Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Hit & Miss

The Times’ Mike Hale gave a lukewarm review to Hit &Miss, the English made television series “about a hit woman who’s a preoperative transsexual” calling it an “unsuccessful attempt to graft ‘The Crying Game’ onto ‘Party of Five.’" (“She’s Living A Double Life In More Ways Than One,” NYT, 7/10/12). In terms of shock value the scene Hale describes “of the impressively trim body of Chloe Sevigny, and a plainly displayed penis” may rank with Sevigny’s famous fellatio scene with Vincent Gallo in The Brown Bunny. Hale takes the series creator Paul Abbott to task for self-consciously trying to combine “two projects—one about a hit man and one a about a transsexual mother.” Actually this new television series reads like an essay on surrealism. At the very least it has three of the central tenets of the surrealist project: aggression, humor and sexuality. In dreams such elements can meld seamlessly. The incongruity of the two sources of inspiration, family life and assassination, only strengthens the strategy. Back in the sixties the British created an immensely popular television series, The Avengers, a spy series that was basically a surrealist dream. Hopefully Hit & Miss, whose very title exudes  Lautreamont’s famous definition of beauty (that the surrealists glommed onto) as the  “chance encounter of a sewing machine and an umbrella on an operating table,” will live up to its British predecessor.

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