“Chewing Gum,” which is based on Michaela Coel’s 2012 play titled “Chewing Gum Dreams” (because, along with all of her other talents and credits, Coel is also a playwright), is set in London and focuses on the life of 24-year-old shop assistant Tracey Gordon (Coel). Tracey is devoutly religious and a virgin — until she decides that it’s time to lose her virginity to her boyfriend of six years, Ronald (John MacMillan). Of course, her attraction to street poet Connor (Robert Lonsdale) complicates her plan.
Judging by the show’s perfect 100% Tomatometer rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s safe to say that “Chewing Gum” was adored by critics. In fact, the Guardian even compared Coel to one of the most beloved comedians of all time, writing, “Michaela Coel’s incredible timing, warmth and gift for physical comedy basically make her, in my eyes, the second coming of Lucille Ball[.]”
Meanwhile, The New Republic called the show “one of the sharpest social commentaries on television right now.” The rave review continued, “Chewing Gum throws its punches and gets its laughs by taking antic situations to their extreme.” Vanity Fair also had nothing but praise for the comedy, writing, “For those two seasons, Chewing Gum was one of the rare modern comedies to revolve around Black women simply existing, instead of stuffing them into stereotypical extremes. It also operated as light, yet razor-sharp social commentary on class.”
Basically, “Chewing Gum” is smart, funny, unique and utterly compelling. If you’re convinced and want to check out Coel’s comedy, then you can find both of its seasons on HBO Max to stream.