Mr. & Mrs. Smith: Full Season
February 6, 2024 11:12 PM - Season 1 (Full Season) - Subscribe

The Smiths, John and Jane, are strangers who have given up their identities to be paired off by a secretive organization, both in espionage and marriage, like two peas stuck in one pod.

Building on the basic premise of its source material, Mr. & Mrs. Smith anchors its spy hijinks in a relationship drama fueled by the chemistry between its charming leads.

Allison Nichols: Mr. & Mrs. Smith introduces us to a new John and Jane Smith, and we follow them as they begin their marriage and career with the agency. Donald Glover and Maya Erskine deliver amazing performances, and it doesn’t take long to fall in love with their characters and their relationship.

While the show is less successful in other aspects, one thing it nails is the relationship between Glover and Erskine’s John and Jane. They’ve got fantastic chemistry, and you completely become invested in their journey.

If the show was only going to get one thing right, John and Jane’s relationship is the right one. It would have been brutal if the show botched their romance.

There are some aspects the show could’ve improved on, such as allowing us to learn more about the spy agency and hihi.

It’s set up as this mysterious agency that even John and Jane speculate about from time to time. It would have enriched our viewing experience to understand a bit more about how everything worked.


Streaming on Prime Video
posted by Carillon (32 comments total)
 
I binged this at the weekend and felt that it made it easier to frame it mentally as a pseudo-Atlanta spin-off with compelling lead dynamics. The secret mission side of things doesn't hold up to even the slightest scrutiny, whereas the emotional relationship is dynamite stuff.
posted by Molesome at 4:40 AM on February 7


I'm glad somebody posted this. I was intending to do so, but time hasn't been on my side.

I've only seen the first couple of episodes and my conclusion is that these two are terrible spies. They have no concept of mission planning or secrecy or how to conduct themselves in public. They're idiots who did no preparation--not even the basics of "okay, so we're supposed to be a couple: what does that mean for how we behave in public?" And why or why would you, knowing that your neighbour has been a busybody and knows about your composter do that in the manner in which you did it? Are you just asking to give yourselves away?

In case anybody is on the fence about watching this show based on the movie, I should say, from what I've seen that this premise is different in that they're not a married couple keeping secrets from each other. They're a couple of spies who don't know each other and who are given the assignment of living a married couple.
posted by sardonyx at 6:31 AM on February 7 [3 favorites]


I made it to episode three and stopped when it turned into two people bickering about personal habits and not two people trying to get better at their job, it seemed out of balance and did not endear me to either of them. Plus, missions with no clear scope or actual tangible goal are doomed to fail and just plain dumb.
posted by OHenryPacey at 7:20 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]


I mean, have you seen the hiring process? Previous spy job experience wasn't even a requirement, and there was no training. The company did not exactly set them up for success. Terrible HR department.
posted by Pryde at 7:25 AM on February 7 [3 favorites]


The point of the show really is their relationship, with random spy mission action thrown in. It's not remotely set up to be the usual kind of competence porn type of show with movie spies, a la Alias or the recent silly but somewhat fun True Lies series adaptation (which was filled with the more typical expected kind of spy agency stuff), much less anything making a go at some kind of dramatized realism (like The Americans).

I actually enjoyed it and thought it was a fun spin on the trope, but definitely not what everyone going in is going to want or exepect.
posted by Pryde at 7:35 AM on February 7 [5 favorites]


I realize these comments are essentially negative reviews, but they actually made me more interested in the show, not less:

They're idiots who did no preparation--not even the basics of "okay, so we're supposed to be a couple: what does that mean for how we behave in public?"

Sounds like something a lot of people have to figure out in a new relationship!

Plus, missions with no clear scope or actual tangible goal are doomed to fail and just plain dumb.

Sounds like something a lot of people have to figure out about life in general!
posted by jedicus at 8:57 AM on February 7 [6 favorites]


I loved this. The performances were great, the guest star per-episode structure was fun, and I really enjoyed the way their relationship evolved over the course of the season.

