Chewing Gum is about an awkward yet charming 24-year-old called Tracey Gordon (Michaela Coel) who lives on a council estate in East London.
Coel adapted her critically acclaimed one-woman theatre production Chewing Gum Dreams into the six part sitcom, which is set six years later in Tracey’s life.
It is an entertaining comedy about Tracey’s mission to lose her virginity and understand life a bit better. Tracey and her friends are in their early twenties, trying to avoid responsibility and the real world. She has been brought up in a strict Christian family and the two main idols in her life are Beyoncé and Jesus.
We are introduced to her very Christian, controlling and neurotic fiancé, Ronald (John MacMillan), who has been with Tracey since she was 17.
He is obsessive and has very strong views on sex before marriage. To make this worse, her mum and sister are equally as crazy and do not ever want to let her have a life of her own.
Candice (Danielle Isaie), Tracey’s wild friend from the estate, gives her a ‘makeover’ in the bid that Ronald will finally take it further with her.
She leaves with the wise words from Candice of “just sit on his face”, which predictably does not go so well. Tracey keeps bumping into a guy called Connor (Robert Lonsdale), who is a self-proclaimed poet, and from there things start to change.
The episode leaves you wondering if she is going to leave her old life behind and go with Connor or stay with Ronald.
I did not really know what to expect from Chewing Gum, but it proved to be a fun and easy watch. It is sassy, crude and does not hold back, which I think is a nice change, and gives a breath of fresh air to E4.
Michaela Coel is a truthful and expressive actress who has said that the show is loosely based around her life – she had a tumultuous childhood growing up and was part of an extreme Christian religion during her teens as well. Chewing Gum is a hybrid of Ugly Betty and Awkward.