Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Now on Netflix: Chewing Gum (2015)

Chewing Gum (2015) - Directed by Tom Marshall, Simon Neal; Written by Michaela Coel; Starring Michaela Coel, Robert Lonsdale, Danielle Walters, Susan Wokoma.

By Kenny Howell

Michaela Coel brings her way over the top tale of a clueless young woman trying to figure out relationships and sex in this hilarious comedy from the UK.

Coel plays Tracey, a 24-year-old virgin from an extremely religious family. She desperately wants to have sex and has a boyfriend, but he is borderline abusive of her, shaming her for straying from the word of God while she repeatedly tries to pull him away from it.

She finally has had enough and breaks up with him (which leads to him accidentally getting hit by a car), and meets Connor, a sweet, but somewhat unambitious young man. Tracey instantly wants to go right to sex, and asks her friend Candice, who is way more experienced, for some advice. However, Candice is a bit more into 50 Shades of Grey stuff, which is probably not where you want to get things started. Tracey makes the mistake of looking of tips online as well, and tries repeatedly over the series to replicate that, failing miserably every time.

Coel, who adapted the entire series from her stage play, is a force in the lead, and she is not afraid to make Tracey look extremely ridiculous for our benefit. It can be a bit much at times, but Coel is quite clever and gets every laugh she can out of each scene. The repetitive nature also could have been a hindrance, but Coel knows how to approach it in a way to make it seem fresh every time. She is a very unique talent, and it reminded me of the also excellent British show Fleabag, which is streaming on Amazon. Both are led by extremely talented, funny young women (Phoebe Waller-Bridge for Fleabag) who can chew up scenery, and both are probably the best comedy imports from the U.K. we have had in the last few years.

The first season of Chewing Gum is now streaming on Netflix.

Rating: ***1/2

No comments:

Post a Comment