. Instead, Mia directly and physically causes the deaths of her victims. In some ways, Hit & Miss reminds me of the Pedro Almodóvar film in which the viewer is tricked into sympathizing with a character who has sex with a comatose woman. Despite the fine cinematography of this production, it's all vaguely repugnant, in the end.
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