Singleton Squatters (Series Review: “Crashing”)

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What happens when a group of disparate and over-sexed Brits share an unorthodox communal living space while navigating the treacherous waters of Romance? From the creator/star of Fleabag, this is Crashing.

SnapShot Plot

For the record, there’s much to decry in the outrageous six-part British comedy series, Crashing, especially if your neighborhood for Funny resides within a strictly politically correct zip code. But if you like your laughs heavily sprinkled with edgy, inappropriate even vulgar scenarios – many of them at the expense of one target group or another – featuring characters who don’t take themselves too seriously, this will make for an entertaining choice this weekend. And if you’re already fans of the show Fleabag, this is a slam dunk.

The series follows the love lives of a wildly energetic and hard drinking group of young people living practically rent-free as ‘property guardians’ in an abandoned hospital building in London. According to the narrative, this is part of a wider government initiative in which former hospitals, hotels, even prisons (which have been vacant for years) are in essence ‘protected’ by the new tenants against vandalism and other social ills.

The gang of would-be housemates is managed by a tightly wound young woman named Kate, who seems happily engaged to her shaggy-dog chef fiance, Anthony. The others include: Sam, a sexaholic mercenary; Fred, a sweet doe-faced gay man; Melody, an artist with a bizarre aesthetic; and Colin, a newly divorced man who becomes an unwitting muse to Melody. Upsetting the apple cart is the abrupt arrival of Anthony’s lifelong pal, Lulu (in a sardonic pitch perfect performance by Phoebe Waller-Bridge). From the get-go, Lulu and Anthony dive headlong into a rollicking game of sexual cat & mouse, begging the through-question of the entire show: will they or won’t they get it out of their systems; and do they or don’t they secretly love each other? Hilarity, as it were, ensues.

 

 

Parting Shot

The exceedingly brilliant Phoebe Waller-Bridge, best known for her hit series Fleabag (season 2 is on the way), as well as Killing Eve, wrote and created Crashing a few years prior, as two distinct theatre pieces which she then combined to form this show. You can see in Crashing many of the wildly irreverent seeds later sown in Fleabag: the caustic, sardonic and slapstick humor; the sex-fueled energy of the scenes; and the pathos pulsing at the heart of each character as he/she faces an existential dilemma, to be quickly chased away with a quick boink or booze.

The cast is a properly outrageous and zany ensemble of actors, featuring Louise Ford, Jonathan Bailey, Damien Molony, Amit Shah, Adrian Scarborough, Lachie Chapman and Julie Dray. Each brings a totally distinct kind of humor to the show, and the final product is deliciously enticing and spicy, much like one of Anthony’s myriad curry dishes. And this is a feast that will easily satiate, as only one season of Crashing was produced. No need to save your appetite for a second course.

Crashing is presently streaming on Netflix.

Trivia Note: For those who loved Broadchurch, and remember Waller-Bridge’s role in season 2, can you name the co-star in Crashing who ‘crossed paths’ with her character then . . . and now?

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YouTube Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDWRERhKPBs

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