Hitmen

TV review by
Matt Cabral, Common Sense Media
Hitmen TV Poster Image
Average dark comedy is elevated by Brit stars' chemistry.

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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

A dark comedy about contract killers, Hitmen plays everying for laughs, from murder and torture to drug abuse and food allergies. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

The titular assassins are close friends that clearly share a strong bond, but are otherwise mostly void of redeemable qualities. 

Violence

Light on blood and gore, but characters are murdered, usually with guns. A woman's soy allergy is used against her as a means of torture. Violence is played for comedic effect rather than shock value. 

Sex

Some of the jokes, including ones about sexual positions, semen, and masturbation, are of a mature, sexual nature. 

Language

Foul language is frequent and includes "f--k," "s--t," "t-ts," "ass," "piss," and "a--hole."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Jokes are made about an off-screen character's drug use, including a reference to "ecstasy." Charcters drink wine at a birthday party. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Hitmen is a dark comedy about a pair of female contract killers. The dialog and humor, including comedic conversations about sex, drugs, murder, and other serious subjects, is aimed at an adult audience. Profanity, including "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," and "piss" are used frequently. Numerous sexual terms, including "penis" and "semen," also make their way into conversations. Characters are killed, but not too graphically. The murder and violence is played for laughs, and blood and gore is generally kept at a minimum. There are references to drug use and drugs, including "ecstasy," and characters drink wine at a party. 

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What's the story?

HITMEN stars Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins, the English comedy duo best known for hosting The Great British Baking Showas a pair of incompetent contract killers. As Jamie and Fran, the two misfits are also best friends. Episodes typically find them on a job, exchanging plenty of comedic banter while attempting to complete a contract. Due to their questionable skills, things never go as planned. Darkly comedic scenarios -- like withholding a mark's allergy medication as a means of torture -- ensue. 

Is it any good?

Fans of Brit comedy duo Mel and Sue (Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins) will feel right at home watching this series. As hapless killers-for-hire Jamie and Fran, the pair couldn't be further from their hosting duties on The Great British Baking Show, but they're still unmistakably Mel and Sue. In fact, it's the actresses spot-on chemistry and pitch-perfect comedic timing that make the series a worthwhile watch. That said, don't mistake their comfortably familiar presence to mean their latest vehicle is aimed at the same all-ages audience as their reality shows -- Hitmen is for mature audiences. 

Despite its central premise, the series is more about showcasing the not-so-professional assassins' odd couple relationship than watching them murder clueless marks for cash. Sure, they pull the trigger plenty, but always in service of the show's gallows humor. One of the first episode's "jokes," for example, sees Fran allowing a target to live a bit longer just so he can fill a seat at her birthday party. 

The episodes' stories aren't deep or layered by any means. Each entry is essentially an extended sketch, where Jamie and Fran must overcome some mishap -- often of their own making -- before completing a job contracted by the mysterious Mr. K. It's a straightforward, easily digestible formula that's supported almost entirely by the two stars' excellent performances. You won't find any complex storytelling or feel-good messages here, but if you're in the mood for some macabre laughs, Jamie and Fran hit the mark. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Hitmen's main characters' relationship. How are Jamie and Fran able to be so close to each other, yet so disconnected emotionally from the job they do? What different roles do Jamie and Fran play in their professional partnership? Do you feel their relationship would be different if they were in a better line of work?

  • What is dark comedy? When, if ever, is it okay to make light of serious subjects? How does the show balance its darker elements with lighter moments?

  • Is it okay to like, or even root for, Jamie and Fran? Are they portrayed as the "good guys" in the show? Given their profession, do you think these characters are capable of possessing any positive qualities?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love dark comedies

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