This week’s episode marks the halfway point of BBC Two’s new comedy series and as such it is also one of the strongest so far.
The basic storyline again concerns a date between Judy and Leo. This time rather than run the risk of his family gate crashing, he takes her to an art gallery.
Meanwhile, the families again cross paths, this time at the salon where Pam works. While Leo and Judy are essential elements within the show, some of the best scenes are actually ones they aren’t in. The true sitcom moments take place at the salon rather than the art gallery, with education rather than humour taking centre stage there.
This week the question of sex is approached as well as the ins and outs of Gender Reassignment Surgery. The latter is illustrated by the use of a jacket sleeve which proves very effective. While we don’t hear all of the gory details (due to Leo fainting) what we do hear is enough to give us a picture. Following on from the art gallery, Leo and Judy head to the bowling alley where the ugly side of being transgender begins to emerge.
Two men begin giving Judy and Leo some hassle once they’ve twigged that she’s transgender and it provides a much needed reality check for the show. Being transgender isn’t all about the accepting family and accepting boyfriend. There’s a nasty side where insults like “Girlfriend, is that what you call it” and “freak” get bandied about.
Sure, Judy blends in fairly well, but she still gets hassle sometimes and it was so important for the series to show this. While Leo attempts to defend Judy, she proves quite capable of defending herself by punching one of the lads. While it was perhaps important to show that Judy is quite capable of defending herself, the punch smacked of transgender stereotyping.
Like the microphone announcement last week, it’s questionable whether most in the transgender community would actually punch anyone in such a confrontation. It kind of emasculated Leo, which wasn’t really required here.
The third episode of Boy Meets Girl shows a lot of growth from the show’s opener earlier this month.
The actors appear more settled in their characters, with Jamie (Leo’s brother) beginning to show real comedic promise. Up until now he’s perhaps been just on the right side of irritating but here, scared stiff of Judy’s man eater sister, he’s genuinely funny.
Pam continues to become quite an unlikable character, forever putting down Judy’s family. “It’s a wonder Judy’s turned out as normal as she has!” she exclaims after calling them nutters. It will be interesting what she makes of Judy once she knows the truth.
Aired at 9.30pm on Thursday 17 September 2015 on BBC Two.
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