Him & Her – Dork Review

Him And Her, with Russell Tovey and Sarah SolemaniIf you don’t study Twitter or TV guides diligently, the BBC’s Him & Her might have passed you by. And even if you did notice it, you may have moved on quickly after realising it’s a sitcom about twenty-somethings in a flat, on BBC Three.

But I’ve watched the four episodes to date, and thought I’d take a stab at convincing you otherwise. After all, it stars Russell Tovey, of Being Human and Doctor Who fame, and more importantly, it’s really very good.

An Oddly Convincing Relationship

The premise centres around Tovey and Sarah Solemani as couple Steve and Becky, who are unemployed, living on benefits and enjoying a carefree life of sex and Inspector Morse DVDs. At least, until their supporting cast of friends and family turn up to complicate matters. Yes, it could easily be boring, but there are plenty of laughs in the script, mostly combined with a cringe of recognition.

A lot of its success hinges on Tovey and Solemani, who form one of the most convincing couples I’ve seen on TV in a while. Few screen pairs successfully thread this needle, instead veering into either nauseating sap or a level of hatred that makes you wonder why they bother, but I believed in these two as a relationship. And in a show like this, that’s half the battle.

A Uniquely Uplifting Experience

A pedant could point out this is a very typical late-2000s sitcom, with no laugh track and jokes which hinge on a cringe (see Peep Show, The Inbetweeners, The Office, The Thick Of It), not to mention a single claustrophobic set (see The Royle Family, Ideal, Grandma’s House). But I really enjoyed it, and refuse to let that kind of pedantry taint my fun.

Because despite the squalidness of much of the content, I found this show curiously uplifting. One point about the sitcoms I mentioned above is that they are fairly cynical, or outright negative, about their subject matter. Him & Her, for once, sent me away feeling both amused and genuinely happy.

Should you be inspired to check it out, the whole series can be viewed on the  BBC iPlayer for another few weeks.

And then tell us what you thought below!

Nick Bryan

Nick learned to read and write at an early age. This has developed into an unhealthy need to either write stories or consume them for later dissection. He reviews film and TV on Dork Adore and The Digital Fix, lives in London and enjoys a nice white beer.

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  1. says

    Loved your review of the series-to-date: Totally bang-on in my view! The Guardian echoes a similar sentiment: http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/tvandradioblog/2010/sep/27/him-her-bbc. Hoping that BBC3 might commission another Season, with the quality intact. Otherwise, it might be best left as a brilliant stand-alone Season. Am surprised that the programme hasn't been promoted more… Hoping to read more of your posts in the future – love the blog/website!

    • says

      Glad you enjoyed it. Hopefully there are a lot of us out there, as I'd love another series. It was all written by the same guy, so as long as he comes back as well, I'd be optimistic. Glad you like the posts, too. Hopefully see you around in future comment threads…

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