Monday, March 04, 2013

Out takes

A TV show with an out lesbian as its star? Yes, please, sign me up. A TV show with an out lesbian as its star playing a lesbian lead character? Yes, please, sign me up. A TV show with an out lesbian as its star playing a lesbian lead character who is a vet? Yes, please, sign me up! So many good things. Real lesbians! TV lesbians! Veterinarians which means cute animals! Yes, yes, so many yeses.

But then, um, then I watched the new British comedy “Heading Out” and, well. Yes? Look, I know it’s practically sacrilege to not like a show by a lesbian about lesbians. But I kind of didn’t like BBC Two’s “Heading Out.” And I really, really, really wanted to. It just didn’t work. At least not the pilot episode.

You see, on paper I should love a show starring out British comic Sue Perkins about a vet who gets pushed out of the closet on her 40th birthday. While I’m not familiar with Sue’s work, I have heard good things about it and was very much looking forward to seeing her new show. And then I did. Now perhaps it’s just that something got lost in translation in the British humor. Like that whole netball bit. But I just didn’t enjoy the awkward, and even callous, character played by Sue. Not that I have a problem with awkward characters, but they need a certain amount of charm to work well. And so far, charming is not the adjective I’d apply to Sue’s Sara. More like a ungainly adolescent with legal access to pentobarbital.

Is there space to grow? Of course. And I certainly hope it does. Pilots are often the worst episode of any series, because everyone is still finding their feet. The setup is promising. And I’ll watch almost anything to catch a glimpse of Shelley Conn. (Like really, anything. I watched that boring dinosaur show a lot longer than I should have.) And sexy Lexy from “Lip Service” Anna Skellern will also appear. And that’s a lot to like. So, maybe I’ll tough it out and get over the dead cat in the handbag. I certainly hope, that like the gay experience in general, it gets better.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Darling, I agree with everything you said. Unfortunately.

I don't mean it's unfortunate that I agree with you, no I meant- Oh, you know what I meant!

PD

PS Have to admit I wasn't quite as appalled by the dead cat as you, but then I suppose I am British. ;)

;) babs said...

I also hoped it would be better!

though the much too short dialogue in the park (Shelley Conn never looked more gorgeous) was worth watching it!

T said...

the dead cat thing was weird and not funny (would have been fine with a funny dead cat).
I don't think it's a cultural thing; I'm a Scot and I didn't really get it.
I hope it gets better, though I'm not optimistic.

Florence said...

Well I really liked it. Is it because I've enjoyed most of the cast in other roles?
I thought it was funny (and yes the dead cat was quite funny) not hilarious, but then again, it's very rare for me to find a show hilarious.
I find the whole life coach situation and the need to come out very real and potentially funny. And I found Sara likeable.
One thing we can agree on though: Shelley Conn.

mel p said...

Phew. I thought I was alone, esp after reading the glowing review on afterellen. I'm Australian and therefore also predisposed to understand British humour, but I didn't even make it to the end of the pilot. Just not enough in it to keep me laughing. And the editing is so leaden. It's comedy, folks. It works best when you keep it moving.

Alicia M said...

I haven't seen it, but I am notorious for disliking the pilot episodes for any series. I really dislike blatant set-ups. Maybe that was part of it, too?

Carmen SanDiego said...

I miss Lip Service

Anonymous said...

Why the "Yes Please" when it's only a matter of time before Americans start complaining that there are no bisexuals on the show and you start pandering to them by writing complaints insinuating that every lesbian secretly craves dick.

Debi said...

I'm going to give it a go, but I'm not expecting much now. There are a lot of second and third rate British sit-coms, just as there are of any format. So it's not a "British" thing, just a "some things don't work somehow" thing.

But if you want more of the fabulous Sue Perkins, she most often can be found as a panelist on Radio 4's News Quiz, hosted by another lesbian, Sandi Toksvig.

You know, if you like British panel shows, and want one that's more often than not got as many or more women as men, many of which are out lesbians.

It's not playing right now, but in about a month's time you'll be able to find it on the Radio 4 website, from any country.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you there The News Quiz is always worth catching.

