Your new TV obsession starts tonight
"OHMIGOD! Does Ridley Scott watch television?!" Sandra Oh screams down the phone in excitement.
The Grey's Anatomy and Sideways star is headlining the buzziest TV show in America right now and she's ecstatic to be told uber director Ridley Scott not only watched spy thriller Killing Eve but he loved it, and her performance in particular.
"Ooooo! Ohmigod, that's great!" she says.
Universally praised by fans and critics, Killing Eve is one of those extraordinarily rare TV shows where the ratings actually increased with each episode as word-of-mouth spread.
Now Australian audiences can revel in its thrilling, subversive energy for themselves. All eight episodes of the first season just dropped on ABC iView today and you just know that's your weekend gone.
Addictive and propulsive, Killing Eve is a British-American co-production about a Korean-American MI5 agent whose boring desk-bound duties are wasting her talents until she's thrust into an investigation over an assassination of a Russian. Well, she's less thrust into and more meddles her in way in.
"Eve will push and blunder her way through," Oh tells news.com.au. "She hasn't grown up and trained in the politeness and niceties [of British culture]. There is a brashness to her. I think it's fantastic to see this woman breaking rules even though you can also see her being insecure.
"When she's at her best, which is also when she's at her worst, she can't shut up. Her instinctive engine is her gift and it pushes her forward, for good or bad."
Eve's opposite - the assassin - is Villanelle (Jodie Comer), a mercurial sociopath who is introduced in a scene in which she throws a child's ice cream in the tot's lap, for no other reason than her own amusement.
Soon the two engage in a cat-and-mouse dance across Europe and form a bizarre connection and obsession with each other. In turn, you will become obsessed with Killing Eve's seductive storytelling and powerfully playful performances.
While spy thrillers are nothing new, there's a freshness to Killing Eve, a sense that it's something you've not seen before, a tone that rises above its genre trappings. Oh calls it "magical fairy dust".
"Because it is kind of magical. It's [co-creator and writer] Phoebe Waller-Bridge's voice. It's also my voice, it's also Jodie's voice, and Fiona [Shaw] and the rest of the cast," Oh says. "It's the fantastic locations, it's the time in which the show is airing.
"There's a hunger and recognition of our own hunger for new material and the world is ready for it. If you took all the elements of our show and put it on air 20 years ago, it wouldn't have had an audience."
Waller-Bridge has been credited with crafting the voice of Killing Eve, for which she wrote four of the season's eight episodes. The British writer is best known for creating, writing and starring in her TV show Fleabag, which itself was a spin-off from her one-woman stage play, as well as for voicing L3, the "woke" drone in Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Oh says as soon as she read the script for the first episode, she felt connected to Waller-Bridge.
"I felt like I really understood this writer. I knew of Phoebe's Fleabag though I didn't know her. But I knew I got her. You know when you start chatting to someone and you just immediately get along and finish each other's sentences and you have the same type of humour? It's not like you're the same person but it's that feeling you have when you get someone and I really felt that with Phoebe."
Foreseeing the success of Killing Eve, the series was commissioned for a second season before the first season even aired. Good call.
Oh says that she knew the show was popular but it was an encounter in a beauty shop in the LA neighbourhood of Crenshaw that really brought it home. The Asian-American store owner recognised her from Killing Eve and immediately turned to another customer in the store and implored her to watch the series.
"This is absolutely the pinnacle of how I am so happy about how this show is being received," Oh says with genuine enthusiasm. "The Korean-American owner is telling her African-American customer to watch the show. She doesn't know me from Grey's, she knows me from Killing Eve. I just thought, 'Jackpot.'"
Killing Eve season one is streaming now on ABC iView.