18 January 2017

Michaela Coel’s Chewing Gum has returned to E4

Chewing Gum has returned to E4 for its brilliant second series. Available on All4 in the UK and soon on Netflix worldwide, the new series is already a hit with the critics:

Michaela Coel’s Chewing Gum is back and it’s as rude, tender and funny as ever
Michaela Coel’s bold, sassy, emotionally mature and (let’s face it) very, very rude comedy Chewing Gum is back, eight months on from Coel’s best comedy performance Bafta win last May.(…) A Chewing Gum set piece or one-liner can steal up on you unexpectedly – which is no surprise considering Tracey’s abiding innocence and sweetness which somehow withstands all the filth and mayhem around her – but can also make her do some really weird things. There’s a moment when she refers to “reptile dysfunction” which had me on the floor laughing.  Ben Dowell – Radio Times – 9th Jan ‘17 

If life were a sweeping romantic film, running into your ex for the first time would take place on a bridge, overlooking a dramatic riverscape, at sunset. In reality, it’s more likely to happen in the corner shop. (…) Like all the best comedy writers, Michaela Coel, who also stars, has a knack for taking an everyday situation and spinning it with the absurd. In this case, Tracey Gordon was working in the corner shop (and secretly living in it), when her ex-boyfriend Connor (Robert Lonsdale) came in to fix the shelves.  (…) Since then Coel has won two Bafta Awards, including one for Best Female Comedy Performance, and the series has been widely lauded for both being incredibly funny and turning gritty council-estate stereotypes on their head. Indeed, it is a rare thing to see a lighthearted comedy set on a council estate. Catherine Gee – The Telegraph – 12th Jan ‘17

A slice of working-class urban life is shoved rudely, and gloriously, in your face. (…) What sets Chewing Gum apart, of course, is Coel, her creation and her performance. Hilariously filthy, there is nowhere she – and it – won’t go (…) But, at the same time, it is also human, tender, maybe even wise. And it is certainly true – a big slice of modern working-class urban life shoved rudely, and gloriously, right in your face.  Sam Wollaston – The Guardian – 13th Jan ‘17

Michaela Coel sassed and swore her way to a clutch of deserved awards in 2015, and returns with a second series that certainly doesn’t rely on lazy stereotypes. Her character, Tracey, is – I’m fairly sure this is unique – an exuberantly dysfunctional twentysomething, ex-religious, black, mouthy virgin with a great line in backchat and an endless capacity for self-deception. Its relentless energy leaves one’s limbs akimbo on the sofa, pebble-dashed with loud, flirty vomit. (…) A constant blithering surprise, and thus to be truly cherished in TV-land.  Euan Ferguson – The Observer (The New Review) – 15th Jan ‘17

“I’m a grown woman”, says Michaela Coel’s Tracey, “I just regularly make childlike mistakes”.  That’s a difficult balancing trick for a sitcom character to pull off without being horribly “kooky”, but Coel’s writing is sharp, funny and just filthy enough to make her second run of this series a delight to watch.  Helen Stewart and Victoria Segal – The Sunday Times (Culture) – 15th Jan ‘17

As series two of the Bafta-winning Chewing Gum got under way, Coel/Tracey was in top form, trying to dance around her break-up with ex Connor while constructing a celebrity fling with rapper Stormzy. But Chewing Gum in no one-woman show, with Coel joined by a supporting cast full of juicy characters.  (…)That’s just one surprise bonus in a show that mixes a sensitive look at insecurity and relationships with a brand of humour that borders on the potty-mouthed.  Coel is holding up a mirror to the pressures of modern love and, somehow, Chewing Gum makes hilarious sense of it all.  Keith Watson – Metro (London) – 18th Jan ‘17