If you think television has enough teen dramas (Riverdale, Élite), comic book adaptations (The Flash, Runaways, Riverdale again) and ’80s nostalgia (Stranger Things, The Goldbergs, that one episode of Riverdale), think again. On January 16, the Syfy channel is dropping Deadly Class, the sexy, violent series about a group of teenagers attending assassin school…and it just so happens to star your favorite rom-com princess, Lana Condor.
For more than just the elevator pitch, here’s a more detailed plot description. Based on Rick Remender and Wes Craig’s comic of the same name, Deadly Class takes place in Reagan-era America and follows Marcus Arguello (Benjamin Wadsworth) as he goes from homeless teen on the run from police for the brutal murder of an entire boys home to a new recruit at King’s Dominion, a secret school for assassins. Once inside, the orphan finds himself at the bottom of the totem pole yet again when he fails to tie himself to a gang (the social hierarchy is pretty sectioned off by racial affiliations) and is cast into a group of outsiders. On top of that, he can’t seem to shirk his attraction to Saya (Condor), a fierce member of the Japanese Kuroki Syndicate (and way, way out of his league).
If you’re still in doubt, here’s every reason you need to tune in to Deadly Class. Warning, some spoilers for the pilot episode ahead.
Lana, Lana, Lana
I’d be lying if I didn’t say that part of the appeal of Deadly Class is watching Lara Jean Covey ride a motorcycle and kick serious ass, without the help of Peter Kavinsky. Though it makes for great cross-over fan-fiction fodder, eventually Condor’s performance transcends fandom as she transforms fully into Saya.
Condor is a natural in her role of the slightly aloof assassin, and you are never quite sure where she is going to land with newby Marcus. They definitely make for a sexy ship, but if I’m not mistaken, miss Saya might have something even more intriguing going on with a somewhat unexpected character (no spoilers though).
The Rest of the Cast
Beyond Condor, the mix of fresh, young talent is thrilling (and sexy), especially María Gabriela de Faría, who plays Maria, a vicious seductress entangled in an unhealthy and dangerous relationship with the heir to a dangerous Mexican criminal organization.
However, I am particularly partial to Willie Lewis (played by Luke Tennie), a gangster with a brutal reputation, who reveals his deepest secret to Marcus when they’re assigned to kill: he’s secretly a pacifist. That’s probably going to be a problem.
With the vibe of an angsty teen drama, you might not expect the action on the show to be closer related to that of Kingsman: The Secret Service. It’s cruel violence is unwavering and messy, the fight choreography an utter thrill to watch, especially when it’s dealt out by Saya.
Listen, in 2019 America, I’m not sure how responsible it is for a show to encourage angry teen boys to release their vitriol unto the world, but the one thing I think Deadly Class does more effectively than other shows is force its characters to confront their violence and actions head on. There is blood and revenge aplenty, but there’s also consequences.
I Love the ’80s
If you’re just here for the music and historical reference (and whatever the below hair style is) that’s cool, too. Frankly Deadly Class makes me wish kids these days still gathered around boomboxes and traded mix-tapes.
Not to get you too hyped (and no spoilers), but there is also an episode of Deadly Class that seems to pay specific homage to the John Hughes film The Breakfast Club. And yes, it’s better than Riverdale‘s. Nevermind. Go ahead, get hyped.
But don’t just take my word for it. Syfy has released the pilot episode online ahead of the premiere date. Watch