January 12th 2017
The second season of Chewing Gum delves further into Tracey’s world and the community of friends and family on her estate.
While the first season was heavily devoted to Tracey’s pursuit of a romantic relationship and losing her virginity, this season expands the focus and looks deeper into her friendships, as well as at her family–in particular focusing on the development of her younger sister Cynthia. While the new series has a slight but significant shift in tone, Season 2 of Chewing Gum has only got funnier, sharper and more emotional.
If you haven’t seen the first season, it’s excellent. For lovers of British TV, Chewing Gum merges familiar elements of many other shows aimed at a younger adult audience (The Inbetweeners, My Mad Fat Diary and Misfits all come to mind), while being consistently original and fresh.
In 2016 Michaela Coel, who writes and stars in the series, won a BAFTA for both Best Female Comedy Performance and Breakthrough Talent, and it’s obvious why. The show manages to discuss issues of religion, race and class earnestly and frankly while maintaining all comedic aspects throughout, and all credit to Coel for it.
My favourite thing about this show, however, is its treatment of sex. Much of the show centres on Tracey’s determination to lose her virginity, and the explicit, honest and often hysterically familiar manner in which it approaches this truly sets the show apart and is what makes it ultimately so refreshing.
As mentioned, the second series of Chewing Gum improves on the best elements of the first series. It is not so different that it feels like a new angle, but rather it picks out the best elements from the first and improves on them.
It also feels as though the show is growing with Tracey. As her world and understanding of it expands, different things become more important and get more attention: her relationship with her friends, the workings of her community, and the blossoming of the hilariously repressed and naive Cynthia.
Additionally, the second season has done everything you could ask it to–the jokes are funnier (I found myself laughing out loud far more often), the issues get more interesting, and as a whole everything gets just a little bit deeper (pun intended).
As for binging, Chewing Gum is well worth the measly two and a half hours it takes to finish, and perfect for anyone looking for some loud, bright and unapologetic entertainment.