Even with UnREAL on its resume I still find it hard to trust Lifetime as a go-to destination for quality scripted dramas, but lo and behold they’ve got their hands on another good one with Mary Kills People.
The show is actually an import from Canada, the entire first season already aired on Global, but for those of us in the United States it’s just now airing for the first time on Lifetime. You can catch “new” episodes every Sunday night at 10pm.
Here’s three reasons you should tune in:
The entire cast, including the child actors are solid, but Caroline Dhavernas (Wonderfalls, Off the Map, Hannibal) absolutely kills it (pun intended) in the titular role bringing a complex character to life. I may be a bit biased in my assessment, I loved her previous work, but this is a much more mature and nuanced role then I’ve seen her in before. Her comedic timing and quick wit that I fell in love with during Wonderfalls is still there, but as Mary Harris, Dhavernas also gets to show off her range as the series bounces between genres.
The first season of Mary Kills People is just 6 episodes. With no time to waste, the show quickly moves plot along and doesn’t bother with filler. And despite what some of the promos may lead you to believe, Mary Kills People is actually highly serialized. Having seen all six episodes, I can safely say that the show knows what story it wants to tell and manages to do so in an extremely satisfying way. The cat and mouse game at the series’ core is well executed. Even better yet, reveals are doled out at a reasonable rate and at no point does the plot get overly complicated. What more could you want from a TV show?
Sure, there’s elements of Mary Kills People that are familiar to all TV viewers like character tropes and plot devices, but the show does have a few things going for it that help it standout in the otherwise crowded TV landscape. For one, Mary Kills People visually looks different than most of the other TV shows filmed in Toronto. Perhaps that’s because it’s not trying to be an American city, but the series excels at taking advantage of Toronto’s beautiful landscapes rather than the-same-old-same-old cityscapes. Oh and did I mention that the show revolves around euthanasia, yeah that’s new. Despite the heavy topic, there’s a surprising amount of levity in each episode. I promise, the viewing experience is not a sob fest.
Bonus Reason: Mary Kills People not only boasts a female lead, but the series was also created by a woman – Tara Armstrong and directed by a woman – Holly Dale. In addition, there’s four other women with writer’s credits listed on IMDB. And at a time when a lot of female led series are either getting the ax (Sweet/Vicious and Pitch) or ending on their own accord (Girls and Orphan Black), I believe it’s essential to support TV shows with a female point of view. Thankfully Mary Kills People makes it easy to root for as it’s a really entertaining show.