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No, We Will Not Stop Talking About Killing Eve

by and  | April 17
Killing Eve

We (specifically Nicole and Shefali) love Killing Eve. You love Killing Eve—which is why you’re here. Let’s all love Killing Eve together.

(If you have not yet started watching this incredible show, we have a whole argument as to why you should.)

Here are 10 reasons we love this show, and 4 books you should pick up that’ll scratch that Killing Eve-itch in between episodes!

  1. Nicole: EMMY AWARD WINNER SANDRA FUCKING OH. The year was 2001, and 14-year-old me fell in love with a little movie called The Princess Diaries. Sandra Oh’s Vice Principal Gupta, with limited screen time, managed to deliver one of the funniest one-sided phone conversations I have ever seen: “Gupta. Mmhm. Mmhm. Mmhm.” *slams phone* “The Queen is coming.” MASTERFUL! You can’t teach that kind of comedic timing! Sandra’s delivery slayed me week in and week out throughout her entire stint on Grey’s Anatomy. (You know you’ve used the “Somebody sedate me!” GIF more than once.) But it wasn’t until Killing Eve that I think Sandra found a role that was perfectly suited to her range. She plays Eve Polastri, the titular character, who finds herself in a cat and mouse game with the elusive yet intoxicating Villanelle. Throughout Oh’s performance, she gives us both drama and comedy in a way only she can…and she keeps us coming back for more.

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  1. Shefali: I’m falling over myself to applaud this show because there are women in front of and behind the camera doing an absolutely killer job (yes, I went there). I’ll wax poetic about the head writer a bit more later on, but to see a show with not one but two female leads, one of them a WOC no less, in the (male-dominated) suspense-thriller-spy genre no less, with female characters doing as they dang well please, and never running around to serve the male gaze no less—why, it brings me to tears. Thank you, women of Killing Eve.

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  1. Nicole: Representation. As a queer woman who loves* (*is borderline obsessed with) television, I’m very invested in seeking out and supporting media that portrays queer love, queer relationships, and queer characters in a positive light. To me, that doesn’t mean they’re always the heroes, but fully fleshed out characters whose queerness is important, yet does not completely define who they are. Each and every ad and promo featuring Eve and Villanelle got my queer heart racing with excitement. Would the show actually go there?! If it does, will the duo leave us heartbroken?! Their relationship is one of mutual obsession, and while Villanelle is openly bisexual, Eve’s sexuality has not yet been confirmed (but I mean, their CHEMISTRY!). Killing Eve could have fallen into queerbaiting territory, but instead they gave us a beautiful journey culminating in a Season 1 finale scene where the two confess their feelings for each other in a way that is somehow both clear and ambiguous at the same time.

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  1. Shefali: I’m really just here to echo Nicole’s first point because, um, Sandra Oh is everything! And don’t you forget it. From her work in indie selects like Sideways and Meditation Park, to her role in The Princess Diaries (Nicole is right, Sandy Oh will always be my Vice Principal), it’s been clear for years that Sandra Oh had depths of potential that just needed the right role. And now we have Eve Polastri, hero, worker, trying to save the world—but also just crazy and obsessive enough that she’d cut herself with a knife just to understand how one of Villanelle’s victims bled out. I cannot wait to watch Sandra Oh continue to grow into this amazing role!

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  1. Nicole: Multifaceted storytelling. Killing Eve masterfully gives us a spy drama mixed with a comedy mixed with ultimately a love story! And none of those very distinct genres gets the shaft from the actors or writers.

 

  1. Shefali: I love how fucking weird Villanelle is. Sure, she kills people, but her energy is 100% about doing what she desires—and watching her be fickle and impulsive is kind of liberating in its own way?! Sure, she’s not a *good* person, but she’s a woman who does what she wants—and that is empowering to watch. (Maybe I need to be more fickle is the lesson here?!)

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  1. Nicole: Jodie Comer’s portrayal of Villanelle—I completely agree with Shefali on this one, and so much of Villanelle’s appeal is due to Jodie Comer’s brilliant performance. Somehow she manages to make Villanelle a relatable and, dare I say, lovable psychopath! Pay attention to her eyes the next time you watch. It’s WILD how talented Jodie is.

via GIPHY

 

  1. Shefali: I’ve only known Phoebe Mary Waller-Bridge (the main writer behind Killing Eve) as that British actress from Crashing (a fantastic show, only one season long, met its untimely death, available on Netflix, apparently also written by Waller-Bridge, which makes so much sense!!!)—but she has made this beautifully hilarious character (Vilanelle, and for that matter, Eve too!) that I love.

