There has been a lull in the number of shows with LGBT characters at their heart. We have the likes of Lost Girl and Grey’s Anatomy, but of course we want more. It looks like Sue Perkins is going to fill some of that void with her new comedy Heading Out.
Yes you read that right; comedy! It’s not often you see lesbian comedies on TV but lets face it, we’re hilarious. Just look at Ellen Degeneres, Wanda Sykes, Suzanne Westenhoefer and the plethora of lesbian/bi ladies out there making us laugh and you can see that it’s about time we had a comedy with a lesbian heart.
Get out of that closet!
Perkins not only wrote the series but she stars in it too, playing 40 year-old vet Sara. Episode 1 was a quick introduction to the main characters, including Sara’s colleague Daniel played by Steve Oram and her best friends; OCD Jamie and hilarious Justine portrayed by Dominic Coleman and Nicola Walker (you may recognise Walker from the wonderful Last Tango in Halifax).
The basic premise is that Sara’s friends think it’s about time that she came out to her parents and they decide that, since they are due to visit in six weeks, she has till then to get her act together. To this end, they get her a rather odd birthday present, a life couch called Toria, played by the scene-stealing Joanna Scanlan. Of course there has to be a little love interest and that comes in the shape of the gorgeous Shelly Conn (Nina’s Heavenly Delights) – I know – yum!
The introduction to the show tells us a few things. While the characters are funny you have to suspend reality and just go with it. Sara spends half the episode with a dead cat in her bag, it died at her practice at the start of the show and she needs to get it cremated asap; if you are an animal lover you may find this disturbing and let’s be honest, lots of lesbians fit that category. However, if you are willing to just go with it, it is enjoyable.
Episode 2 sees Sara go paintballing with her friends and allows for us to get to know them all a little better. I have to admit however that Sara herself gets on my nerves a bit. She seems totally unable to explain herself and although I realise this is for comedic value, it gets a little old, especially considering her supposed maturity.
The show airs Tuesdays at 10pm on BBC2, episode 3 will be on next week and I am hoping it remains as funny but our “heroine” gets less irritating. The debut episode had 1.8 million viewers and topped the 10pm slot in the UK, I think to keep that position it will have to pick up a little. However, I will be there, I think Perkins is one talented lady and am looking forward to seeing where this goes.