Mild spoilers after the break:
I’ve just finished watching the first ep of Boy Meets Girl and I loved it!
It’s very much pitched as a fluffy, BBC2 light comedy and it works perfectly in that slot. But there’s also some expert twists and turns from the wonderful cast. Their characters are, yes, comedic but they’re still human and seem real, rather than sacrificing dimensionality for laughs. There’s some beautiful, very un-showy work here and it beds the programme into a believable, rich world. Kind of reminds me of The Royle Family. It’s so rare we see how British families actually are on the telly but I think Boy Meets Girl understands the mix of boredom, lunacy and bizarre in-jokes and idiosyncrasies perfectly. Ian’s Mum (played by Denise Welch) and her invisible diary just cracked me up.
I love that this show has a central character who is trans and is portrayed by a trans actress but I also love that they’ve built in the age gap of Leo (Harry Hepple) being 26 and Judy (Rebecca Root) being 40. To be honest, they could have pitched the show as simply an age-gap romcom and had a winner.
The first date scene was an emotional rollercoaster ~ I was giggling like a fish for some bits and then blubbing for others. There was a part, when Judy was describing her experience of being born in the wrong body and Root just slightly teared up and I know she’s acting but, damn, she killed me.
Obviously, with how the series is being promoted, the emphasis will be on Root but that shouldn’t overshadow Hepple’s light touch and natural comedic flair. He’s constructing this character who is shy, romantic and wants to connect, to find ‘the one’ so when Judy comes along, the stress this causes him is tremendous.
Their first kiss is in the rain as they part after the date. This is a scene that should be corny, worn out through over use ~ we’ve seen the Rainy First Kiss a gazillion times. But Boy Meets Girl owned it: when Leo’s head hits the car door, I yelped a little. You know a romcom is good when you’re willing the couple to kiss so much. It was sweet and soppy and I loved it.
So, a powerful cast of expert actors who make the most difficult acting ever, which is comedy, seem like falling off a log. And writers who, judging from the first ep, know how to sucker punch within the often constraining remit of the light comedy genre. I’m happy and hopeful for this series!
Can’t wait for ep 2 on Thursday! Eeek!