Pulling

Pulling is the Withnail & I of the Noughties. It’s a life shot through drink and bad drugs, a life that didn’t quite live up to expectation, regardless of continual rhetoric. In Donna, Karen and Louise, we have the most realistic likeness to the hung-up inhabitants of the post-millenium ever aired.

Between the three, we get the three facets of our own personality. The naive one who doesn’t know where life is taking us; The self destructive one who paints over fault-lines with polyfilla; The neurotic one who bluffs hopelessly in the pitch black. All of these, melded into one person makes for a person in denial… and person looking at everyone else and wondering how they got their lives so perfect.

For me, the greatest universal truths come out in comedy. You can look to philosophers and novelists for in-depth critiques of the human psyche, but it’s always the comedic that cut straight to the quick. In Pulling, writer Sharon Horgan, reveals uncomfortable truths about ourselves through the sublime, the far-fetched, the dark and the downright odd.

In Pulling, there is no hero. Fact is, each of the characters featured (both main and support), is flawed and shallow. People are written off as rubbish because of their clothes… people inflate their own ego because they know no-one else will before it all comes tumbling horribly around them… people drink too much… they have rubbish sex… they’re blown out, useless… yet somehow, in all that, they’re still warm. You like all these people, probably because they’re all in you, nagging away telling you how shit you are.

That’s not to say this show is all about the human condition. It can veer brilliantly from home-truths to surrealism. In one scene, Donna’s ex tries to hang himself. As depressing as that is, we somehow get a laugh because he’s got a huge erection and an accidental Hitler moustache. Immediately after the hanging, there’s no soul searching, but rather a chat about how long it took to make the bracket from which the poor sod tried to commit suicide. It’s sensational stuff!

With both series available to buy on DVD, it forces home how wonderful this show was. The idiots at the BBC have decided to scrap any plans for future seasons, even though the show clearly had the legs for a long run. I know the creators of the show have other plans, but I fear that they won’t be as great as this show. The BBC have made a huge mistake showing the axe to this. This should be making the leap to BBC Two as opposed to the reel-skip in the sky. In Sharon Horgan, the BBC have/had one of the best comedy writers on the planet. I advise you catch both series… you won’t be sorry.

  • BBC One
  • BBC Two
  • BBC Three
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  • ITV2
  • 4
  • E4
  • Film4
  • More4
  • Five
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  • Sky1