Killing Eve: Third season divides critics

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Jodie Comer in Killing Eve
Image caption,
Jodie Comer won a Bafta TV award last year for her portrayal of Villanelle

The critics are in two minds about the latest series of Killing Eve ahead of its return this weekend.

For every review calling it "heart-stoppingly brilliant", there is another dismissing it as "tired to the point of lifelessness".

Metro's Tilly Pearce says the darkly comic thriller is "as hilarious, gripping and extra as ever".

But Anita Singh of The Telegraph says "the novelty has worn off" and that it is "no longer TV's must-watch".

Viewers can make up their own minds when the third season begins in the US on Sunday.

The first episode will be made available on BBC iPlayer on Monday morning ahead of a BBC One airing on 19 April.

Unlike previous seasons, the third series will not immediately be put online in its entirety.

Instead, episodes will be released each Monday on a week-by-week basis.

Image caption,
Sandra Oh reprises her role as Eve for the third season

The following reviews contain some plot details of Killing Eve's third season.

Based on Luke Jennings' Codename Villanelle novellas, Killing Eve tells of a sultry professional assassin and a dogged MI6 operative on her trail.

The second season climaxed with Villanelle (Jodie Comer) apparently shooting Eve (Sandra Oh) in Rome.

The third season begins with Eve in a thankless new job, having survived Villanelle's attempt on her life.

Before long, however, a shocking death once again sets them on a collision course.

According to the Mirror's Sara Wallis, the new season is "fresh, funny and as fashion-conscious as ever".

Under new head writer Suzanne Heathcote, she continues, the show contains "plenty of shocking deaths, new characters and jaw-dropping, creative murders".

Yet the Independent's Ed Cumming is less impressed, saying the show "doesn't have much left to offer" beyond Comer's "watchable" performance.

"Once fresh and thrilling, Killing Eve has grown stale and predictable," he writes in his two-star review.

TV Guide's Kaitlin Thomas, meanwhile, says the show "now feels like a copy of its former self".

"The lack of creative dialogue and minor flourishes emphasises Season 3's familiarity and repetitiveness," writes IndieWire's Ben Travers.

Flora Carr of the Radio Times believes the first episode of the third season "suffers in comparison to the heights of season one".

Yet she remains "hopeful" that Heathcote "spreads the fun a little more evenly" in the instalments to follow.

The Herald's Alison Rowat is also optimistic, believing Heathcote will fill the "tall heels" of her predecessors Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Emerald Fennell.

Den of Geek's Delia Harrington, meanwhile, is happy to report that the show's "eerie, off-kilter humour remains in place".

Dame Harriet Walter, Steve Pemberton and Gemma Whelan are among the new cast members joining series regulars Comer, Oh and Fiona Shaw.

A fourth series has already been commissioned, with Sex Education's Laura Neal taking over as lead writer.

Killing Eve is one of BBC iPlayer's most popular shows, with nearly 110 million requests lodged to view the first two series.

Oh won a Golden Globe for her role last year, while both Comer and Shaw were honoured at 2019's Bafta TV Awards.

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