Contains mild spoilers for season one episode one
I was instantly drawn to this when I read the premise and I saw that Minnie Driver was starring in it because I think she is a incredibly honest and graceful person. I love comedy, I love romance and I also love heart-felt stories so I thought this would be right up my street. One of my first thoughts were ‘Cell-o? Really you are combining the words Cello and hello so that you can get a girl to like you?’ And then my second thought was ‘OMG it’s a hippie Minnie Driver!’ And then I sort of got lost in the adorableness and the smiles and the cheesy moments. This first episode was sweet and cute and funny and when the credits were rolling, I felt sort of warm and happy inside. I think that all the characters are incredibly clear and defined and I can’t wait to see what ensues over the next batch of episodes.
I really loved how this show had a ‘take me or leave me’ attitude. We learn within the first five minutes that our main man Will, played by David Walton, is a flirty, care-free young man who may or may not be a complete softie. However he doesn’t always give the best of impressions as the first time his two hippie neighbors. Fiona – played by Minnie Driver – and her 11 year old son Marcus – played by Benjamin Stockham – lay eyes on him he is half naked and saying how a Cello player he is trying to sleep with owes him a orgasm. I love how the characters are so charming and lovable – although they all very clearly have flaws and issues with themselves. I instantly fell in love with Will even if he can be a bit of a magnet for trouble. I love how Fiona is so determined to look after her son but won’t give up her hippie ways. And she isn’t afraid to tell a neighbor off for barbecuing two steak fillets when she is about to meditate…you know? One of those normal conversations.
I also love how there was no real plot to this episode. There was most definitely a storyline and a very clear one, but you had no idea where the episode was going to go, and I think this reflects the show. It is care-free and quirk and slightly eccentric but is heart-warming and touching at the same time. I loved the relationship that has begun to form between Marcus and Will, and I think they really do bring out the best in each other. And the scenes in which they are together were so sweet and adorable, I was grinning from ear to ear. And I love the relationship that Fiona has with Marcus – Marcus seems very informed of his mother’s current state and it seems that Fiona is very open with him. He is aware of her depression and he is aware that she often cries herself to sleep. I loved the scenes where it showed Will helping Marcus combat some of the school bullies because it was so happy and fun; you were cheering Marcus and Will on because Marcus is such a sweet and thoughtful boy but he is in no way a pushover and I love that about him.
I thought that the tone of this felt very British, even if it isn’t set in England. I felt like the actors really added to that thoughtful, quirky tone that this episode displayed and it made everything feel all the more charming. I know that there are deeper issues that are going to be breached in future episodes and that Will is going to get him, and undoubtedly his new neighbors, into shedloads of trouble. I mean, he has already convinced Cello girl (aka Dakota) that Marcus is Jonah, his cancer-striken son. Things can only go up from there right?
I loved the warm, cosy feel of the episode and I am already hooked on the characters and the storyline. I definitely want to carry on with this series but I have the feeling that I am going to have to pace myself with this one.