TV Review: Sally4Ever, Sky Atlantic

A long time ago when Julia Davis co-starred in the decidedly warped BBC2 character comedy Human Remains with Rob Brydon I assumed Brydon was the one with the dark sensibility. Until I interviewed him and he told me that the darkness came from Julia Davis. Having seen Davis in Nighty Night, Hunderby and Camping since then I think I would have worked it out anyway.

And now she is back with more warped wonderfulness – if you like that sort of thing – in Sally4ever. Davis plays free-thinking, possibly psychopathic, musician Emma who is smitten with plain suburban Sally (Catherine Shepherd) and embarks on a passionate affair with her. Sally is currently living with her partner of 10 years, the very beige David (Alex Macqueen) who likes to sit in front of her rubbing moisturising loion into his bare feet (and then blow-drying them), so maybe she doesn't take too much persuading. Oh, and he also has a mother fixation.

It's a compelling programme to watch if not always pleasant. I'm not even sure if it counts as a comedy, but the cast is certainly the cream of Chris Morris-y alt-comedy. Davis' real-life partner Julian Barratt plays Nigel, a colleague of Sally who works in a marketing department with Deborah (Jane Stanness - looking remarkably like Amelia Bullmore) and Eleanor (Felicity Montague). Mark Gatiss – be still my beating heart – is due to pitch up in a later episode.

While, as I suggested, it is not strictly a comedy, there is plenty here to enjoy as Sally's life is turned upside down and back to front by Emma. This also contains one of the most unusual sex scenes i've ever seen, which involves a toe going into a bottom. The nudity does feel a little Game of Thrones-ish gratuitous though. I suspect here was some body double action involved here.

Episode one really just sets things up. I've got no idea where Sally4ever is going. Or what Emma's back story is. All I know is I'll be sticking around for the ride. So Julia Davis must be doing something right. 

Sally4Ever, Sky Atlantic, Thursdays from October 25 at 10pm.


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