Chewing Gum‘s creator and star Michaela Cole excels at awkward and uncomfortable – and at inviting the viewer to join her in these places. This is partly because she talks to the camera (and gets pissed when someone else tries to join her in breaking the fourth wall), but even more so because she is a fearless comedic genius. If you haven’t been watching the sex-obsessed UK series that came to Netflix last fall, now’s the time to binge catch-up for the second season.
Background: Cole is Tracey, a very sheltered 24-year-old woman who is stuck in her adolescence and making startlingly bad life choices (see dating a “poet” child-man, threesome in the back of a butcher shop, selling used dildos as a money-making scheme) as she tries to stumble her way into a more adult way of life (see sex club, potentially explicit photo shoot with dachshund). On the way we meet a cast of supporting friends and family (Susan Wokoma portraying her sister Cynthia steals every scene she is in) who aren’t exactly helping Tracey progress in life. Both sisters are attempting to break away from their oppressive religious upbringing and their attempts at sexual encounters are absurdly funny and worth the price of admission.
Really, really short review: Sex is funny and often absurd. Chewing Gum gets that and skillfully brings those awkward laughs to the screen.