reviews and recommendations

You might like… Chewing Gum

Ever thought back to a time when you were younger and just… cringed? You’ll feel the second-hand 20-something awkwardness when you watch Chewing Gum. It’s a new female-led comedy showing on E4 this autumn.

Chewing Gum is written and co-produced by Michaela Coel, who is very talented. She’s a singer, actress, writer, poet and genuinely lovely person. The Q&A straight after the preview screening showed that – there’s no pretentiousness or high-and-mighty attitude with Michaela. Even though she wrote the whole series in Lake Tahoe, lucky woman. Success has yet to go to her head, and here’s hoping it never does.

We first saw the makings of what is now Chewing Gum on Comedy Blaps. The two short skits have evolved into a six-episode series. I have to say, it was quite nice getting to see two of the episodes without ad breaks. Sorry, E4…

The show focuses on Michaela’s character, Tracey. She’s 24, religious, and extremely sexually frustrated. Over the six episodes, she starts to rebel and discover a new side to herself. I can’t really say any more than that, except that it’s hilarious to watch.

A sizeable chunk of the cast is female, and the characters are diverse enough that everyone can identify. You might well see your family or neighbours in some of the characters. Just don’t point it out to them! This is a show that’s seriously easy to relate to. And to cringe at – we were treated to two episodes, and I spent much of them hiding behind my own hands.

If you’re wondering why the show’s called Chewing Gum, I can’t tell you. It’s not a secret or a spoiler, it’s that Michaela herself doesn’t completely know how the name happened. Maybe just think of it as a metaphor for life.

Chewing Gum starts on E4 at 10pm on October 6th.