Because I review a whole tv series rather than individual episodes, there is a chance of spoilers, so if you haven’t watched the whole series yet, stop reading now!
It’s the simplicity of Him and Her that makes it so good. It is all filmed in one set, a dingy flat which houses our two main characters. It has a central cast of less than five or six characters and it’s a series made up of small, funny situations. There are no huge moments, it’s never crazy or outrageous. It has a simple charm that makes it so watchable.
It’s a character driven series rather than a situation or environment-led program. The casting is fantastic and this is the biggest strength of the series. The two main characters, Becky and Steve, are played perfectly by Sarah Solemani and Russell Tovey. They are written really well and have grown as the three seasons have developed. To the shows credit, they have managed to develop a great, realistic relationship. The characters are “normal” and act as many couples would usually act. If you add a certain disgusting element to the mix.
The disgusting aspect has become a key part of the show. The things the characters eat, the environment they live in and some of the things they do can be stomach-churning. Nobody does this better than upstairs neighbour, Dan. Joe Wilkinson’s character does some awful things, like eating from a Marmite tin with his finger, eating food from the floor and finishing people’s old beers. It’s a charm to his character and he is the funniest person in the whole show. He has a sweet charm to his character and the relationship that has developed between him and Shelly, played by Camille Coduri, is one of the triumphs of the series.
It’s also worth mentioning how good Camille Coduri is. You couldn’t picture her as Rose’s Mum Jacqui from Doctor Who considering her character in Him and Her is a meek, shy, timid person who is bullied by Becky’s sister. Which brings us to the worst character but also the most engrossing to watch. Nobody on television is as repulsive, nasty and awful as Laura. The way she treats Shelly, the way she speaks to every other character and the way she is treating pregnancy all add to her obnoxious but captivating quality.
Its to the shows testament that this series’ best episode was the one with the fewest characters in. It wasn’t even the funniest episode but what the The First Date episode did was give us a glimpse at the beginning of the central relationship. It’s so well written, capturing the awkwardness of a first date, with the smallest of small talk and the most awkward of moments, its a great look at where Steve and Becky began. It’s also the best acted out of every episode, especially because you get to see the characters being something they are not, hiding the elements that we see in every other episode to impress the other. Its great television.
It’s a shame that the worst episode was the finale. Unfortunately, to tie in with Christmas, season 3 ends with a festive special. Considering the episode before it was the proposal that the season had been building too, it would have been much better to leave the Christmas special or air it earlier in the run, regardless of the time of year, so the season is ending on a high, not an average, so-so episode.
Him and Her is a sitcom that is slowly getting better and better though. The show is growing without ever leaving the small, one bedroom flat. The characters have developed in a big way since the first season and the appeal of the show is that you want to see how these relationships will develop.
Overall, Him and Her is one of the best British sitcoms on television. It is completely character driven and the characters are what makes the show so watchable. The central couple is realistic and believable and the supporting characters each add a new element. I can’t wait to see a season 4.
Best Episode – The First Date; A fantastic episode that shows us where it all started. It also has the best performances of the season from Sarah Solemani and Russell Tovey.
Best performance – Joe Wilkinson as Dan
Should there be another season? – Yes, definitely. Some great storylines are to come, particularly the wedding and the birth of Laura’s baby.
Season Rating – 4
(1 – Awful, 2 – Average, 3 – Good, 4 – Great, 5! – Must See)