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Passion in a Glasgow autumn
on 19 November 2010
'Lip Service' is a great relationships drama in the mould of 'This Life' and 'Mistresses', although rather more steamy than either. The series follows the lives & loves of three young lesbians against the backdrop of an autumnal Glasgow. Cat (Laura Fraser) is just getting her emotional life back on track when former lover Frankie (Ruda Gedmintas) returns from New York. Meanwhile, struggling actress Tess (Fiona Button) endures a comic succession of disastrous temporary jobs. All three meet new lovers in the opening episodes while writer Harriet Braun cleverly develops the central simmering relationship of the series.
The three female leads give equally strong performances and I quickly developed a keen interest in their characters, all of whom display an engaging vulnerability. Heather Pearce, Roxanne McKee and Natasha O'Keeffe are similarly good in their supporting roles, as are the two straight male characters - played by Emun Elliott and James Anthony Pearson Much has been made of the sex scenes, some of which are fairly explicit by BBC standards. However, they don't form an overly long part of the whole and are important, in that they admirably frame the different relationships.
The earlier reviewer's comparison with `This Life' is a good one - `Lip Service' is superb and deserves a much wider audience than its subject matter might suggest. Yes, it's glamorous and sexy - it's also a passionate, gripping drama with very absorbing characters. I'd love to see a second series: my only fear is that it wouldn't be as good as the first. Do see it.