Let me begin by saying that I love Michaela Cole. Love. She’s hella brilliant. And I was rocking with Chewing Gum season 1 pretty hardcore. I don’t really want to say this out loud, because no shade or disrespect, but season two almost put me to sleep…But honestly, doesn’t really matter what I think, because the world loves Chewing Gum, and Michaela is doing whatever the heck she wants. And I am so here for that.
For those not hip to the game, Chewing Gum, written by Cole herself, is a British television sitcom set on a low-income apartment estate in London. The series focuses on Tracey, a quirky colorful twenty-something shop assistant, oppressed by her mother and sister’s overly religious restrictive lifestyle, and the lives and mishaps of her friends and family. To condense a two-series show into one sentence: Tracy’s main goal in life is to to have sex, and in doing so, learn more about the world. As you can guess, disaster and hilarity ensue.
Michaela plays Tracey with wild abandon as do the other highly talented actors. So much so that at times the show almost seems like improv; with no one quite on script, on que, or really aware of what is actually going on. Perhaps this is on purpose. Maybe not. But it doesn’t matter because it works. Cole is joined by Susan Wokoma (Crazyhead), Danielle Walters (The Legend of Dick and Dom), and Robert Lonsdale (The Interseptor) amongst many others.
At a time when male writers continue to dominate the industry, and instances of black skin on screen are few and far in between, Chewing Gum is a breath of fresh air. The show is clever, witty, and extremely well done. If you’re looking for a Netflix show to binge watch, this one is at the top of the list. However, where season 1 was engaging, unexpected, and exciting, season 2 just sort of seems to fall flat. Throughout the series, Tracey and her group get caught up in many shenanigans and other happenstances, which, in season 1 were really funny. By season 2, I was just annoyed and extremely unimpressed. I get it, part of her (Tracey/Michaela) charm is her nonconformity, but at some point I became disenchanted. I think it was the constant naïveté, immaturity and inability to just grow up. However, according to all Netflix experts (…) this is currently THE show to watch, so maybe I need to give it another chance? Perhaps I was just grumpy and needed a cup of tea…or a martini at the time. Regardless, have a watch and let us know what you think.
Yes, if you were wondering, Tracey does indeed have sex. But perhaps maybe not in the way you might expect.
From my TV to yours, happy watching.