I particularly loved the episode in Italy, where they started talking about whether or not they wanted to have kids while Ron Perlman had been acting like a toddler the whole time. Jane had to put him in the car and make sure he was buckled in, he threw tantrums when he didn't get his way, John had to promise him a treat before he would take his medicine, etc.

The clumsy spycraft fit for me because John and Jane had already been rejected by more official organizations (CIA for Jane, USMC for John). HiHi Inc. isn't a best of the best kind of thing- it struck me as a privatized contractor that was all about cutting costs. Don't bother with training or support for your new hires, and when they inevitably fail just get Parker Posey cut them loose and hire a new pair of rejects.
posted by Uncle Ira at 9:00 AM on February 7 [5 favorites]


Finished this last night, and the show's amazing, loved every minute. Don't miss the bonus features that they have for each episode with a little 3-4 minute behind the scenes interview with the showrunner. Also there 3 three super adorable little bonus moments in down in there as well. I felt like keeping hihi and this crazy company a total mystery hit the perfect note. And, as jedicus, says, all the spy stuff is just there to reflect the romance and how they grow together (or not...)

I can see that if you don't buy into the central relationship the show is going to be a little middling at best, but I found the two of them (and how they bounced off the situations and the co-stars) to be utterly engrossing.
posted by ssmith at 9:10 AM on February 7


yes these two are definitely candidates for American Slow Horses company. so dumb!! I enjoyed the show but oy they were dumb. I really liked the episode where they meet the other Smiths. so many ways I was envisioning things to go sideways (propositioning a foursome? coming to dinner to kill them?). did they learn any lessons?? doubtful...
posted by supermedusa at 10:28 AM on February 7 [3 favorites]


it was pretty cute how dedicated the show runners were to having Donald Glover shirt-less as often as plausible.
posted by supermedusa at 10:51 AM on February 7 [6 favorites]


If you're stopping at episode three, you're missing what the show is. It's a really bold move, the giant (yet barely signaled) time jumps from episode three onward, shedding all traces of the sort of pleasant romantic comedy structure the first two episodes suggest and swapping that out for a marriage can be tough vibe that gets tougher and harder to watch as it goes on.

It's really not a spy show with relationship banter. The relationship is the show, and the spy stuff is mostly all allegory/background in the service of that. (Maybe most apparent in the episode with all the taking-care-of-a-toddler language: "is he out?" Jane asks, as though those are possibly the words you'd use to ask whether an adult in your care has fallen asleep.)

it struck me as a privatized contractor that was all about cutting costs.

Yeah, the show gives mixed signals on this front. The company seems to be all about cutting personnel costs, at least, but then it really goes above and beyond in designing and decking out their apartment house. If a second season decides to take that aspect seriously, I'd guess the whole thing is designed to manipulate John and Jane from the get go, in ways we don't have enough information to guess much about now.

(We have been led to believe -- unless it's the other couple who've been misled -- that hihi might be a super-predictive AI who knows what you'll do before you do it (making all the inscrutible missions about nudging the world toward its desired future, I guess). Which adds poignancy to the scenes where Jane seems to be falling for its conversational flattery. But the show's mission statement is about marriage (hence the need for the time jumps, to get to later relationship stages within a season), so I'm not sure how much it could explore that thread without getting all the way off track.)
posted by nobody at 11:44 AM on February 7


Agree 100% with the positive comments! The Venn diagram of people who love this and also love, say, Slow Horses, The Americans, and Killing Eve might not completely overlap, but I'm certainly dead center in the middle.
posted by Pryde at 1:58 PM on February 7 [4 favorites]


So, since i loved Slow Horses, The Americans and season 1 of Killing Eve, can i jump over the rest of ep 3 and simply start again in ep 4 and see if it sticks. It could, or it just might not be the show for me.
posted by OHenryPacey at 2:28 PM on February 7


My guess is that it'll continue feeling like it might not be the show for you until the last couple episodes, but at that point you might come to appreciate what you didn't like in the middle four?