Janine said...

This was poor s(h)it comedy... British clunkiness at its worst.
I just hope the hopefuls win the day.

xtinamcgrath said...

Devastatingly, I have to agree with you. I can confirm that English people didn't get the netball thing either, and there seems nothing particularly redeemable about the character of Sara (yet). And the same goes for her uptight friend, and the guy she works with at the veterinary surgery. It pains me to say it, but they're all a little... well, unlikeable.

I usually adore Sue Perkins' work, but something about this didn't work for me. I really, really hope that it'll find its feet as time goes on - but at the moment I'm concerned it might need euthanising, stuffing in a handbag and setting fire to.

Kazwinton said...

I found the show moderately amusing, hopefully it'll pick up.
Maybe it's best to approach it with the expectation that it'll be rubbish, then it might be a pleasant surprise?

Leah said...

I agree, it was a very messy start to the series. I detested her male best friend, the editing was odd and I wasn't really sure what was happening through most of it. I am going to watch more because Pilots can be notoriously bad as they're trying to establish everything at once.

The part in the park with Shelley Conn was the best part and I'm hoping for a lot more scenes with that humour & punchy lines. The netball and life coach parts were all a bit too strange, even if that's supposed to be the main plotline going forward. I do love Sue in everything else she has been in but if the sitcom continues in this way I'll be the first to say stick with being your usual funny self and leave the fictional characters to someone else.

Only time will tell, fingers crossed.

Anonymous said...

I laughed lots at it. Has some rough edges but think that's the lot of a pilot, it will grow as a show I think. Sue Perkins has a wit in comedy I really like. Thought the netball haka was daft and wonderful!

Anonymous said...

there were several parts that made me laugh right out loud (including the dead stiff cat, and i say this as a dog AND cat owner) and very very few comedies make me laugh. even brilliant ones like derek just usually raise a wry smile. someone on twitter wrote that a team she played against with her netball team regularly did a similar war dance before a match....its new, but i enjoyed it and i hope it continues the same way.

LiteraryVice432 said...

It's very much in keeping with other Britcoms like Green Wing. It's not great but I still really enjoy it.
For enjoying Sue Perkins I suggest her appearances on QI, Supersizers Go/Eat, and The News Quiz.

Caitlin said...

It wasn't brilliant, but I thought it was promising. I felt the same after the first episode of Miranda (which I didn't properly enjoy until the second series, but absolutely adore now). Love, love love Nicola Walker so I really hope this series picks up. Good parts: Talking on the phone to her parents, the scene in the park and Sara's outlook on life. Bad points: it feels a bit like Sue is presenting rather than acting and the general cringe factor. Hopefully these will get better. So yes, promising, but could be awful if it carries on the same.

Kaisa said...

I was underwhelmed. I do like Sue as a personality on tv/radio, so I was hoping for more. The woman who plays her friend is quite good in other things. I'm hoping it gets better.

;) babs said...

is Shelley Conn really only in the first episode??
(and Anna Skellern in only 2)

Anonymous said...

Now I love me some Sue Perkins. I've been infatuated since my 'Light Lunch' student days. Sue and her best mate Mel always make me smile.

So I'm really hoping Heading Out is a grower, especially with the cast of the amazing Nicola Walker, Shelley Conn, Mel, and Dawn French - it has to improve!
P.S News Quiz such a good call...

Anonymous said...

The American Beauty spoof in the Netball scene was hilarious, IMHO. There were a few other mildly amusing moments, but far too many predictable and cringeworthy moments to really enjoy it. I normally fine Sue very amusing on the panel shows, so hopefully this gets better.

Erica said...

Lone voice here: I kinda liked it. Yes, it wasn't laugh out loud funny, but I thought it was adorable and I'm hoping it gets better with each episode.

- American/British dual citizen :)

LiteraryVice432 said...

You are totally not a lone voice. I am hoping it gets better but still enjoy it so far.
Sadly I'm not a dual citizen. Just a nerdy, Anglophile American.