HIM & HER (BBC) “The Toast” Review

Him & Her

HIM & HER is the tale of two 20-something-year-old lovers, who would rather stay in bed (preferably having sex) than go out and work. Episode 1, ‘The Toast’, opens on them in bed (unsurprisingly), Steve (the ‘Him’ of the title, played by Russell Tovey) complimenting Becky (‘Her’, played by Sarah Solemani) on her, uh, oral abilities. And kinda/sorta comparing her noise level mid-coitus to a prostitute. I think it’s safe to say that Steve isn’t the most tactful guy around. She seems to like it though.

The rest of the episode follows in the same vein. Becky’s dull sister Laura is worried when her fiance, Paul, doesn’t come home after a night out. Steve knows Paul had a one night stand with a Sporty Spice lookalike. He even mentions it to Dan, the gormless, creepy neighbour who insists on visiting to talk about Kate Winslet’s breasts, Becky’s loudness and buying melons.

It’s not long before Laura comes to hang out with them while she worries, and even less time before Paul appears at the door, telling Laura that ‘events’ kept him from coming home. All seems well until Becky tells the others that Steve did a ‘dick dance’ (exactly what it sounds like) and the requisite size jokes lead to Steve calling Paul ‘Becks’ and asking him if he can’t ‘keep it in [his] shorts’. Becky puts two and two together and Paul’s infidelity is revealed.

Him & Her is an interesting little comedy. Taking place entirely in three rooms (and an entrance area), it has to make the mundane funny. Which isn’t all that hard with characters like neighbour Dan (newly single and addicted to Titanic; Kate Winslet reminds him of his ‘posh and fat’ ex-girlfriend) and Paul (who deserves kudos for trying to say he spent the entire night at a museum — with a Sporty Spice lookalike).

The obligatory British toilet humor has its place in episode 1, with a plot thread revolving around Becky’s failure to flush. Usually I would find this distasteful, but it was worth it for Steve’s indignant ‘You shit in my flat, you flush in my flat’. Oh, Steve. Though even that line wasn’t as amusing as his fear of spiders. As a fellow arachnophobe, that plot thread was both hideous and hilarious. You don’t truly have a fear unless you’ve jumped onto a bed, flailing around because an eight-legged freak is happily sauntering across your carpet.

All in all, Him & Her seems like a decent way to spend 30 minutes per week. It’s not the best comedy around, but it’s not the worst either. The characters are likable, the premise is sound, and there’s always the possibility that they’ll leave the confines of their flat in future episodes. Or maybe not. After all, lounging around in bed isn’t all that bad, and the world seems to come to him & her – whether they want it to or not.

What did you think of Him & Her? Do you think it needs to expand beyond the confines of three rooms? Did you, too, think Paul’s ‘museum’ excuse was brilliant?