Well, it finally looks as if television has changed for the better. Shows have become increasingly edgier over the past few years, and issues of sexuality are being integrated rather than featured as the shock-worthy topic of single episodes. And now – finally – a new program emerges about the life of a transexual woman. And it’s not a comedy.
Hit and Miss, which airs this month on Britain’s Sky Atlantic network, is written and produced by Paul Abbott, whose other gems include Shameless and State of Play. The show is about Mia, a pre-op m-f transexual played by American actress Chloë Sevigny. In this clip, Sevigny discusses where Mia comes from and where she’s going:
Formerly Ryan, she grew up as an effeminate, gay boy. Later in life, Ryan attempts to have a relationship with a woman, Wendy, and when the relationship fails, Ryan sets out on the journey to become Mia. Mia isolates herself, has no friends, and according to Sevigny, falls in with a crime boss who – suspend your disbelief for a moment – hires her as a contract killer.
Apparently, that’s not all. The twist comes when Mia receives news that she has fathered a now-11-year-old son with Wendy, and that her ex is dying of cancer. When Mia goes to visit, she finds herself somehow left to care for not only her son, but a handful of his siblings too. So this is the set-up: sad and lonely transexual hit-woman with surprise offspring finds herself suddenly thrust into mothering role while continuing to execute random bad guys for her dangerous bad guy boss. Um.
There are lots of ways this could go wrong, but I for one am hopeful. Hit and Miss has lots of promising ammunition: Abbott hasn’t failed us yet, and Sevigny has proven herself a brilliant and sensitive actress. Not only has she been nominated for an Academy Award (Boys Don’t Cry), but in 2010 she picked up a Golden Globe for her role in HBO’s Big Love. Her choices when it comes to acting projects have always veered toward art-house films and roles that push the boundaries of societal norms or hold a magnifying glass up to our dark underbelly. As a result, she’s garnered loads of respect, and also been dubbed something of a gay icon. I expect that her care in choosing relevant, timely roles will extend to this project as well. Luckily, we won’t have to wait too long to find out!