I watched the whole 10 episodes and its the worst show ever. Its not that its hard to understand, there just isn't anything too understand. The plot meandering from one mind delusion to the next in an 'everything and the kitchen sink' approach to pretending there is a plot.
I will now simulate the writing process for this series...
"Ok, let's write a series where we combine the movie Brazil, the movie Cloud Atlas, the movie The Matrix or Total Recall(take your pick on the virtual reality/mind delusion movie reference), the movie War Games, and several other movie and book references... to try to fool the audience into thinking we writers are smarts."
This is the conceptual problem... when you combine two primary paint colors, you get a third color, but if you keep combining paint colors you don't get more and more colors... you get brown... and then it just stays brown no matter what you add. This series is that brown mess of layer upon layer of references folded into an ugly nearly incoherent narrative palimpsest. But there is no enigma hidding underneath. Its a series of hollow russian dolls. Its moldy Wonder Bread.
I kept waiting for it to get better, to somehow cohere into something profound and wrap up into a fulfilled hero's journey, but it never does. The moment the guy tells the truth is the painfully obvious ending even at the beginning. There is no revelation. He hasn't grown. He still doesn't know what is real and even ends up in a mental institution in the last scene. The ending actually was right out of The Graduate. Ok, we made it out, we are free, now what do we do? I know, write another crappy season and get paid by the desparate and woefully out of touch Paramount studio. Cha Ching!
And cigarettes, lots of unneeded cigarette smoking. I hate this in shows. They should be ashamed of themselves. Just teaching kids to smoke and get cancer.
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Stunningly good first episode. Very exciting. Only giving it 4 stars but may bump it up if they keep up this level of cat and mouse. Both women are perfect for their parts. The assasin is breathtakingly beautiful. Let the bodies hit the floor!
UPDATE: After the second episode, I'm less jazzed about the show. The writer's timing is off and they have already launched into the psychological problems of the assasin, when they should still be showing what a bad ass she is killing and enjoying the kills. If episode 2 was episode 3 or 4 it would have been much better for the flow of the show. I'm a writer, its like trying to dance to a song that keeps changing the beat, you are getting into it ready to drop the bass and suddenly they are playing a lullaby and you are standing alone on the dance floor wondering why you are at this crappy club.
Maybe they can get back into the groove, but it was a plot mistake in my opinion.
UPDATE SEASON 2: Its rare for a show to have a better season 2 than season 1. The cat and mouse continues but in a profound manner where Eve character becomes more like Villanelle, Villanelle becomes more like Eve. Its delicious in its subtleties.