Threesome

By David Knox on March 27, 2013 / Filed Under Reviews, Top Stories 13

2013-03-26_2135Several years ago I watched the 6 part UK drama Bob and Rose about a gay man (Alan Davies) falling in love with a woman (Lesley Sharp).

It seemed a bit of a stretch as a dramatic premise but given it had Russell T. Davies (Queer as Folk, Doctor Who) as its creator I gave it a go. To my amazement I was completely taken in, largely because the character of Bob was himself surprised at his own conflicted emotions.

But there’s none of that in the UK comedy Threesome, which premieres next week on SBS 2.

This 2011 series centres around 3 young flatmates: Alice (Amy Huberman), her boyfriend Mitch (Stephen Wight) and their gay best friend Richie (Emun Elliott). As the title suggests they co-exist in a menage-a-trois. The opening scenes see them in bed together with both men kissing Alice. Lucky Alice, I guess….

I was confused that Richie was being presented as ‘gay’ rather than ‘bisexual.’ Surely a show this progressive isn’t afraid of the ‘B’ word?

Not-bisexual-Richie was also prone to having one-night stands with other chaps in said apartment. Talk about open relationships. Nobody seemed to mind. Except maybe the other chaps once they found out about the menage-a-trois.

The three flatmates are also party-heads, merrily drinking, dancing, raging and not a lot else. As TV characters, all three seemed set to out-do each other in the obnoxious department. Lucky for me there was a TV screen between us and I could have the ‘mute’ button at my fingertips.

One night after a particularly raucous bender the three come home and decide to shag. Richie and Mitch make a pact about not touching one another or making eye contact while they do the deed to Alice. Huh? I thought they were progressive. What kind of couple has a gay man as a third wheel but doesn’t agree to him having contact with the ‘straight’ man? And what kind of gay man would agree anyway….?

But worse was to come when it was later revealed that Alice had become pregnant to not-Bisexual-still-having-one-night-gay-stands Richie.

While I was still trying to grasp the ramifications of such unsafe sex practices, Richie dismissed it all with one line “I used a condom!” to which he was told, that condoms can sometimes break. This was the most sensible sexual advice so far but the entire explanation was merely an aside.

The sexual politics of a show that is entitled Threesome is actually offensive and ignorant. Will and Grace was far more progessive a decade ago in an era of Clinton’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ And it was much funnier too.

The biggest crime of Threesome is that the characters are entirely charmless and the gags are thin.

If that’s the reason we haven’t seen it on Australian TV before then I can understand why it’s only making its way to us now through the re-branded SBS 2.

Threesome premieres 8:30pm Thursday April 4 on SBS 2.

13 Comments »

  1. Secret Squirrel April 5, 2013 at 11:58 am -

    I caught a bit of this after the Champion’s League round-up last night. I wanted to turn off straight away but made myself watch about 10 minutes. It was excruciatingly bad.

    “The biggest crime of Threesome is that the characters are entirely charmless and the gags are thin.” – that sums it up perfectly. Except the bit about gags – I didn’t see any.

  2. PJs Ronin April 2, 2013 at 2:02 pm -

    For those of us who have been round the block a time or two, there is nothing unusual about alternate lifestyles…. certainly nothing of comedic value. Thus it boils down to the script and the players. In that regard, thanks for the heads up David.

  3. Mac March 29, 2013 at 12:27 pm -

    Thanks for the warning. One to check out passively when Gem isn’t showing repeats of Friends.

  4. GMPetrie March 29, 2013 at 11:44 am -

    David, it’s funny the person on the left in your picture looks like Matthew Newton.

  5. The Moops March 28, 2013 at 12:36 pm -

    Thanks for the review, it sounds absolutely godawful. I will be giving this one a wide berth.

  6. tvaddict March 28, 2013 at 1:44 am -

    i also watched ‘Bob and Rose’ & also enjoyed it immensly despite thinking it was a stupid premise. It was so well written & acted they made it work. I’m not sure you could really compare it to Threesome though as it was more of a ‘dramedy’ & had some quite tender moments sensitivly handled by both writers & cast. Although i guess maybe thats part of the point your making David?

  7. David Knox March 27, 2013 at 7:07 pm -

    Obviously I am not reviewing a whole series so maybe it improves, but I stand by my review.

  8. danness March 27, 2013 at 6:33 pm -

    Wow. I’ve seen both seasons of this and thought it was one of the funniest shows I’ve seen come out of Britain in years. The fact that someone could find this show “offensive” in this day and age just completely baffles me.

  9. Belinda March 27, 2013 at 4:30 pm -

    Wow that is Moray and Sam!! Well spotted Maev.

    Still sounds awful…

  10. Maev....Sydney March 27, 2013 at 3:47 pm -

    Moray and Sam from The Paradise…..but not enough to make me watch….
    I use to watch a few things on SBS2….but re-branding is not throwing up anything I would like to watch….
    And SBS says that Doc Martin France is not in their immediate sights…I should ‘get back’ to them in a few months…What!!!

  11. Secret Squirrel March 27, 2013 at 12:54 pm -

    The little that I have seen looked completely awful. David’s review and rating affirms that view and confirms my decision to not watch it.

    It does look exactly like some out-of-touch guy in his fifties has said “Hey, let’s make a show about the bedroom antics of young people. They’re not really fussed who they sleep with are they? It’s about a threesome but, get this, one of them’s gay! I know – genius. This will certainly get the 16-39s watching. Those crazy kids!”.

  12. Pertinax March 27, 2013 at 11:23 am -

    One suspects that the rules are from executives trying to appeal to the relaxed sexual mores of young people, without stopping heterosexual males from watching. That problem with mirror neurons. And executed by writers and a director out of their depth.

    If written well, the no touching or eye contact rule would make perfect sense if Mitch imposed it. c.f. #1.10 The Devil’s Threesome in Californication.

    If would also make sense for Richie, if gay, to agree if he didn’t mind sleeping with women and wanted to watch Mitch.

    Like most modern British comedies it sounds like it just isn’t funny, so there is no point in watching it anyway.

  13. jezza the first original one March 27, 2013 at 5:54 am -

    What kind of couple has a gay man as a third wheel but doesn’t agree to him having contact with the ‘straight’ man? And what kind of gay man would agree anyway….?

    Another query….what kind of genuine straight bloke would agree to this?

    Maybe it is just a piss take out of pc regulated comedy where each character has to tick certain boxes.. It may be worth watching just to see how bad it is

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