Me and Mrs Jones, we got a thing going on. (Episode 6)
Aaaw Me and Mrs Jones. I can’t lie; I came to the show for two simple reasons. Sarah Alexander and the beauty that is Robert Sheehan, most commonly known for his turn as the cocky but loveable arsehole Nathan in (what I consider) one of the greatest television shows ever, Misfits. Sarah Alexander too appealed as she appeared in a programme so funny I once fell off a sofa watching it, Smack the Pony. Having also discovered that the writers, Fay Rusling and Oriane Messina, had once been part of the Smack the Pony gang, I felt like I was in capable comedy hands.
Me and Mrs Jones is a total guilty pleasure but, I am pleased to report, a lot better than your standard BBC Friday night ‘comedy’. For one thing, there are things in this sitcom that actually made me laugh. I still chuckle at the sight of Alfie (Jonathan Bailey) and Billy (Robert Sheehan) powerwalking down a school corridor as they had been told off by a teacher. These boys are in their twenties. But on with the review of the final episode! This week Gemma, in an attempt to get moping ex husband Jason (Neil Morrisey) off her sofa and back together with his gorgeous girlfriend Inca (Vera Filatova), hosts a barbeque. It is a typically mad cap affair in the Jones household, with Tom (Nathaniel Parker) and his smoked hay, Jason succeeding, in an attempt to one up Tom in the macho barbeque stakes, in setting himself on fire and Gemma’s mad friend Fran (Kelle Bryan) arriving with her new hunk Nero, dressed as Princess Jasmine and Aladdin respectively.
The madness is nicely peppered with touching and hopelessly romantic scenes involving in Gemma and Billy. Robert Sheehan was on fine form this week, all sparkly hazel eyes and lilting Irish lyricism. It seems very difficult to see how Gemma might resist such a man, he does come across as truly perfect, especially in his heart melting speech about the seeing the perfect in the imperfect. Women across the country (including myself) found themselves yelling “IF YOU DON’T SNOG HIM NOW YOU SILLY COW, I WILL!” and then collapsing into an over romanced mush. It is this factor of the show that I adore, the sweet and tender juxtaposed with the sublimely ridiculous. The scene in which Gemma and Billy hide beneath her duvet could have been cringe inducing but remained, as it is usually is with these two, so tender that you wanted to cry. The prospect of Billy, his scotch eggs and a bottle of cava would have proved too much for many women and once again I found myself thinking that Gemma was probably mad for letting this one go.
However, its not all the kind of romance that makes you go a bit weak at the knees, this show is, thankfully, heavy on the comedy. My favourite moment from this week’s episode was Nero stamping the children’s hands, in true bouncer style, to let them onto the trampoline. It’s the silly, subtle little things like this that have tickled me throughout the whole series and really add to the character and fun of the show. This week also featured a cameo from, in my opinion, one of the funniest women to ever walk the earth. “DOOOOOON” I cried as the formidable figure of Doon Mackichan waltzed onto my screen, clad in super bitch uniform, all designer sunglasses and crisp white jeans. Everyone else, having never seen Smack the Pony and therefore didn’t understand just why I was so excited, looked at me like I was mad. Her role as Selina, Tom’s ice maiden ex wife, was an interesting addition to the already bustling love triangle and, if the show were to be granted a second series, I would love to see her return and cause some more mayhem.
It must be said though that the true unsung hero of Me and Mrs Jones is Jonathan Bailey as Alfie, Gemma’s older son with whom Billy is best friends. Alfie is your typical boy in his early twenties, he’s messy, he’s cocky, he likes to drink and it seems all he can think about is how many MILFs he can snog. In anyone else’s hands, Alfie would just be a knob. But Jonathan Bailey succeeds in making Alfie the funniest character of the entire show, often with the best lines. This week, for example, Alfie embarked on the task of breaking the Guinness World Record for continuous bouncing on a trampoline, a task it is revealed by Nero, the surly but surprisingly knowledgeable bouncer, is impossible. Whilst undertaking this mammoth task, Jason manages to set himself on fire and having been hosed down with a face full of fire extinguisher foam, all Alfie has to offer is a yell of ‘LAME!’ Bailey has consistently been the strongest member of this cast, always the one to make me laugh the loudest. I would most certainly watch a show based solely on Alfie and his escapades.
Viewers who had started the journey of Billy, Tom and Gemma had been on tenterhooks about whom she would pick. Would she go with dependable, sweet Tom or youthful, tender and devilishly handsome Billy? And at the end of the episode we held our breath as we thought we might FINALLY know. Gemma sat at a crossroads, both literally and figuratively, (a crossroad that is, incidentally down the road from me. It’s on the way to the Waitrose, exciting stuff I know!), deliberating as to whether she would go and spend a weekend in a yurt in the Lake District or homemade scotch eggs on a rooftop with a bottle of cava. And just as she decisively flicked the indicator THE BLOODY PROGRAMME FINISHED. ‘NOOOOOOOO’ I yelled, flopping down on my sofa in dismay. How could they do that to us?! With no promise of a second series, would we ever know who she picked? I do actually have a pretty clear idea about which one of the boys she chose, based on the way her shoulder moved but a little closure would have gone down a treat!
And there we were, left bereft and unsatisfied at the end. BBC, please grant this lovely show a second series, it has provided me with such a lot of joy on a Friday night and I am going to miss it.