Him & Her - TV review: rolling in the aisles as the slackers are given the perfect send-off
Ellen E Jones
Ellen is The Independent's TV critic. She writes a daily review of Last Night's TV and a weekly 'Inside TV' column for the i paper, as well as a column on general topics for the main paper most Wednesdays. Ellen is a former Hollywood correspondent and a contributing editor to Little White Lies, she's written on TV, film, lifestyle, travel and politics for publications including the Guardian, The Times, The Sunday Times, Esquire and Total Film.
Friday 20 December 2013
After three series stuck inside Becky and Steve's musky bedsit, it was a relief to see BBC3's brilliant sitcom Him & Her finally get a bit of an airing. This fourth and final series has been set in a hotel, where we've witnessed the grand spectacle of mutually enabled delusion, pettiness and empty materialism that was the nuptials of Becky's vile sister Laura.
Laura was in a drunken rage last night, having discovered her new husband's affair with another man during the ceremony (no one could be more richly deserving of such a fate). Between attempts to seduce Steve and anyone else that she could lure into the disabled loo,
Laura did find time to reassure Becky (Sarah Solemani) that she'd keep her pregnancy a secret – in inimitable style: "I've been planning this day since I was three so I don't really care what you and your ugly little lesbian embryo are doing."
Him & Her's last ever episode, brought out the very worst in Laura and, thus the very best in actress Kerry Howard. Between them, Howard and writer Stefan Golaszewski have created a character who is simultaneously detestable beyond all imagining and utterly recognisable. Everybody knows a Laura.
It's clear where she gets it from, too. Dad, Nigel (Ralph Brown) devoted his evening to sexually harassing Becky's best mate, Shelly (Camille Coduri). But he, too, received his comeuppance, when Shelly's sometime suitor Dan (Joe Wilkinson) discovered a chivalrous side and Shelly followed it up with her own right hook.
It's often said that Him & Her has a tremendous supporting cast, and this finale was stuffed with killer lines and hilarious slapstick moments for them all, yet it was also more obvious than ever how the relationship between Becky and Steve keeps it all anchored in emotional reality.
The real-time story meant we could really savour each loving look, awkward touch and miffed aside and it's in these details, that actors of Solemani's and Tovey's quality really go to work.
When Becky and Steve did finally find a moment to themselves, it was just as understated and intimate as we've come to expect from this sitcom. There are no romantic fireworks in Him & Her, just real love, in all it's TV-watching, spot-squeezing, farting-in-bed glory.
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