Threesome Review: The Magic Number?

THREESOME: Monday 17th October, Comedy Central, 9pm

Before I begin any sort of critique of Comedy Central’s new homegrown British sitcom Threesome, let me explain the show’s set-up in a brief series of bullet points:

Alice lives with her boyfriend Mitch and their gay best friend Richie.
They all like getting drunk. A lot.
On the eve of Alice’s drug-fuelled binge of a 30th birthday, the trio end up having a ménage a trois.
Alice learns she is pregnant.
Mitch learns he is infertile.
Richie learns that the baby is his.
They decide to keep it.

If your instant reaction to the premise is to clamp your hands over your eyes and scream “Arghh! BBC3 comedy” in terror, then the opening five minutes of the programme will do little to assuage your fears. It’s essentially an extended Skins-style party montage with ‘zany’ camera angles akin to the opening few minutes of an episode of Hollyoaks. However, if you can push past the introductory moments, then what you will find is a comedy that is actually quite funny.

The show hinges on you instantly liking the central trio, as little time is given to building characters and you are thrown straight into their little world. It’s a brave, and ultimately winning, move on the part of the show’s creators and makes what could have so easily been a ‘dramedy’ affair into an out-and-out comedy. While there is nothing groundbreaking here, it does seem fresh and fast-paced and, as yet, doesn’t spend huge amounts of time dwelling on the emotional / moral ramifications of their situation (which is good because that would be dull). With all the clichés the programme subverts, it more than balances out with the clichés it embraces (the sexually promiscuous gay character for example), which should make it palatable for those that like their comedy smart and those that like it broad.

Threesome is written by Tom Macrae, the man behind the sublime and arguably series highlight of the current run of Doctor Who, The Girl Who Waited (although he has also written an episode of Bonekickers but we won’t hold that against him), has some solid performances from the leads and some cracking one liners. Frankly, any show that can kick-off with a sex-pun about the Secretary-General of the United Nations is a winner for me. This is a sitcom with potential and as long as it avoids the trappings of most comedy pregnancies (see season 8 of Friends) then I might just watch the rest of the series.

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