Last week, we here at TVLine revealed our 20 finalists for the title of Performer of the Year. We’ve reviewed your suggestions, we’ve debated fiercely among ourselves, and now we’ve come up with a winner… well, winners, plural. TVLine’s Performers of the Year for 2018 are… the stars of BBC America’s crime thriller Killing Eve: Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh.
OK, we did bend the rules a little to honor two actors instead of one — but really, it’d be a crime to separate these two, wouldn’t it? Killing Eve was defined by the riveting cat-and-mouse game played by Comer’s glamorous killer-for-hire Villanelle and Oh’s tenacious analyst Eve — with the “cat” and the “mouse” swapping roles several times throughout — and it’s hard to imagine the show’s virtuoso balancing act of laughs and thrills working half as well without either of them.
Comer, a relative newcomer, made us sit up and pay attention from her very first scenes as Villanelle, flashing a devilish smile after maliciously dumping a cup of ice cream into a child’s lap. It was a true breakout performance, with Comer effortlessly handling Villanelle’s vicious wisecracks, seductive femininity and brutal bloodlust — sometimes all in the same scene. (How the hell did she not get an Emmy nomination again?) We already knew Oh from her days on Grey’s Anatomy, of course, and it wasn’t easy taking our attention away from Comer, but she delivered a marvelously versatile performance of her own. Ranging from dogged pursuit to burnt-out vulnerability, Oh’s Eve was our whip-smart window into this world, as she discovered an inner strength she never knew she had while chasing Villanelle across the globe.
Comer and Oh were great enough on their own, but when they shared the screen together, they were absolutely electrifying. (We have four words for you: The. Shepherd’s. Pie. Scene.) The two actors brought out the best in each other all season long, with Eve and Villanelle harboring a passionate mutual obsession that culminated in a shocking final showdown — and by season’s end, we were obsessed, too. Now we just have to (impatiently) wait for Season 2 to get here…
Do you agree with our pick for Performer(s) of the Year? Or did you have a different favorite? Let us know in the comments below.