Oct 29, 2016

The Unique Gay Romance of "Crashing."

In Britain, "property guardians" move into an abandoned property that wasn't designed for permanent habitation in the first place -- an office building, a school, a warehouse.   In exchange for "protecting" the property, they get cheap rent, about 55 pounds a week ($400 a month).  The downside is, the place is usually falling apart, with inadequate plumbing and heat, no bathrooms, no kitchen...

The upside is, there's lots of room for comedy material.

Crashing is a British tv series (2016-), now on Netflix, about a group of young adults who become the property guardians at an abandoned hospital.  Big, spooky rooms where people once got sick and died, now used for comic misunderstandings and buddy-bonding, sort of like Friends if they lived in the entire apartment complex, and had more snogging.

1-3. Anthony (Damien Molony, left) negotiates the sexual tension with Lulu (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) and his fiancee Kate (Louise Ford).

4.-5. Hip French artist Melody (Julie Dray) pursues the portly middle aged Colin (Adrian Scarborough), though he can't for the life of him figure out why.

6.-7. Effervescent real estate agent Sam (Jonathan Bailey, who gets blond highlights and a beard so he doesn't look exactly like Damien Molony) courts the uptight Fred (Amit Shah).  Each claims to be "not gay."

The reviews all skip over 6.-7., concentrating on 1.-.3 and calling it a "two girls and a guy dilemma" sitcom, Archie torn between Betty and Veronica.

But the gay romance  is what makes the series unique.

Episode 1: Sam and Fred bond at a party scavenger hunt.  Piggy back ride, forehead bumping, forehead kissing, "beautiful eyes," "handsome face," but each claims that he's "not gay."

Episode 2: Sam lures Fred away from his dull office job for a wild day of rebellion.  They end up in bed together.  Fred hugs Sam, who protests: "This ain't never going to happen!  Ever!"

Episode 3:  Fred, who has admitted that he is gay, starts dating the effervescent Australian Will (Lachie Chapman).  Sam explodes in jealous rage.

Episode 4: Sam and Will compete for Fred's affection.  They get into a fight.  Sam tries to get them to break up by seducing Will, but it doesn't work.  So he has sex with Lulu instead.

Episode 5:  Will gets a new flat, and asks Fred to move in.  Sam seethes.  He accosts Will in the shower.   They kiss.

Fred finds out about the kiss and freaks out.

Sam claims that he was trying to tempt Will on purpose to prove that he's a bad guy.  Will claims that Sam is in love with him but won't admit it.  Everyone gets into a fight.

Will turns out to be a controlling jerk who insults Sam and all of his friends.  They break up.

Episode 6:  Fred and Sam are still at loggerheads.  Fred wants them to be lovers, and Sam insists that he is not gay, so they can only be best friends.  Then Fred collapses, and goes to the hospital.  Sam admits that he's in love with him.  They kiss.

Oh, I almost forgot, the other couples have romantic complications, too.  Melody and Colin and Anthony and Lulu end up together.  I think.  I wasn't really paying attention to them.

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