Him & Her’s series premiere, The Toast (S01E01) – Episode review

Cast of BBC Three's Him & Her

Manky bedsits rock. The shabby, unfashionable wallpaper, the threadbare carpet and empty Pot Noodle cartons littering the shelves. They’re not places for the houseproud, are they?

So, welcome to [[Him and Her (TV Series)|Him & Her]], BBC Three’s latest sitcom, featuring disgusting dossers Steve (Russell Tovey) and Becky (Sarah Solemani). The series pretty much sets it’s standard with Steve’s opening line: “You are very good at blow jobs…and I am brilliant at receiving them.”

What follows is half an hour of grimy, crude comedy. Filthy sex jokes and toilet humour.

The thing is, it’s better then the trailers suggested. Him & Her delivers a balance of smutty jokes and cringey observations on sharing a flat with someone. Like Becky happily using the toilet with the door wide open. Or the pair of them freaking out when a spider strolls across the bedroom floor. Or when Steve loses the plot because Becky didn’t flush the toilet.

You could argue that nothing actually happens during this first episode, and you’d be right. The couple in question lounge around their bedsit and all the action comes to them. At the same time, there’s something mildly charming about Tovey and Solemani as a couple, in spite of their grotty living habits.

In this first episode, we meet Steve’s neighbour Dan, a creepy bearded misfit who’s current obsession is rewatching Titanic just to see Kate Winslet’s nude scene. Come on, dude, I stopped doing that years ago. Becky’s sister Laura and her boyfriend Dan bring their relationship drama to the bedsit when it turns out that Dan slept with a Spice Girl lookalike the previous night. 

Reading around the blogosphere, the show is receiving mixed reviews. Some people think it’s a charming show showing a different take on relationships that we rarely see on TV anymore. Others are wondering why Russell Tovey is wasting his talents on such a tepid comedy. Valid criticisms, but we have to remind ourselves that this is a BBC Three series. Once we accept that, it’s easier to appreciate the show for what it is.

Quotes

  • Steve: “You look so cute on the loo.”
  • Dan: “Winslet’s tits. Thank God for the pause button.”
  • Steve: “Paul spent the night with a girl who looks like Sporty Spice.”
  • Steve: “OK. I’ll make you toast, fine, but you are eating it on the chair. And afterwards we are shagging.” Becky: “Wow, it’s like being a princess.”
  • Dan teases Paul about sleeping with a Spice Girls lookalike: “Oh Paul, did you give her what she wanted? What she really really wanted?”

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