Switch episode 6 review

Review Caroline Preece 20 Nov 2012 - 11:07

ITV2's fantasy comedy Switch comes to a sweet, light-hearted end with its sixth episode. Here's Caroline's review...

This review contains spoilers.

We’ve come to the end of ITV2’s little experiment, and this final episode of Switch is just as sweet and light-hearted as the preceding five. Will it get a second outing? No one knows yet but, seeing as it’s different from almost everything else on television right now, there’s plenty of evidence for it deserving one.

As promised last week, the girls are on their way to their solstice, which looks a lot like any British festival. Hannah is excited about meeting up with her mum, Jude is obviously arranging a date with her first love, Grace is trying to prevent a clingy Gerry from accompanying them, and Stella is conducting the whole journey like a military operation. It’s all business as usual then, even if they’re getting out of their Camden flat for the hour. The move works well for the episode, opening things up to the wider witchy world, and makes the ultimate return that much sweeter.

Now that Gerry knows about his girlfriend’s magical nature, there’s seemingly nothing stopping them from being together, but Grace still finds something to stress about. Worrying that her mother won’t approve, she blurts out that he’s actually Stella’s boyfriend (“are you not a lesbian anymore?”), much to her chagrin. The charade isn’t kept up for long, thankfully, and, upon learning that her daughter might return home to the village, Gloria is thrilled about the relationship. Unfortunately, and a little unbelievably, Grace doesn’t want to move from London, and ends up leaving Gerry behind.

Hannah, meanwhile, is navigating parental issues of the opposite variety. Instead of an overbearing and supportive mother, Hannah is stuck with one that’s never where she says she’ll be, and feels utterly rejected when she doesn’t find her at solstice. Despite her intentionally flighty nature, Hannah has been one of my favourite characters on the show, and that’s in no small part down to actress Hannah Tointon’s likeable performance. That said, her storyline this week might be the silliest of the whole series, as she finds out that Alexa from the Kensington coven is actually her half-sister via her mother’s affair. It does mean that she’s able to wrangle a nice house from the family, but what it means for (possible) future storylines isn’t clear.

Jude and Stella don’t really have their own storylines this week, with Jude drawing the shortest straw of the group over the whole series. The Gerry-as-Stella’s-boyfriend ruse at least gives Lacey Turner a chance to show off her deadpan humour and hilariously unimpressed facial expressions, but Jude only has a half-hearted attempt at growth through an ex-boyfriend's new family. I honestly don’t know what it was about the character that never quite clicked for me, but the fact that she was never given a storyline that didn’t involve manipulating people for personal gain probably didn’t help much.

There are only a few ingredients in a Switch episode – silly humour, relationship drama and some overt demonstration of sisterhood. This finale had all of those things, and the elements worked to create one of the series’ better episodes. It’s been a mixed bag, to say the least, but I’ve emerged in favour of the idea, the characters, and their execution. Rumour and news suggests that the 2013-14 season will be littered with series about young twenty-somethings with no direction, so it may just be that the show is ahead of the crowd in that department. As mentioned, there really isn’t anything like this on television at the moment, and when Switch works, it works really well.

Like its most obvious inspiration, Charmed, the series had its big problems, but was an enjoyable enough romp that unabashedly went for a young female audience. Crucially, it was ITV2’s first foray into the youth-targeted fantasy arena previously owned by BBC3, and seeing risky, fresh genre television of any quality can only be a good thing right now. Despite the criticism lodged against it, Switch deserves a second go of things, but we’ll have to wait and see if it gets one. 

Read Caroline's review of the previous episode, here.

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I liked this show's view of the world. Even though it came across as very feminine (from a man's point of view) I don't see that as a bad thing. Just refreshing.

A second series would really help cement it I'm sure. I don't think it needs a big mythology or anything, it just about young women finding their place in the world. I could totally understand Grace's decision not to want to come back home and I thought it gave her character strength to decide to let Gerry go where he was happy and for her to do the same.

To get all moralising, I think the Switch girls offer a great alternative to how young women are often portrayed on TV and it shows you can be a strong and independent without being a cold, hard bitch.

More please!

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