Get Even Is a Glossy British Murder Mystery

Photo: BBC

It’s been a while since we’ve had a pulpy teen thriller that scratches the Pretty Little Liars itch, but there’s a recent addition to the genre that lives up to it and more. Get Even, now streaming on Netflix, is a prep school murder mystery that gives Riverdale’s last season a run for its money.

The 2019 BBC series follows four young women who attend a fancy private high school somewhere in Britain. They’re all in different cliques but have formed a secret collective called ‘DGM,’ the purpose of which is to get revenge on the school’s wrongdoers. Generally, the group’s targets are people who get away with bad behavior: bullying coaches, a douchey jock who stole and broadcasted a girl’s nude photos.

Get Even is like The Secret History by way of Gossip Girl, with the same amount of murder but less sex. Unlike those two beloved pieces of culture, Get Even has not one but four female leads — two of whom are women of color: Filipina actress Kim Adis plays the sporty Kitty, and Margot, the brains of the operation, is played by Black actress Bethany Antonia. They’re joined by Mia McKenna-Bruce’s Bree, the acerbic rebel, and Jessica Alexander’s Olivia, the popular girl who masquerades as both rich and straight, though she is neither. The girls are not just there to look fantastic in tailored blazers, either — they all have distinctive personalities, elaborate character arcs, and, in a rare move, the narratives of the nonwhite characters don’t revolve around their races.

In the first couple episodes I watched, things seemed to be going well for DGM — they exposed one bad guy and were cooking up their next scheme when the asshole they are about to take down is suddenly murdered. Or maybe he isn’t? While it’s unclear exactly what happened, he appears to have fallen from a window, and there’s a note on the ground next to him that reads “courtesy of DGM.”

I’m going to leave you with that. The next dozen episodes are all moody teenage melodrama marked by mean girls, angsty romance, and youthful rebellion — all of which will make you unexpectedly nostalgic for those 2010 house parties and P.E. classes. At 30 minutes an episode, you won’t have trouble watching the whole season in one sitting — and trust me, you’ll want to.

Get Even Is a Glossy British Murder Mystery