Sunday, 5 July 2015

Hello Ladies: DVD Review

Hello Ladies: DVD Review

Rating: M
Released by Warner Home Video and Roadshow Home Ent

It’s a well-worn trope we’ve seen many times before – the awkward geeky guy trying to impress the ladies.

It’s also the MO of Hello Ladies, an eight part sitcom by Stephen Merchant and based on his show. Merchant is Stuart, a web design company owner living the high life in LA, but never having any success with women.

Renting out his “outhouse” is lodger Jessica (The Walking Dead’s Christine Woods), an aspiring actress trying to crack into the big time. And along for the ride are his mates Wade, who’s in the process of splitting from his wife and Kives, a ladies man who has more success than the others.

After a wobbly pilot that feels forced, it’s a relief to report the rest of the series is funny and warm, with Merchant’s awkwardness anchoring most of the stories and key moments. There’s an underlying gentle sweetness to the writing which makes up for any moments that feel like Stuart’s reaching far beyond. The show was cancelled, but the release includes the wrap up TV movie which goes exactly where you expect it would and isn’t quite as impressive as the rest of the run, but still treats its audience with the respect you've come to give the characters.

Refreshing for an HBO series to have such heart, be so gentle and unassuming and trading on Merchant’s charisma, Hello Ladies is surprising in many ways and ends up being a series that you binge without realising you’re doing it.

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