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Series / Hitmen (2020)

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Hitmen is a Black Comedy series on Sky starring Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins, most-famously known as the hosts of The Great British Bake Off. In the US, the series is available for streaming on Peacock.

Fran (Perkins) and Jamie (Giedroyc) are lifelong friends who, despite clearly not suited for their chosen profession, work as assassins. Employed by the dreaded Mr. K, the two do their best to take out an eclectic assortment of targets while dealing with their own personal issues.

In 2021 a second was released, rebranded as as Hitmen: Reloaded.

Has nothing to do with the Hitman franchise.

This series provides examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: Season one ended with Jamie and Fran on the run from Mr. K, with Liz accepting the assignment to track them down. This is not featured at all in season two.
  • Accent Slip-Up: Nikhil speaks with an Eastern European accent, until he is shot by Fran and reverts to a local English accent. He knew a feared foreign hitman would get more work than another Englishman.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Kat's last words are "I'm sorry", causing Jamie to feel regret over her death. Then she pops up and finishes the sentence "I'm sorry I didn't kill you both", so Jamie says she no longer feels bad.
  • All Part of the Show: When Fran & Jamie hire an actor to pose as a drug dealer in order to complete a deal that they accidentally derailed by killing their target too early, they tell him that they are part of live-action roleplay for a stag night. He never realizes that he's dealing with real criminals, even when he takes a gun and kills all of the buyers. He thinks they're just really method, and tosses his business card on their bodies as he leaves.
  • Always Someone Better: Liz and Charlie are a more-effective team and have access to better equipment than Fran and Jamie.
  • Asshole Victim: Fran & Jamie's targets are all other criminals, and usually rude and crude ones at that, so they never need to worry about killing good people.
  • Awful Wedded Life: Fran's marriage to Joao is clearly miserable, with Joao stealing her money and belongings and having indiscreet affairs with men. Fran refuses to divorce him, however, because she thinks the misery is preferable to being alone.
  • The Beard: Fran is comfortably and publicly "out", but she married Joao (a gay man) to help him get a visa.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Fran is attracted to Liz, but the two share a professional rivalry that makes it difficult for Fran to express her feelings. Complicating matters is the fact that Liz has a very aggressive personality and covers all her comments with heavy layers of sarcasm, making it hard for Fran to tell whether she's being mocking or sincere.
  • Birthday Party Goes Wrong: A year before the series begins, Fran & Jamie performed a hit on the day of Fran's birthday and then went to her birthday party. Unbeknownst to her somebody set up a blacklight, so all of the blood was visible on her clothing. They couldn't come up with a suitable explanation, except to insist that it is not blood (or semen).
  • Bottomless Magazines: Its presence varies depending on the episode. Sometimes Fran and Jamie run out of ammo after a reasonable number of shots, with their scrambling for a reload serving as a source of drama (Or comedy). Other times dozens of shots are fired without any reloading.
  • Bullying a Dragon: After Fran disarms another hitman going after the same target, they briefly discuss the logistics and benefits of working "international". Despite her holding him at gunpoint, the other hitman mocks Fran's plans and dismisses her as an "old woman". She shoots him in the face, and then shoots him a few more times for good measure.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Jamie is childish and easily distracted, but she's also a stone-cold killer.
  • Butch Lesbian: Fran, with her short haircut and pragmatic wardrobe.
  • Citizenship Marriage: Fran married Joao because he needed a visa, and as lesbian the idea of marrying a gay man actually offered some advantages.
  • Continuity Creep: Season one featured only self-contained episodes focused on individual hit assignments. Season two introduced an overarching storyline that ran throughout the whole season.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: When Jamie offers "an idea that is so downright crazy it just might work", Fran asks if they instead have a plan "so downright sensible and well thought-out it absolutely definitely will work". When Jamie says they don't, Fran accepts that they're stuck with the crazy idea.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: One assignment was to kill a drug dealer after he had completed a deal, so that they also have the money from the sale. When they kill him too early, Fran & Jamie hire an actor and tell him that they are running a live-action roleplay for a stag night and his part is that of the drug dealer.
  • The Dreaded: Mr. K, whom Fran & Jamie and Liz & Charlie are terrified of disappointing because he'd have them killed if their failures piss him off enough.
  • Egg Sitting: When Jamie starts talking about having kids, Fran tells her to take care of an egg for a day to show her that it's not as easy as she thinks. Jamie becomes fixated on passing the test even when Fran tries to drop the subject because they're lost in the woods and need to eat the egg for food.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: A variation. Jamie's boyfriend is so ridiculously attractive that he even turns Fran's head, despite her being a lesbian.
  • Fee Fi Faux Pas: Fran is chatting with a woman on a dating app, but is unsure exactly what different emojis mean so she's essentially sending them at random. When the other woman abruptly leaves the chat Fran doesn't know what she did wrong until she tells Liz that she had sent the Unicorn emoji. note 
