Chewing Gum TV Series (2015– )

Photo courtesy of: E4

Just get your wings out!

by Mireia Prats

No matter how hard your day has been. How loudly that baby was crying on the bus. How many dishes you still have to wash since the day before yesterday. Forget about everything just now: Chewing Gum is all you need. Some people might think: Oh, it is just mere entertainment, nothing too deep. Just something to pass the time. But ladies and gentleman I swear it is much more than that. It is witty, irreverent and extraordinary clever. And no, I am not trying to sell any chewy product here. I’m talking about a British sitcom this time, brilliantly written and starred by the extraordinary Michaela Coel and strongly influenced by her life.

Right since minute 1, we learn that 24-year-old Tracey Gordon (Michaela Coel) is struggling to fit in this world and she is constantly puzzled by her surroundings. Starting with her arrogant, patronizing and extremely religious fiancé Ronald (John Macmillan), who wants to wait to have sex until marriage and fails to listen and understand her needs. After 7 years being together and never having even kissed, I guess Tracey –still a virgin– is on her right to ask her fiancé a little bit more of intimacy. But his sin radar is on 24/7 and there is no way to turn it off. Horrified after hearing Tracey’s requests, he breaks up with her and gets run over by a car -and luckily, he survives-.

Her mother (Shola Adewusi) and sister are also powerful comical resources. Extremely devoted to Christianism, they strongly contrast from Tracey. While she is curious to find out what is out in the world for her, her sister Cynthia (Susan Wokoma) just wants to live a quiet and faithful life, playing board games at home forever. Yet, she is forced to go rescue her sister from a “flat sublet by Satan” where a suspiciously sinful activity is taking place, aka flat party with alcohol and sex. Holding her precious Holy Bible close to her chest, Cynthia dares to enter the wicked place and witnesses drunk people shamelessly dancing around and happens to find her sister in bed with Connor (Robert Lonsdale), a street poet who lives in the neighbourhood.

Meanwhile, straight-forward and confident Candice (Danielle Walters) –Tracey’s best friend– tries to convince her sensitive and sweet husband (Kadiff Kirwan) to spice things up and be more aggressive in bed while he cries his heart out, horrified by all the violent stuff her wife is into.

As I said, I promise you will enjoy every minute of it. You will fall in love with Tracey and you will stay devotedly by her side. Yes, she can be incredibly clumsy and naïve sometimes. She might mess things up and get involved in surreal situations but you know that at least she is trying. You know it when you see her dancing wild and free in the opening sequence, no matter what. I just hope you do the same sometimes, because as the song says: “Life ain’t Hollywood for anyone of us… just get your wings out”.

Video courtesy of: E4

Director: Tom Marshall
Writer: Michaela Coel
Stars: Michaela Coel, Robert Lonsdale, Susan Wokoma, Danielle Walters
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