Review: The Luke McQueen Pilots, Episode Three: The Luke of Love, BBC Three/BBC One

The final instalment of the Luke McQueen trilogy finds the hapless comedian lobbed into the world of Love Island-style reality TV when he becomes the subject of his very own Bachelor-style show, The Luke of Love, handily abbreviated to LOL.

As McQueen cannily observes at the outset, women often want to date someone with a sense of humour.So who better than an actual stand-up like him? Except that the six women competing for his attention don’t seem to find him remotely funny. Well, not intentionally anyway.

McQueen has clearly studied the format of this type of show to get everything so close it pretty much feels like the real thing, from the six bikini-clad volunteers drawn from different regions and classes shacking up in the luxury suburban house to the endless tasks, twists and doubletwists (and endless random hashtags flashed up on the screen to illustrate plot points).

From the moment our anti-hero clumsily swims across the pool to meet them – “I’m all wet. You did that” – to the finale when he pushes them beyond the point where they are prepared to indulge him this is the kind of intentionally wince-inducing programme that is best watched from a safe distance, maybe from behind the sofa in the house over the road through the gaps in your fingers.

If McQueen isn’t awkwardly going into a mega-sulk after a lie detector test reveals some home truths it’s the competitors nervously wondering what his deadpan father – Mark Silcox – has concealed in a blue plastic bag. Most painful of all is the moment when McQueen cackhandedly attempts to woo posh Mimi while she is out on a date with someone else. 

At a running time of an hour this episode is a little too long. We get the message that McQueen is about as much of a catch as David Brent pretty early on. Full credit to him though for pushing the genre to snapping point. Love Island will never seem the same again after watching McQueen go through this ordeal.  

The Luke McQueen Pilots, Episode Three: The Luke of Love. Watch on iPlayer here.



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