TV/Online Review: Comedy Slice – Dreaming Whilst Black, BBC Three/BBC One

TV/Online Review: Dreaming Whilst Black, BBC Three/BBC One

The BBC's latest Comedy Slice pilot started life as a web series and after a one-off being re-made for BBC Three it gets a late-night outing on BBC One. Which is certainly deserves. It may not be the next Mrs Brown's Boys but there are plenty of laughs here while also covering contemporary hot topic issues of race and prejudice. It is also very good on the horror of office politics – excruciatingly relatable if you can remember working in an office.

Creator Adjani Salmon plays aspiring London filmmaker Kwabena, who is chasing his big movie break while also trying to hold down a tedious dead-end job in recruitment. The scenes played out with his work chums range from the awkwardly funny  – one colleague Adam (Alex Owen) asking for advice about what films to watch on a date with a girlfriend who is a person of colour) to the painfully political - another colleague, Vicky (Meghan Treadway) suggesting – while smiling – that he food he eats smells. It's all about everyday micro-aggressions at the microwave.

Inevitably the besuited work interplay scenes have echoes of The Office, although more the American version than the UK version. It is all verly calmly shot, nothing is ever over-forced - though perhaps a karaoke scene where Kwabena is dragged up onstage for a cringemaking rapalong with Alex comes close. The story is played out stylishly with Salmon making you hope that everything works out for Kwabena – whether it's getting a film made or finding romance while commuting. By the end you really want to see him succeed, even though it feels that the odds are stacked against him.

Here's hoping that whether Kwabena's film fantasy goes ahead or not, that a series for Dreaming Whilst Black does get the green light. 

Dreaming Whilst Black is on iPlayer here


Picture credit: BBC/Big Deal Films/Anup Bhatt


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