I like the BBC. I like drama. I like the production company Kudos. I like lesbians (as does a silver-haired good friend of mine, he knows who he is). So new Kudos-produced BBC lesbian drama "Lip Service" should have had more than enough to keep me interested. It almost did, but there's something that just doesn't feel right here!
Billed as a "funny, irreverent and moving drama series which follows the interwoven love lives of Frankie, Cat and Tess, three gay women living in Glasgow whose search for happiness stirs up hidden passions and secrets" it sounds like something that's been done before.
And it has. And Better. But with blokes. This is, as its core, an all-girl version of RTD's "Queer As Folk" only... less... punchy? Don't get me wrong, it's fun! It's enjoyable and it's very sexy but the acting isn't always top-notch (neither was the acting in QAF though) and the characters are about as far from relate-to-able, for me, as you can get. I'm not a 20something lesbian. Although I do LIKE them. Laura Fraser and Fiona Button are especially watchable. And Torchwood COE's Cush Jumbo appears too, albeit NOT kissing girls, much to my initial disappointment.
I'll watch the series, if only because the music is gorgeous, as are the cast. If you decide to watch it, try to get your head around the straight-in-there-with-fingers sex scene that happens before the opening titles roll on episode 1. And try not to worry too much about the range and scale of the piece - it has a tendency to jump from Hollyoaks-esque light-hearted banter to dreary, sub-romantic humping and tears in the blink of an eye.
But don't look here for hard-hitting quality drama. Without sounding too crude, this one's good for two things; for something to watch in bed on a lazy Sunday morning when you want something you don't have to think too much about. And for something to watch in bed on a lazy Sunday morning... It's really good fun, it's snazzy and sexy and kinky and written for people who prefer style and glamour/anti-glamour over constructive dialogue and story. Think Hollyoaks meets QAF, to shamefully reuse comparisons from earlier, and you more or less get the picture. Not bad at all, but not all good! Worth giving up an hour a week, though. I have a feeling it'll get better as we get to know the characters.
Watch the first episode now on BBC iPlayer and see the next episode on Tuesday, BBC THREE at 22.30.