Him & Her - Series 1 [DVD]
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Steve [Russell Tovey] and Becky [Sarah Solemani] are young, unemployed and lazy. All they want to do is eat, drink and have sex - so they do.
They don’t want to get a job - so they don’t.
They’re happy to spend their days watching DVDs in Steve’s bedsit, but they’re constantly interrupted by Dan - the lonely bloke from upstairs, Laura and Paul - Becky’s sister and her fiancé or, most frighteningly for Steve, Becky’s parents.
Him & Her is an anti-romantic comedy, lifting the lid on love as it really is - warts and all - with farts, bickering and toast.
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Russell Tovey and Sarah Solemani head the cast, Stefan Golaszewski's scripts hailed as more authentic than most. This is a life where gentle teasing occasionally escalates into deliberate needling and furious rows - their origin smelly farts, scattered nail clippings, crumbs in the bed, use of the wrong toothbrush, failure to flush the lavatory. Forever intruding are somewhat unnerving relatives and acquaintances - they anxious to unburden woes ranging from stepping in dog muck to suspicions of infidelity.
It is all certainly different - a welcome break from those sitcoms full of polished one-liners, as a studio audience howls with mirth. Here squirmy aspects of life are acutely observed, viewers perhaps uncomfortably reminded of similar embarrassments.
Commentaries + almost an hour of bonuses - the cast amusingly merciless about their colleagues' shortcomings.
Easily shocked viewers may recoil a bit, others relish a rare glimpse of refreshing honesty.
This is just like the Royle family with not much happening and conservation consisting of gossip and
ill informed opinions set inside a London bedsit. There's some jokes that I've heard a million times before
such as toast on the carpet remember that film Road trip??
'Him & Her' involves the lives of Steve and Becky (boyfriend / girlfriend) who sit around in his bedsit watching DVD's, playing video games, having sex and answering the door to their slightly insane friends and family - with Dan, the upstairs neighbour, providing the necessary touch of absurdity (the encounter with Dan and his new 'girlfriend' on the stairs is classic). Everything is in here from the minutiae of human bodily functions to the unsympathetically received breakdown of Becky's sister's fiancee.
Overall a brilliantly observed comedy which deserves another series before it disappears into the ether where other critically acclaimed shows which nobody watches seem to end up.
Particularly impressive is the way that the episodes are engineered as real-time 25-minute snapshots. Often a conversation can be overheard going on in another room (although you do have to turn the volume up high!) while we watch what's going on elsewhere, only for everything to reconvene seamlessly moments later.
A good example of this appears on the second disk (which hasn't been mentioned much elsewhere), namely an unseen argument between Paul and Laura over the 'Sporty Spice lookalike' (see Episode 1). Other extras include informative (and often very funny) commentaries (by the lead actors, writer, director and producer), video diaries, deleted scenes as well as some other miscellanea. You certainly get the impression of the love and dedication given to the production.
Picture quality is as good as you're going to get on DVD. As I've been spoilt by HD-quality iPlayer episodes of series two, a Blu-Ray edition would be most welcome.
Also worth mentioning: because it's so superbly written, acted and produced, it is well worth watching and re-watching because there are loads of little details that you might otherwise miss. Check out Laura in particular for little glances, glares and face-pulls.
Him & Her is so good I've given it 5 stars - even though series 2 is even better. Can't wait for series 3 later in 2012.
I was a big fan of Stefan Golaszewski's work with the brilliant 'Cowards' and his plays, but he really has found his niche here I think. I just hope there's a series 2 commissioned!
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