This review contains spoilers.
Last week’s opener introduced Heather, the piggy in the middle between Josie and Kingsley who has somehow become a stalker in the preceding seven days. Well, she is according to Howard while he and Kingsley watch her from a distance under the cover of night. Vod meanwhile is taking responsibility for the money she owes by taking on some temporary work despite being a bit over-confident by asking to be the CEO of the Discovery channel. And poor Howard gets mugged for his trainers which leads him to install a network of security cams around the communal space, classic stalker behaviour!
So after the mediocrity of episode one, it’s a bit of a relief to see some improvement this week. There are some great moments throughout. The scene where they find out Sabine is tee-total is well observed and written. Zawe Ashton as Vod provides many of the better moments by showing some impeccable timing with her quips. There’s another side of Vod shown by her taking care of JP even though it drives her mental. It’s hard not to cheer her on when she finally loses her rag with him and his posho mates.
But as I said the other week, comedy-drama usually involves a compromise and here the drama aspects are underplayed in favour of big broad sitcom-style punchlines. When Sabine offers to teach the others self defence, you can see what’s coming several miles off when Josie is paired with a besotted Heather and ends up breaking her arm. Nothing wrong with a bit of predictability, just that they’re not making it any easier to side with Josie at any time.
Oregon’s money problem turns out to be an awkward way of crowbarring in her would-be-suitor and lecturer Tony Shales. As if by magic, he founds out she’s broke then deposits £1000 in her account and as if by magic she finds out he did it. Though it does provide a great moment when Oregon boasts about how amazing her parents are as Vod is working a crappy job.
Despite the leaps of logic rivalling Prometheus’ worst moments, there’s still quite a bit to enjoy here. Though it does feel somewhat flabby and unfocused at times, it’s lifted up by the regular cast’s decent performances and a few well written lines. A good, but not great, hour.
Read Jake’s review of last week’s series opener, here.
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