BBC Two (UK)
May 28th – June 28th, 2017
2 hours 30 mins
Starring Ed Westwick (Gossip Girl), Joe Thomas and James Buckley (The Inbetweeners), White Gold is a new BBC comedy set in 1980’s suburban Essex about the lives of double-glazing salesmen.
Through direct address to the camera, Vincent (Westwick) guides us through his world of sweet-talking, schmoozing and cheating his neighbours into making him a very wealthy man. His right-hand men Lavender (Thomas) and Fitzpatrick (Buckley), psychotic boss, useless secretary and despairing family are all caught up in Vincent’s hectic life, and we follow the ups and downs of his risky business, wondering if and when things are going to slip out of his overconfident grasp.
White Gold initially felt very similar to Snatch (see my review for this here), as there was a swift establishment of a snappy style, a sassy narrator and plenty of shady affairs. White Gold is clearly lighter than Snatch, however, and a comedy foremost, hustler-drama second.The characters are fun, but for
The characters are fun, but for me something felt a bit lacklustre. Vincent was interesting to watch, but it was hard to feel much for him as he spends most of the show being a terrible person; with a wink and a smirk towards the camera of course, which I, unfortunately, wasn’t buying.
The Inbetweeners boys did get gradually more interesting over the six episodes, but were regrettably just that — a couple of grown up Inbetweeners. Other than Joe Thomas in Fresh Meat I haven’t seen them in much else, so it’s hard to assess whether it’s their acting or the writing to blame for this, but it felt very much like watching the grotty schoolboys all grown up, but with less heart and liveliness.
Overall White Gold is mildly entertaining for the most part. There are good moments, but I wouldn’t say it was particularly laugh-out-loud. When the best thing about a new show is an absolutely outstanding soundtrack (which, for fans of ANY 80’s music, it is), then it throws up a few warning signals about the value of everything else it has to offer.
I can see potential, and I would definitely give a second series a look if the story or characters improved, but as it stands White Gold is, for me, just a take-it-or-leave-it comedy.