Netflix's 'Chewing Gum' is Doing it Right: Here's Why
In recent years, the scale has finally started tipping in the proper direction for female representation in TV. Shows like Insecure, Broad City, and Girls—created for women by women—have brought to light the uncensored day-to-day for women—much of which has historically been brushed under the rug (or just missed altogether) in the realm of television. We will say, no one’s done it quite like the British series, Chewing Gum, currently in its second season. Written by and starring screenwriter and poet, Michaela Coel, Chewing Gum is a refreshingly unfiltered and comedic portrayal of young adult life through the female lens.
Chewing Gum follows Michaela Coel’s character, Tracey, on a mission to lose her virginity while simultaneously dealing with her over-the-top Evangelical Christian mom and sister along with a batch of eccentric friends. It’s a breath of fresh air to see a young woman navigating (and embracing) the trials and tribulations of everything from putting in a tampon to preaching about a yeast infection in the middle of a sex party. Plus, stylistically, Chewing Gum is a spectacle all to itself. Tracey regularly breaks the fourth wall, adding brilliant commentary to strange situations in the form of an inner monologue.
With no stone left unturned, the show dives head on into topics like racial fetishism (Tracey is requested to dress up in tribal garb by the skeevy dude she’s hooking up with), religion’s ability to suppress natural sexual desires, pornography, drunken hookups, lurking exes on social media, and—well—the list goes on. With nothing to hide and no topic off limits, the series is groundbreaking, staunchly realistic, and, perhaps most importantly, serves as an important female-fueled addition to the television landscape. Not to mention, Coel and her costars are fucking hysterical.
For your viewing pleasure, seasons 1 and 2 are available on Netflix. Do yourself a favor and hop on the Chewing Gum train, stat.
Images via Chewing Gum and Elle
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