After a sweet and charming two-part opener to series three of Him and Her last week, episode three, ‘The Happy Couple’ gets back to the series’ gross-out roots and sidelines Steve and Backs in favor of the madness that surrounds them.
With the proposal put of the back burner both by Steve and by the show itself, we’re free to focus on the mundane day-to-day of the couple again. Regarding the title, they actually seem like the only happy partnership in the world right now, with Shelley and Dan still skirting around one another, Laura bullying Paul into submission at every opportunity, and Steve’s mother having trouble with her own relationship. There are some grim home truths, painfully awkward humor and plenty of toilet gags – so business as usual then.
Jackie is the first to come to the flat, in the middle of a domestic dispute sparked by a second, secret, phone. Despite Steve’s assurance that he’ll protect her when the boyfriend comes round, he’s actually hilariously inadequate at standing up to anyone. In the end, they all just let them get on with things, before the truth regarding a certain pizza delivery man is revealed. It’s mortifying, and the kind of embarrassing comedy that Him and Her excels in. Then there’s the episode-long gag about leaving a poo until the last minute, with Dan discovering the shortcomings of this practice when he finds himself without any toilet paper.
Despite the usual putrid state of their flat, everyone seems to making a mess. Jackie smokes freely in their bedroom and puts her cigarette out in the sink, Dan repeatedly smashes glasses and plates, and the beers that Steve and Becks can’t locate are being pilfered left, right and center. Nothing is made of Laura drinking a beer instead of her pregnancy-friendly plum juice, and it’s either a clever clue that she’s faking or a sly comment of the behavior of modern mothers-to-be. I hope it’s the former, as a reveal like that might just spark the comeuppance she deserves.
Of course, it wouldn’t be the show we love without some sweet, tender moments, and Steve’s calming down of Jackie’s son (who the pair are babysitting) is just that. Unlike Laura and Paul’s complete cluelessness when it comes to kids, these two are naturals, and the presence of a child for them to care for brings out the charming qualities of a couple who should be, by all rights, too normal for television. This series looks easy to make, but creating people that feel real, flawed, yet likeable, is a massive feat.
What did you think of the episode? Is Laura’s pregnancy just as it seems? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
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