Netflix and Kill is a new comedy web-series by Kate Shenton, director of several horror-comedy shorts such as Egomaniac and Send in the Clowns. The series consists of 2-3 minute vignettes that delve into the life of a psychopathic serial killer and his captive victim who have become a little too attached to one another.
The two stars of this quirky, irreverent series are Nic Lamont and Adam Rhys-Davies, and the two of them carry the show quite well. The episodes consist entirely of the two watching television and talking, with their discussions usually based around the logistics of murder and the specifics of Davies’ character’s own murders.
Each episode features Davies dressed as a different killer from pop culture, ranging from Chucky to Jason Voorhees. The performances are good, with Davies’ playing the killer as a more weak willed, squeamish killer who doesn’t take pleasure out of killing people and sees it more as his job.
This is quite funny to watch, because one does not imagine a mass murdering insane person to oppose horror films, yet this killer hates them and is turned away by the thought of them. This works quite well when complimented by Lamont’s character who wishes to be murdered in a fashion synonymous with Jack the Ripper’s final victim Mary Kelly. The fact that she wishes to be killed while he has an aversion to killing her provides some fun moments of interplay.
Lamont also performs well, with the underlying hints of lunacy that her character obviously possesses being deftly woven into her characterisation. The characters feel like real people as opposed to the flat stereotypes that are so prevalent in media today which is vital when the entire premise of your show revolves around two people essentially sitting on a sofa.
It is a testament to the writing that such a banal setting and activity such as watching television is able to be turned into a comedic situation worth watching. The humour is subtle, as the inspiration Shenton drew from classic era British comedy is evident in the way that the characters speak and act. The long, uncomfortable silences that are a staple of The Royle Family can be seen in Netflix and Kill, and this type of comedy seems to be right in Shenton’s wheelhouse.
Personally, I do not find the Victoria wood-esque comedy too alluring, but even as somebody who isn’t a fan of those types of shows I was still able to find humour and enjoyment in it and if you are a fan of that type of comedy this is right up your alley.
With positive however must also come negative. There is little I disliked about this series, but the main issue I had is that the series has more potential than is explored. I feel like if perhaps the episodes were a bit longer the series could benefit from a deeper exploration of the logistics of living with a serial killer. This could lead to funnier scenes between the two and could also show why Lamont’s character wants to die. This unexplored potential is my only gripe with the show and overall!
VERDICT: I highly recommend it. I would therefore give Netflix and Kill an 8/10 for being a solid comedy show with an interesting premise which could be explored a bit better in the future.