  • Incompatible Orientation: Fran, a lesbian, is married to Joao, who's gay.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The arrival of Nikhil — a much-more cold-blooded killer than Fran, Jamie, Liz, or Charlie — signals a shift to a more high-stakes plot line.
  • Lima Syndrome: Fran & Jamie are always polite and courteous to their targets, including feeding and bonding with them if they need to wait before performing the actual hit. Despite these friendships they never hesitate to perform the final kill.
  • Minion with an F in Evil: Jamie, who's an assassin working for a brutal gangster, is cheerful and childish and loves to strike up conversations with her targets.
  • Nature Is Not Nice: Parodied when Fran & Jamie bring a target out to the woods to dispose of the body. He's so terrified of bugs that after he escapes he tries to fashion some sort of protective suit from his clothing, and in chasing after him Jamie talks about the dangers of 'the jungle'. Fran has to point out that they're not in 'the jungle', they're in Surrey less than two miles from a shop and this is where Brownies go for camping trips. However she also begins setting up traps to catch food to ward off starvation.
  • New Season, New Name: Season two was rebranded as Hitmen: Reloaded.
  • Odd Couple: Fran is a depressive realist while Jamie is a bubbly optimist. Nevertheless, they've been best friends since childhood.
  • Of Course I Smoke: Fran takes a cigarette offered by Nikhil and keeps puffing away despite clearly not being a smoker, because she wants to impress him and get in good with Mr. K.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: Fran's childhood nickname of "Oliver Piss" — because she wet herself on stage in a school play — is all that anybody remembers about her at their high school reunion.
  • One Dialogue, Two Conversations: The actor that Fran & Jamie hire to pose as a drug dealer thinks he is working for a stag night, while the criminals here to buy drugs think he is a Hollywood producer who moonlights as a drug dealer. His banter about marriage and playing a role is taken as eccentric and ballsy joking.
  • One-Person Birthday Party: The first episode takes place on Fran's birthday, with Jamie planning a party that doesn't have any attendees at all except for the two of them. Apparently at Fran's last party somebody set up a blacklight, and since they had performed a hit earlier that day all of the blood was visible on her clothing. Fran is so desperate to have somebody there that she actually delays carrying out a hit so the victim can attend the party first.
  • Poisoned Chalice Switcheroo: When Kat realizes that Jamie isn't going to quietly acquiesce to her new lifestyle, she offers to make her breakfast before she leaves and adds pills to the meal. Jamie, realizing that something is obviously up, "forgets" to bring Kat a spoon and switches the bowls when Kat goes back to the kitchen.
  • Reliably Unreliable Guns: In "Sniper", Fran sets up a sniper rifle, but the thing is so sensitive it keeps going off with the slightest jostle.
  • The Reveal: The final episode of the second season reveals that Kat is "Mr. V", the new crime boss they have been working for all season.
  • Room Full of Crazy: Kat's "meditation room" is absolutely covered in school pictures from when they were younger, including dozens of Fran that have been vandalized and destroyed.
  • Running Gag:
    • Jamie keeps leaving her gun behind. Sometimes it's because she thought she wouldn't need it, but other times she just forgets it.
    • Japan. Jamie originally suggests hiding out in Japan at the end of season one, and throughout season two the idea of going "international" for a hit in Japan is a big plan for Fran.
  • Ruthless Foreign Gangsters: Nikhil is a feared, brutally competent hitman that Mr. K brings in at the close of the first season who speaks with an Eastern European accent. That is until he is shot and reverts to a local English accent and admits that he knew he would get more work if they believed he was a foreign hitman.
  • Safe, Sane, and Consensual: When spying out a target, Jamie notices that in the apartment next door a woman is apparently tying up and torturing a man. She eventually breaks in to make sure he's okay, only to realize that they're engaged in consensual BDSM. In fact, the woman tries to call the police on Jamie because she broke into her apartment wearing a balaclava, so was obviously a criminal herself.
  • Seinfeldian Conversation: When Fran runs into another hitman going after the same target, they briefly discuss the logistics of working "international". He says that the travel messes with your sleep cycle, but it can be dealt with, and he gets around exchange rates by using Bitcoin.
  • Spotting the Thread: Another hitman comes after Fran and Jamie at their high school reunion, posing as a classmate. He had quizzed the classmate on class details to make his impersonation convincing, but didn't know Fran's humiliating nickname 'Oliver Piss'. She was already suspicious after an earlier mistake, but he had covered for that well enough to convince her until this slipup.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Kat Gaistkill has been obsessed with Jamie since their days at school together.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Fran can't come up with an explanation for the blood on her clothing that showed up under a blacklight that somebody set up at her last birthday party, except to point out that it certainly isn't blood (or semen).
  • Taking the Bullet: When faced with a shotgun with only one shell left, Fran stood in front of Jamie to shield her. When Kat boasted that the gun was powerful enough to kill them both, Fran stood to the side instead.
  • Too Desperate to Be Picky: The only food Fran can find when she is locked in Kat's chamber are cans of dog food. Despite initially turning up her nose — and nearly gagging at the smell when she opened the first can — she eventually starts eating them to ward off starvation.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: While lost in a forest, Fran comes across a group of Girl Guides, the youngest of whom threatens her with a knife.