Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2024) Season 1 Review – A flawed but fresh take on the mission and the marriage

Season 1



Episode Guide

Episode 1 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 2 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 3 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 4 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 5 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 6 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 7 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 8 – | Review Score – 4/5

To start with, Mr. & Mrs. Smith drops you into an unexplained action sequence. But then it slows down. Jane and John are interviewed and paired up for the Smith program. They introduce each other, explore the massive New York house, talk about Jane’s cat. There is awkwardness as they both test the waters — after all, they are to be legally married while carrying out secret missions for their employer. It’s more like the start of a rom-com than a spy drama.

From the very beginning, Mr. & Mrs. Smith subverts the genre it comes from. This is not a remake of the stylish 2005 movie, featuring Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt as the infallible spies who get away with impossible feats and fall in love almost instantly. No, this is an all-new series that is closer to real life. While the concept is still quite out there, the execution of the story grounds it in reality.

John and Jane are not the sleek spies of Jolie and Pitt’s kind. Instead, they start off fairly awkwardly and stumble their way through their early missions. They even fail. There’s no fairytale romance, in fact, it’s a struggle for them to trust and warm up to each other. More importantly, they are real people with imperfections that soon become glaring flaws as their relationship moves forward. The thing is, Mr. & Mrs. Smith is dressed up as a spy comedy but it’s really, truly about a relationship.

Every episode tackles a different aspect of relationships, from their first kiss to moving in with each other to kids and even infidelity. This compartmentalised structure is unique and intriguing but the writing stumbles a little too much and fails to use its full potential. For instance, in the early episodes, the two spies go from indifferent to hooking up a little too quickly.

They aren’t given the space to grow into lovers as much as jump from one stage to the other. Maya Erskine as Jane and Donald Glover as John also lack the spark of chemistry needed for this early transition. They do much better work as people who have already been in a relationship for a while.  

The writing does improve, offering eccentric missions, a cryptic employer and a nuanced look at what’s going on in the Smiths’ marriage. It tends to meld the spy life with the domestic and that usually works well, it’s one of the charms of the show. Another highlight of the writing is that it is consistently unpredictable. The story is infused with interesting twists and reveals that you didn’t see coming, always doing something unexpected that makes the show feel fresh and original.

But then it dips again, with awkward dialogues and humour that doesn’t quite hit the mark. Some episodes are entertaining and captivate you from start to finish. These are engaging mini-stories that are witty and fun and insightful, even a little funny. Their scripts are tight and shape the episode in a specific way. But others lose this shape and focus, allowing your attention to wander elsewhere.

At the end of season 1, there are still some pretty big question marks about the Smiths’ employer. Even if the creators are gearing up for a second season, I think a little more explanation could have kept people more engaged. But if anything, Mr. & Mrs. Smith is earnest in its attempt at dissecting a relationship between two people.

A lot of this credit goes to Erskine and Glover. Both actors have fully embodied their characters, giving Jane and John well-rounded, believable personalities with their individual shares of quirks and flaws. As mentioned above, they do take a while to find their rhythm as a couple but once they do, the pair articulate the banter, inside jokes, shared moments and intense insecurities of a romantic couple very well.

No matter where the story goes though, other elements of Mr. & Mrs. Smith Season 1 continue to impress. The cinematography is great and stands out in several episodes. Often, the colour palette comes into play as well. The visuals are both, aesthetically pleasing and used effectively to emphasise where the couple is in their relationship — whether they’re working in tandem or unable to get along.

The soundtrack choices are diverse and mood-appropriate. Overall, Mr. & Mrs. Smith is one of those shows that comes with equal parts of strengths and flaws. This could be your cup of tea or it could not, either way, it’s definitely one of the fresher and more original remakes of its time!

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  • Verdict - 7.5/10

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