Hit & Miss: The Complete First Season

Hit & Miss: The Complete First Season
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In the amateurishly shot and conducted interview segments included with the 6-episode DVD set of the Irish television drama, Hit & Miss, series creator Paul Abbott (who also created Shameless and State of Play) describes Mia (Chloë Sevigny), the protagonist, as a "chick with a dick." Completely uninterested in political correctness or even pretending that he has any interest in the disposition of a transgender individual, he dives into discussing the roles of absent or negligent parents in the lives of their children. Mia, a pre-op female assassin, learns that she's the father of a young boy living in the rural Irish countryside with several unsupervised siblings. Knowing that Abbott was abandoned by his father at a young age, it doesn't take a great deal of projection to determine that Mia's dual role as mother and father, in a state of gender flux and resultant hatred of self—as imposed by the over-reliance on mirrors as metaphor for forced introspection—is a rather overt and literal way of assessing the role of single mothers in the modern broken family. It's an interesting proposition that works best when the nascent father is teaching her son how to fight or is helping her ersatz stepdaughter cope with the aftereffects of dating an abusive man. Unfortunately, these tender moments of parental balance as juxtaposed with the distorted presentation of identity never finds any emotional cohesion. This is, in part, because Mia is a sociopath; a ruthless killer that kills men (representing internalized misandry) with ease and precision, slicing a throat and then trotting back to her kids to share a Sunday afternoon treat. There's too much of a tonal disconnect between thrilling and dramatic elements, leaving the storylines feeling like they're in different shows saying different things. Even the introduction of idiosyncrasy—such Mia jumping nude in front of a mirror with a Pinocchio nose saying, "I am not a real boy"—feels like an inorganic and contrived shock tactic to force emotional imbalance and deviance onto each of the children, reinforcing the theme of parental fracture as a damaging psychological force, but without any natural sensibilities. Had the series had more time to develop these characters into fully functioning people—and had Mia been made into something more than a mere metaphor and caricature (albeit a very intriguing one)—it might have found its voice. But as it stands, Hit & Miss holds more potential than it ever really demonstrates, being a little bit more "miss" than "hit." (eOne)