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A woman with every issue you can fathom crosses paths with a killer for hire. Someone who, unlike many others, sees something in her worth saving.
I learned about this show through First Look which usually plays before the movies I see. The main draw, originally, was Michelle Dockery fresh from her stint on Downton Abbey. So, imagine this woman, who has played someone posh and bougie now playing not only a thief but a drug addict. I mean, talking about trying to prove you aren’t one note right? But after watching the first episode, it seems she may have been outdone. For more on the series premiere, “So You’re Not an English Teacher” read below.
Characters & Story
Letty (Michelle Dockery)
Name an issue and Letty probably has it or caused it. Just to run through things quickly, she didn’t finish high school, has a criminal record, went to jail, is a junkie, has a child she can’t see, can’t hold a job, doesn’t know who her dad is, lives off of grifting and thievery, and pretty much it seems outside of her son Jacob (Nyles Steele), no one would care if she died tomorrow. So, needless to say, a lot is piled onto Dockery and be it her as Letty, or just her period, it seems the weight of trying to be someone with such complexity or line by line issues, it is just taxing.
Javier (Juan Diego Botto)
A Spanish-speaking assassin. One who, as of now, we know will kill a woman and because of his skill and notoriety, he can command $50,000. But, due to Letty’s skills as a grifter, he gets fooled. This impresses him, surprises him, and with learning this woman who is so crafty is a junkie, much less a sloppy one, he decides to forcibly take her under his wing. What will come of that? Well, only future episodes will tell.
Things To Note
Jacob is half black so you know sooner or later there is going to be an interesting story there.
Javier and Letty as a Team
While it is established someone usually works with Letty when she steals from hotel rooms, the dynamic between Javier and Letty seems like what will keep this show alive. For while Letty has no issues taking from the rich to feed herself, and get a score, put Javier in there and you have her really facing where the line is. For, as previews show, she isn’t for the idea of killing anyone, yet you can tell Javier is going to use her to bait targets or even be a middle person for clients. Add in they have sex and there may be an attraction there, and this leaves you wanting to know where could all this go? Especially with Letty on parole, desiring to see her son for the first time in two years, and dealing with a mother who would call the cops on her if she ever got too close to her own kid.
Dockery made for a meh lead
Javier doesn’t appear and become a prominent character until about halfway through the episode. Up till then, we are stuck with Dockery and while Letty has every issue in the book, I found myself walking away, watching other things, then coming back hoping something could keep my interest for more than 5 minutes. Thankfully Javier entered the show, but with this essentially being Mockery’s show, with her name the only one on the poster, I can only hope they can make these cheap ploys to care about her mean something. Otherwise, this show will be highly dependent on Javier sharing screen time with Letty.
Overall: Mixed (Will Continue To Review)
I don’t want to say the problem is you having an issue with trying to see Dockery as anything but Mary. More so it seems the problem is that Dockery chose a role which is a complete 180 and said character is drowning in issues. All of which don’t seem authentic for they are laid on you so heavy. Making them seem like cheap and easy ploys to quickly make you feel sympathy for a “complex character.” Which, with time and effort, maybe Letty can come off as. However, as of now, this show will have to rely on Javier, and us watching Letty adapt to him and use him to keep us hooked. For even if he doesn’t have an air of mystery to him and is just a professional assassin, that unfamiliar actor has the charisma and special something Dockery lacks.