Rapid Insights: Mr. & Mrs. Smith Explodes with Action & Emotion

Last Friday, Amazon Prime released the full first season of its buzzy new spy-action-dramedy that’s also a reimagining of the 2005 Brad Pitt/Angelina Jolie film of the same name. This series-length version stars Donald Glover and Maya Erskine as fellow spies thrust together into a cover-story marriage that ultimately becomes real.

Here’s what you need to know about Mr. & Mrs. Smith:

Vault uses index scores to describe the impact a given story/theme/element will have on specific KPIs: 
≤79 Disappointing  80-89 Challenging  90-109 Average  110-119 Promising  120+ Outstanding

Who’s been watching this inventive new series? 
We’re seeing an audience that leans male (56%) and is heavily older (71% aged 30+), a bit of a departure from writer Glover’s previous female-leaning series (AtlantaSwarm). Instead, Mr. & Mrs. Smith straddles the line between more male-heavy action-based thrillers (Citadel24The Old Man, Jack Ryan, all 62-64% male) and female-skewing spy dramas with relationship elements (The Americans, Homeland, Killing Eve, ChuckAlias, all 50-59% female).
How is this series different from the earlier movie?
It flips the premise. In the Pitt-Jolie film, a staid, boring married couple are actually highly-trained spies ordered to assassinate each other; in the show, the titular couple begin as newly-hired agents directed to act as husband and wife as a plausible cover. The Romantic Relationship (116) that develops between them–as well as hints of the pair’s previously Troubled Pasts (113)–drive longevity for the series, providing an emotional story engine for future seasons.
Why are viewers tuning in?
For the action. Though the series emphasizes (and deconstructs) the pair’s evolving relationship, it’s actually the heightened, Stylized Action & Violence (160) and guns a’blazing firepower (Gun Violence, 141) that audiences most want to see–and coincidentally, the elements that Mr. & Mrs. Smith the series has most in common with its theatrical predecessor (IP Extension, 118).
What type of viewing experience are audiences anticipating?
An intense one. The spy thriller aspects of the show (Scary Situations, 127; Race Against Time, 124) are also what’s propelling its emotional engagement, with viewers looking for a sense of Surprise (120)Terror (116)Fear (112), and Vigilance (112) to keep them on the edge of their seats. In contrast, emotions surrounding the Smiths’ marriage as they bicker (Disapproval, 90), fight (Anger, 105), and fall in love (Love, 87) are less compelling.
What keeps viewers watching?
The characters. In addition to the general spy missions (Espionage, 124), Erskine’s prickly, quirky, Strong Female Character (137) in need of A New Beginning (117) as well as the cast’s overall Cultural Diversity (110) are propelling the show’s bingeability.


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*Publicly released trailers for series are evaluated using Vault’s algorithms – utilizing our proprietary 120K+ story element database alongside ratings performance and other datasets – to identify unique combinations of stories, themes, characters, and genre elements that will drive success.

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