(I mean, the bickering gets much worse before then, but it also might become more clear that it's doing interesting, grounded disagreement, not stereotypical husbands-/wives-am-i-right bickering. But I take it as designed to feel uncomfortable, so you might have to be open to that as a totally different genre trope.)
posted by nobody at 2:57 PM on February 7


So are Alexander Skarsgard and Eliza Gonzales just a random John and Jane who tried to escape from HiHi?
posted by Sukey Says at 6:47 PM on February 7


We're enjoying this show a lot. If The Americans was about the cold war and marriage, this show is about marriage and The Americans. Which is fine -- that was a great show, and this is a good homage, even if a lot of it is somewhere between on-the-nose and lampshading (the Russian-R title card, the composter scene, the other couple in episode 3, the therapist, etc). The only drawback so far is that the marriage humor is both a bit elementary, and a bit one-sided; I get the feeling that they're more comfortable making the Asian woman the badguy than the Black man -- but that may still change; two more episodes to go. Anyway, it's a marriage comedy, the spy stuff is just fodder and the job isn't really meant to make any more sense than it does in Scenes from a Marriage or, for that matter, The Sopranos. When they pretend to the therapist that they're complaining about a normal job instead of their spy job, that's the truth; as in the The Sopranos, the pretense is the real truth, and the genre melodrama is just to keep things more entertaining than, say, the architect (?) details in Scenes from a Marriage. And entertaining it is!
posted by chortly at 7:21 PM on February 7


I genuinely enjoyed the show, but note that

SPOILER
SPOILER
SPOILER

The cat is not okay. :( And while I understood the character motivations for this decision ... couldn't they have just wounded the cat? Or scared him? I'm pretty sure Jane would go apeshit if anyone hurt one hair on Max's fuzzy little head - and rightly so!

The older I get, the less I want to see pets hurt in movies/TV. Perhaps I'm getting soft in my old age.
posted by Mr. Excellent at 7:12 AM on February 8 [8 favorites]


Also: Max is definitely the MVP on this show. He's not a preternaturally gifted or perceptive cat, he doesn't do anything heroic or clever - he's just a cat-ass cat, and it's fantastic.
posted by Mr. Excellent at 7:14 AM on February 8 [1 favorite]


I like that hihi starts out kind of goofy and, by the time the Smiths start racking up mission failures, seems very menacing. I also quite like the (indefinite but notable) time gaps between episodes. The show feels a lot less spoon-fed that way.
posted by grandiloquiet at 9:23 AM on February 8


The dinner with the other Smiths raised so many red flags... Parker and her husband gave the appearance of maybe giving out information but they said NOTHING. And the way the Johns met was also very obvious. Felt like a test or HR review.
posted by armacy at 11:39 AM on February 8 [4 favorites]


That the purpose and background of hihi and the agency is unknown is a feature not a bug. I got a real Severance vibe about the assumed benevolence of the organization, and about that assumption being its own form of menace.

I really enjoyed this and would def come back for more. All the wonderful cameos and amazing interiors. Weeeee!
posted by Stanczyk at 2:59 AM on February 9 [1 favorite]


I've only watched one episode. I like the actors and their characters. And after reading most of the comments above, am undecided still about watching further.
posted by Glinn at 2:02 PM on February 11


Does anyone know what the second mission failure was? The first was accidentally double-dosing the billionaire and the third was the escape of the spy from the rival agency, but I feel like we skipped over the second somewhere.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 8:24 PM on February 11 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure they failed the camping-in-the-woods mission in the couples therapy episode. (They never find their target at all!)
posted by nobody at 7:24 AM on February 12 [4 favorites]


I thought it was fun and would definitely be up for a second season.

Donald Glover was so objectified in this. Everything he wore was skin tight or tiny. Or he was shirtless.
posted by the webmistress at 9:59 AM on February 12 [1 favorite]


Donald Glover was so objectified in this. Everything he wore was skin tight or tiny. Or he was shirtless.

