Hunted, starring Melissa George’s gigantic, pouting upper lip, premiers on Cinemax on October 19. If you’re into spy flicks, but tired of all that messy, fast-paced action and drama, this is the show for you.
There are lots of plot twists throughout this eight-part miniseries about a badass female spy named Sam Hunter (George), who, after an attempt on her life in the first episode, spends the rest of the series unsure who she can trust. There’s betrayal, espionage, people yelling in British accents. Sounds great, right? Well, not quite.
If the whole thing were cut down to one kind of long movie, it could be really great. But to fill the time (or to appear artistic, kind of a chicken-or-the-egg kind of question) there are lots of long establishing scenes in which the only thing going on is pretty cinematography. To show that Hunter is retraining after her injury, they show her getting out of the tub and running up a hill no fewer than five times. Several minutes. Of running. Up a hill.
I watched the whole series in five installments, and every time, I had to stop because I was literally falling asleep.
It could be a matter of taste, and if you have a long attention span and find yourself wishing that television was more cinematic, you may well love this show. But when I heard “female spy miniseries on Cinemax” I got excited for the full blast drama that I expected, with a twist at every turn, cheesy banter, and lots of explosions. Instead, I got lots of long panning shots of Hunter standing in hallways, hoping not to be seen, that gigantic lip quivering. And, despite the many flashbacks captured through a Vaseline-covered lens, I wasn’t tricked into caring about the characters, so their emotional arguments about the ethical grey area of being a spy-for-hire fell flat.
Not to mention that any feminist points the show might have earned by having a female lead in a spy drama were automatically deducted when Hunter started jeopardizing her work because she developed a soft spot for the little boy she cares for as part of her cover. Of course she couldn't just be a spy that happened to be female, she had to be a spy whose Achilles heel is her damned, weak, womany nurturing instincts, tied to her own traumatic childhood. Blech. Gimme a break.