Hitmen is the first scripted sitcom for evergreen pairing Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins, aka Mel and Sue, although not for Sue.
I remember them first on Channel 4’s daytime show Light Lunch – and then the spinoff Late Lunch, which both showed perfectly how good they are at improvising. Sue’s first sitcom was her own 2013 one, Heading Out, which was great, but because the BBC are stupid, they cancelled it after one series, when it still had plenty of legs.
Even the BBC’s attempt to bring back The Generation Game with them wasn’t a complete dumpster fire. Sure, it wasn’t the greatest show in the world, but had they put it on a Saturday around tea-time, and not a Thursday evening, and it could’ve had a chance.
And let’s not forget, as the clip at the bottom of this review shows, I hugely enjoyed their four-week run of Mel and Sue on ITV, ending with Sue spanking the hell out of Mel in the final show!
This time round, as the title suggests, they are professional hitmen, albeit not so professional. Agent 47 has nothing to worry about with them around, since in the first scenario – whilst working for the mysterious Mr K – their plan has already gone wrong, resulting in a man hanging from a ledge in a building, and how to get him back up before they can do the job properly.
Along the way, they still talk about the trappings of modern life, such as the fact it’s Sue’s birthday, and in plannning a party for that night, all whilst in earshot of kidnapped lawyer (Jason Watkins – McDonald & Dodds) in the back of the van.
The second episode features Sian Clifford as an accountant, and they need the password out of her. Will they get it? And if they do, will they let her go free? An alternative is torture, and when it comes to suggesting torture, Fran says, “..torture isn’t really our thing.”
Mel and Sue have always bounced off each other brilliantly, and this is no exception. There’s Nick Mohammed (Intelligence) as a human spider, some great music clips like Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – Bellbottoms (an early track in Edgar Wright’s superb Baby Driver), and Eels – Novacaine For The Soul, plus ‘next time’ clips in the end credits.
Hitmen begins on Sky 1 on Wednesday March 25th at 10pm, with two episodes being broadcast each week. The series is not yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD.
Episodes 1-3 Score: 8/10
Director: Ollie Parsons
Producer: Arnold Widdowson
Writers/Creators: Joe Markham, Joe Parham
Fran: Sue Perkins
Jamie: Mel Giedroyc
Liz: Tonya Cornelisse
Charles: Asim Chaudhry
Kirsty: Alice Lowe
The Dealer: Jason Maza
The Human Spider: Nick Mohammed
The Lawyer: Jason Watkins
The Accountant: Sian Clifford
The Bouncer: Anthony Adjekum
Drive-through voice: Liam Williams
Beth: Sienna Sayer
Haley: Katie Simons
Amy: Chanel Zinyemba
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.