He wrote this. I'm pretty sure he was ok with it.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 2:49 PM on February 14 [2 favorites]


Loved it. As has already been noted, it's not a show to go into expecting intricate wordbuilding or logic – nothing wrong with those things, but this was great for me without them.

Relatedly, I've seen some chatter elsewhere about how Mr. and Mrs. Smith isn’t "about" anything other than their relationship, and that it would've been better if it had a more pointed critique of (what else) capitalism. But it seemed pretty obvious to me that the show was about *work* is overwhelming and undermining relationships!
posted by adrianhon at 4:12 AM on February 15 [4 favorites]


I liked the shrink episode where it got darker and darker in that room with each successive visit and the two of them got farther and farther apart and the psychiatrist got evermore into the weeds on the actual problem because of the "we're IT guys!" story, and then they just burned it all down, so satisfying... Why would you put the fucking piano in there if the client can't wander over and plink on the piano? She SO deserved that housefire.

The cat, however, did NOT deserve that treatment. I agree he should only have been winged. It could've had all the horror necessary, too. A couple of beats after the shooting stopped the tip of his ear could've fallen in her lap and she could've taken a pathos-laden microsecond to figure out what it was and then lost her mind. Improbable/impossible? Sure. Just like every single other thing that happened the entire season.
posted by Don Pepino at 11:19 AM on February 15


Lots of fun little things throughout this season, but by the end of it I found myself not caring about their relationship anymore, and not caring whatever happens to them. I suppose I felt like breaking up with them too. Overall I liked the show, but also I think it would be fine if next season was a new couple.

One thing I did really like about the final episode is during the gun fight there were two moments when I was like, "Wow they have REALLY bad aim," and those were the exact moments they mention later as when they could have killed each other. Great! OTOH the truth serum scene overall has some pretty bad acting in it and it's kinda insufferable and that's when I just felt how much I didn't gaf about these characters anymore.

Also really love the flashback part of the therapy episode where Jane snipes John's "friends", that's just perfect. The movie this show was based on wasn't great, or even very memorable, but the show does capture the charm of its premise well.
posted by fleacircus at 10:26 PM on February 15


TIL there was a Scott Bakula & Maria Bello series from 1996?
posted by juv3nal at 6:49 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]


The 1996 show is on archive.org. All 13 episodes, including the 4 that were never aired in the US because the show was cancelled mid-season. Everything I can glean about the show online is that it was bad and immediately forgotten. This Den of Geek article about it is good.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith was indeed different from Quantum Leap in the sense that it sucked … be forewarned: Scott Bakula eventually gets on a skateboard for the slowest high-speed chase you’ve ever seen. ...

Secondly (and this one is important), the 1996 Mr. and Mrs. Smith actually has nothing to do with the 2005 Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Despite featuring the same name and a passingly familiar premise, Simon Kinberg’s script for the 2005 Mr. and Mrs. Smith was written on spec and is classified as an original screenplay.
posted by Nelson at 7:24 AM on February 23


I really enjoyed this 2024 show. Mostly for Donald Glover. I like Molesome's comment relating it to Atlanta; definitely had some of the same quirkiness combined with a lot of clever writing and directing. I also thought Maya Erskine was great.

I agree with nobody's comment about the show really changing after episode 3. The fact it's mostly a relationship show is there in all the episodes (and indeed, the 2005 movie). But I worry the show hid its light under a bushel a bit. The first episodes are good but I can see the takeaway being "this is a dumb spy show" and missing the slow burn humor of the absurdity of, say, the assassin spies going to couples counseling. Honestly I hear basically no buzz about the show among friends who would ordinarily be primed to like this and I don't even know how to encourage them to watch it short of "so do you have 8 hours?".

My favorite episode is #4, Double Date. Partly because it sets the stage for just how weird the Smiths' lives are. Also very well directed (by Christian Sprenger). And Wagner Moura is just fantastic in it. I loved that actor in Narcos, just a fantastic performance, it's fun to see his talent here too.
posted by Nelson at 7:25 AM on February 23


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