 

  1. Nicole: Locations! They say “location is everything,” and that applies to Killing Eve in spades. In Season 1, we were treated to scenes filmed in Tuscany, Paris, Berlin, Romania, Cheshunt, Turville, and London. I don’t know about you, but my wanderlust hit crisis mode every time a new location appeared on-screen!

 

  1. Shefali: Low-key, Killing Eve has some great side-almost-main characters that I want more of. More Carolyn Martens—she is my obvious go-to (and not just because she’s played by Aunt Petunia, guys), but I’m also back here quietly rooting for this Kenny–Elena romance, which I know can only be gloriously awkward and earnest. Maybe we’ll get it in Season 2?via GIPHY
Codename Villanelle

Codename Villanelle

by Luke Jennings

Shefali’s Pick #1

Obviously, this list of recommended reads is going to begin with the book that started it all—Codename Villanelle by Luke Jennings, the basis for our beloved show.

You won’t be surprised to find that the book and television show share a lot of commonalities: In both, Villanelle is a skilled assassin whose love for the material comforts of her luxurious lifestyle is second only to, you know, killing people in, um, innovative ways that Freud would have a field day analyzing. In both, Eve is an incredibly smart government worker living an extremely dull life, definitely not to her full potential, who eventually joins a special op to find and stop Villanelle.

All of that said—there’s a lot that’s different between the book and the show, like the balance of plot and action with character development—so give the book a read, and let us know how it stacks up to the best show of all time, Killing Eve!

BONUS: There is now a second book out to devour between episodes of the show: Killing Eve: No Tomorrow!

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Red Sparrow

Red Sparrow

by Jason Matthews

Nicole’s Pick #1 

Much like Killing Eve, the Red Sparrow trilogy is a thrilling spy drama. The first book in the series introduces us to Dominika Egorova (played in the movie by Jennifer Lawrence), a woman recruited to be a Sparrow—a spy trained in seducing secrets from enemies. Dominika learns the tricks of the trade at Russia’s top secret Sparrow School. She becomes entangled in a forbidden attraction to Nathaniel Nash, a CIA officer who handles sensitive Russian intelligence, putting both of their careers and the security of several nations in jeopardy. If you love the heart-pounding, twisty, spy drama of Killing Eve, then you’ll love Red Sparrow.

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Anonymous Sources

Anonymous Sources

by Mary Louise Kelly

Shefali’s Pick #2

If you love Sandra Oh’s Eve—and obviously you do, because why else would you be here—and her obsession with finding and understanding Villanelle, then you’ll love this story about a Boston reporter who stumbles upon “the story of a lifetime,” and then proceeds to get in way over her head (sound familiar?) as she searches for the truth. 

When Alexandra James is assigned to cover the death of Thom Carlyle, the son of a powerful Washington insider, she soon discovers the story is not as simple as it seems. The young man fell from the top of a Harvard bell tower, but did he jump…or was he pushed? Workaholic Alex chases leads across continents to uncover what is shaping up to be a much larger conspiracy than she anticipated—while facing new threats, as her investigation makes her a target.

What’s great about both of these stories (and also Veronica Mars, another top-notch noir that you MUST WATCH) is that our kick-ass leading ladies weren’t necessarily trained to fight and tote guns. Instead, they’re obsessive in their search for the truth, using logic and intellect to win their battles.

BONUS: Author Mary Louise Kelly leans on her own real-life reporting adventures as a NPR anchor and correspondent to bring the story of Alexandra James to life in Anonymous Sources, which just makes this all so much more fun (and nerve-racking).

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The Last Mrs. Parrish

The Last Mrs. Parrish

by Liv Constantine

Nicole’s Pick #2

A friend of mine recommended The Last Mrs. Parrish to me a while back and I was admittedly hesitant. Then I got about two chapters in and I couldn’t put it down! Imagine Killing Eve taking place in suburban Connecticut and instead of a spy and an assassin, it’s a socialite and a woman who is tired of fading into the background. You’ve got The Last Mrs. Parrish. This book takes the obsessive relationship between Eve and Villanelle and adds a suburban twist. Amber Patterson is sick of being a nobody, and begins to take advantage of the kindness of Daphne Parrish and her real-estate mogul husband, Jackson. She gets closer and closer to the family and embeds herself so deep that even she can’t distinguish herself from Daphne anymore. It’s not until a secret from Amber’s past threatens to be revealed that things start to fall to pieces—instead of into place. If you’re into the twisted obsessive relationship between Eve and Villanelle, definitely check this one out.

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