This article had us at “foul-mouthed.” But “genius” isn’t such a bad word either. Anyway:
by Colin Crummy
Chewing Gum doesn’t pull its punches. A new British comedy created by 27-year-old writer and star Michaela Coel and set on a sun-dappled east London housing estate, the working-class world she depicts is a multi-racial, sexually frank, filthy and funny kind of place, with the show tackling issues of religion, race and class with a no-holds-barred frankness. It might just be this fall’s most refreshing new comedy.
Coel plays lead character Tracey, a virgin and a Pentecostal Christian who lives on a council estate in east London with her evangelical mum and sister. She dates the casually cruel, super uptight and strictly religious Ronald who pledges that after six years of going out, sex will remain very much off the agenda if the Lord thinks it best. As he prays, Tracey eyeballs the P in his pants. In steps her best friend Candice, offering sage advice on the realities of online dating: “You can bang someone on Tinder, it’s free. Stick the ting to find someone in your borough and walk. A Tinder bang ain’t even a bus fare, bro.”
Nowhere have I heard a better summary of the advantages of online dating apps than the above, a riposte to all that hand wringing over the ‘dating apocalypse’ that Tinder and its ilk are purportedly bringing to your bedroom. Tracey and Candice recognise something that those kind of reports don’t: that dating apps level the playing field for those that don’t have the means or money to go to the club to find hook ups. Living in London’s Tower Hamlets—one of the U.K.’s poorest boroughs—they’re working class and flat broke, but they navigate their space and sexuality with relish.