TV Review: Drama Matters: Rubenesque, Sky Living
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.
Wednesday 09 October 2013
Scheduling five one-off dramas in a prime-time slot was always going to be a ratings gamble; with no cliff-hangers or continuing storyline to keep the viewer hooked, why should we bother to tune in again next week? To enjoy great new writing like that on show in Rubenesque, that's why.
Annie Griffin's comedy about female body confidence was not only brimful of entertaining characters but also skewered the patronising approach to "real women" that is TV's usual take on the topic.
Real-life Scottish international footballer Gemma Fay plays Shona, a football referee who doesn't wear much make up, prefers the comfort of sports bras to lacy fripperies and – lo! – is not actually a lesbian. That's all fine with both Shona and her boyfriend, but when she's unfairly fired from her job and the opportunity to make £20,000 in five days of modelling presents itself, it's too good to pass up.
Dylan Moran's cameo as a pretentious fashion photographer was worth tuning in for alone, but Shona's trio of unlikely helpers were also very entertaining. They showered her with inanely supportive compliments and dubious advice, including "Give your arse to the light!" and "You're better than all those big Dutch girls, honey!" I hope Gok Wan was taking note.
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