The compelling drama “Hit & Miss,” created by BAFTA (The British Academy of Film and Television Arts) and Primetime Emmy Award winner, Paul Abbott (Shameless), was co-written by Abbott and Sean Conway (Ray Donovan). The tension filled six episodes, which comprise the series, is the first original drama produced by Sky Atlantic, which is a UK satellite channel. After receiving a letter from her former girlfriend Wendy, who is dying of cancer, Ryan, now living as a pre-op, transgendered woman named Mia, learns that while she was ‘still Ryan,’ fathered a son with Wendy. The nuanced role of Mia, acquitted excellently, replete with Irish accent, by the very talented Golden Globe winning actress Chloë Sevigny (Big Love), upon receiving the news, leaves for Yorkshire to meet her young son (Jorden Bennie), who is also named Ryan.
Upon her arrival, Mia learns that Wendy has passed away, and her farm is being run by teenagers Riley (Karla Crome) and Levi (Reece Noi), who along with five year old Leonie (Roma Christensen), are Ryan’s step siblings. The older teens are resistant to Mia’s attempts to interject herself into their lives as an adult guardian. If it were only motherhood to her newly discovered son, and her feelings of obligation to Wendy to look after the other grieving children, that would be one thing, but Mia is dealing with much more. In addition to saving up money for her operation to become a woman, complicating matters further is the fact that she is employed as a contract killer; something which she receives praise for from her employer Eddie (Peter Wight), who refers to Mia as a machine, due to the efficient manner in which she disposes of her targets.
Rounding out the cast, who all give convincing performances, is Vincent Regan as John, the owner of the land on which the farm sits, and someone who is none too pleased with Mia’s presence. He also has been having an extra-marital affair with Riley while his pregnant wife Penny (Erin Shanagher) is expecting their baby. In addition, there is Sophie (Laura Greenwood), who portrays Levi’s girlfriend; Jonas Armstrong as Ben, who develops both a strong attraction and genuine feelings for Mia, but is deeply conflicted about taking their relationship further, knowing what Mia is; as well as Ben Crompton as the character of Liam, who at first is a mysterious man, whose true identity and intentions are later learned as the series progresses.
Over time Mia begins to win the children’s trust as she demonstrates to them that she cares about their well being, and that she is in earnest about saving their home, which John is attempting to take away. Sexual identity issues, and Mia’s contract kills aside, the series heavily concerns itself with the developing relationship between Mia and Ryan. Her son is a small framed and sensitive child, who has been bullied for far too long by John’s son. While Mia embraces her feminine side in many of her dealings, her masculine side does come out as she teaches Ryan how to box in order to defend himself from the bully. In one scene she even encourages him to punch the bully in the face, even though he has just witnessed his father get the tar beat out of him by Mia.
Those who are easily offended will probably want to skip “Hit & Miss,” due to both the coarse language peppered throughout the episodes, and the fact that Sevigny is shown several times in full frontal nudity wearing a prosthetic penis, as well as engaging in several sexual situations with Armstrong’s character of Ben. For those of you who are not off put by colorful language or situations of that nature, let it be known that the series never dissolves into mere exploitation for purposes of shocking the viewer. While it can certainly be graphic at times, it never gives way to gratuitousness.
Unfortunately for fans of the show “Hit & Miss,” or those of you who might want to see more of the series after watching the first season, the show is a one and done proposition. The following is a statement that was released on Sky Atlantic’s official Twitter feed: “Hit & Miss” was always intended as a mini-series, and as such, there are no plans for it to return.” The series can be watched via instant streaming on Netflix, and even though there will not be more of it, like other good mini-series, it should be enjoyed for what it is.