“Hit-Monkey” TV Series Review

Story posted November 29, 2021 in Arts & Entertainment by Ethan Hetrick.

There is no monkeying around in monkey business.

“Hit-Monkey” is Hulu’s second show in the now-canceled Offender’s project they had with Marvel. “Hit-Monkey” is an action-comedy between a hit-man monkey and his ghost mentor Bryce to get revenge on all those who killed the monkey’s clan and Bryce’s killer by killing everyone on their list.

The show is created by dynamic duo Josh Gordon and Will Speck. The two are Oscar-nominated directors and directed films like “The Switch” and “Office Christmas Party” before “Hit-Monkey.”

This animated show is unlike anything they’ve done before, except that they were able to bring together serious emotions as they did in “The Switch” and the comedy in “Office Christmas Party” and merge them into “Hit-Monkey” which managed to give “Hit-Monkey” emotional depth and light-hearted humor.

The show’s plot deals with Hitman Bryce assassinating a prime minister candidate Ken but is double-crossed and ultimately killed while hiding among an entire clan of Japanese white monkeys. Bryce returns as a ghost linked to the only surviving monkey from the clan and together, they go out and kill the person involved with the killing of the monkey’s clan and Bryce’s double-crossing so he can ascend.

The show’s basic layout of each episode is set up with a story and lesson while Hit-Monkey goes out to assassinate another man on the list. This formula is done uniquely throughout the series even though at times it does feel a bit repetitive.

The first half of the season deals with Bryce being tortured by mentoring a Hit-Monkey and just wanting to ascend. Hit-Monkey in the first half is learning the ways of a hitman. Going from getting his style, to effectively killing but most importantly it showed a surprising depth of him learning to deal with loss and anger issues.

Each episode had a big lesson usually narrated by Bryce like when Hit-Monkey didn’t want to feel anymore due to guilt of killing and loss of loved ones; Bryce managed to teach Hit-Monkey that it’s okay to feel these emotions and not try to numb them. So, the lessons of each episode between the two brought heart to the series.

The second half of the series is about Hit-Monkey and Bryce’s battling for who’s in charge. Each one is jealous until they ultimately agree to be a team to get revenge. Although, the second half of the series sounds blander than the first half but is the stronger part of the season.

The emotional depth that comes with the second half with all the storylines getting neatly tied up as they defeat the bosses, and the emotional stakes are higher due to connections that the audience has with the characters.

When the main boss, Lady Bullseye, shows up in the show that is when the show gets real. She is the main antagonist, also a subtle nod to Hit-Monkey’s comic roots with his arch-nemesis being bullseye, and she provides true fear to the show by outclassing Hit-Monkey in every way and starts killing several main characters.

But if the audience is looking for emotion all they need is to watch episode 8 which deals with Bryce’s backstory and Hit-Monkey’s adventure when he and Bryce get separated.

It is hard to think that a show about a hit-man monkey can make the audience feel serious emotions, yet it does.
The comedy was also done incredibly well throughout the show. With many jokes being random pop references from the talented Jason Sudeikis Bryce. But also, random comedic action that is reminiscent of the show “Archer” in which Bryce acts a lot like the sterling archer from that series.

Also, the show does a good job of reminding the audience that it is a show about a monkey. Having Hit-Monkey does not understand human objects and the learning curve of their ways is very humorous or with people just in fear of a monkey is very humorous as well.

The biggest highlight of the show is its action. With a spectacular and unique animation style that is very similar to flash animation, the show has created many ultra-violent action sequences with an artistic style of bright colors that leave artists’ mouths hanging open. Ultimately, the action of the show is very well done.

All the themes from emotions to comedy, visual masterpieces, and action are highlighted in the show’s two-part finale. With amazing twists, character development, and a perfect season conclusion that sets up a season two or can end right there has the making of an epic season finale.

Will there be a season two? Most likely not due to Marvel Television getting shut down and its team-up show “The Offenders” being scrapped, but this season two leaves fans with a highly satisfying season one and hopeful for another.

With incredible animations, “Hit-Monkey” manages to blend the action-comedy into one amazing season filled with shockingly high amounts of emotional depth to a show about a hitman monkey and his ghost mentor as they seek revenge.

Rating: 3/5 stars

Ethan Hetrick is a first-year communications major. To contact him, email eth5186@psu.edu