I have to admit after watching the first episode of series 1, I thought “what the hell is this?” But strangely I was intrigued to watch more. Before I knew it, Chewing Gum quickly turned into my viewing guilty pleasure.
The show is set around main character Tracey Gordon (Michaela Cole), an eccentric 24-year-old virgin who lives with her mum, Joy (Shola Adewusi) and sister, Cynthia (Susan Wokoma) who make up what I guess could be described as a peculiar and extremely religious family. We also get to know the relationships Tracey has with her friends, family and love interest Connor (Robert Lonsdale) which all equally make for odd, sometimes cringe-worthy, yet laugh out loud viewing. It’s safe to say Chewing Gum is just like marmite people either love it or hate it!
The comedy has made a recent return to E4 for its second series and right from the start we learn Tracey and Connor have broken up! Previously, the two finally seemed happy together in their quirky, yet awkward romance. However, we soon find out that Connor has already moved on to a new relationship and has a girlfriend. In an attempt to also appear to have moved on, in typical Tracey style, instead of admitting the truth she invents a boyfriend, and with the help of her GBF Ola (Olisa Odele) imaginary boyfriend in this case, is none other than Grime artist Stormzy (who makes a guest appearance). Tracey and Ola going to extreme and hilariously elaborate lengths to support the lie.
As the story unfolds in episode 1 ‘WTF happened?’ we learn that despite Tracey’s and Connor’s attraction and love for each other the relationship still hasn’t been consummated so to speak. In Tracey’s sexual drunken frustration she propositions a woman who Connor mistakenly believed she cheated on him with which is what caused their breakup! With the truth now out in the open and clear hints that the feelings with both of them are still there, Connor confirms that he is happy in his new relationship. In this episode we also see Tracey trying to reunite with her mum after moving out of the house in the previous series.
In episode 2 ‘Replacements’ Tracey and her determination to find a new relationship finds her donning a new level of confidence as she classically secures a guy’s number in less than a minute with rapid, straight to the point questions finishing with her ‘drop call my phone’ line. The genius sketch has gone viral and really speaks volumes about the comedic writing of this show; Ms Coel deserves all the awards and recognition for writing and creativity. As the episode develops we soon find out that Tracey’s new beau has a fetish for black women in scenes which some may find offensive, shocking; absolutely hilarious (or possibly all 3). It literally is one of those jaw-dropping ‘what the hell did I just watch?’ moments. To Tracey’s surprise she is rescued from the freakishly peculiar situation by her best friend, Candice (Danielle Walters), where they amend their troubled friendship.
Episode 3 ‘Just need some company’ focuses on Tracey’s mum Joy who receives a visit from the Council about her questionable Christian ministry; Tracey’s feeling very insecure after meeting Connor’s new girlfriend, Emma, for the first time. This causes Tracey to turn up her determination to find someone who finds her attractive, however, quickly becoming overwhelmed as she finds herself in a sex club after being deceptively invited by her cousin Boy Tracy (Jonathan Livingstone). Here Chewing Gum doesn’t fail in its attempts to push the limitations of taste as events play out in the sex club. But shenanigans aside, with her virginity still intact, Tracey decides to leave the sex club learning a little bit about self-worth along the way.
Chewing Gum series 2 seems to be pushing the boundaries even further of what’s deemed shocking, perverse, funny or outright disgusting. Yet we the audience still manage to relate to Tracey’s neurotic, erratic and insane issues! Watching is an emotional roller coaster; you never know what’s going to happen next!
Stayed tuned for next week’s Episode 4 review.
Chewing Gum airs on E4 Thursday’s 10PM