Mr and Mrs Smith | Review by: Benjamin Garrett
Much like its titular couple, Mr. & Mrs. Smith is more than it appears to be on the surface. This series is a sharp deconstruction of a marriage, that doubles as an exciting, star studded espionage thriller. Step aside Brad and Angelina, there’s a new John and Jane in town.
For the show to work, the chemistry between the Smith’s needs to be not only believable, but magnetic. Donald Glover and Maya Erksine are a match made in heaven (or hell depending on which episode you’re watching), with sparks of passion and aggression flying constantly. Their on-screen dynamic through their evolving relationship is exceptional, from awkward flirtatious beginnings to explosive spousal shouting matches. The series is jam-packed with some big name guest stars too. From Paul Dano, to Sarah Paulson, to Wagner Moura, the acting talent here is sublime.
Each episode breaks down critical parts of a relationship - the excitement of new love, the importance of communication, and even parenthood (trust me, that last one isn’t what you think). The show takes many of the important milestones and hardships that couples experience, and adapts them to work with the action and espionage elements. It’s lighter on action than you may expect after watching 2005 Branjelina shoot-em-up, but that space is filled with crucial character development. It still packs a hell of a punch with a handful of exciting set pieces - especially one particularly great sequence in the season finale.
It’s a tricky balancing act to blend not only action and meaningful relationship drama, but also have the show be genuinely funny too. For the most part, Mr. & Mrs. Smith pulls it off, but like any relationship, the series hits a few bumps in the road. I mostly liked the way marriage issues were incorporated into each of the Smiths’ missions, but sometimes it was a little too on the nose. I could’ve used an extra episode between the 2nd and 3rd, as the relationship evolved a little too quickly, which was jarring. However, these hiccups are far and few between, in an otherwise strong first season.
Mr. & Mrs. Smith is not just a huge improvement on the movie, but totally sets itself apart with a unique voice of its own. The chemistry between Donald Glover and Maya Erksine is electric, the action is exciting, and the thoughtful examination of marriage is so very clever.
Review by: Benjamin Garrett