Beyond the bawdry is a show finding its feet
Sinchronicity 10pm, SBS
THAT the first topic of conversation in the debut episode of Sinchronicity is an attention- getter — the case of a woman with two vaginas — should be a clear indication of the nature of this amusing new British dramedy.
The woman in question doesn’t play a big role in the show but the lively conversation sets up the dynamic of the three twentysomething main characters, Nathan ( Paul Chequer), a porn journalist; his successful financial consultant best friend, Jason ( Daniel Percival); and Jason’s girlfriend, Fi ( Jemima Rooper), for whom Nathan carries a torch.
The dual girly bits also announce Sinchronicity as a show that is trying a bit too hard ( along with the punny title) to be cool and boundarypushing. Throw in lots of fast editing, narration by Nathan that includes him turning to address the audience and a jumpy narrative in which early scenes are explained more fully later on, and Sinchronicity almost doesn’t work. That it does is in part thanks to the fact that while Nathan may be a womanising sleaze who spends his life trying to find new peccadillos to document in detail for his sex- crazed editor, he’s also kind of likable.
Sinchronicity is spiritually akin to last year’s contentious comedy Californication in its love of a pun, although the shows are very different. Californication ’ s main character, a writer struggling with writer’s block, behaves fairly reprehensibly, but the considerable wounded charm of actor David Duchovny means it’s easy to forgive him. While Chequer is not quite the charmer Duchovny is, he wins you over in the end. He may do the wrong thing, but more often than not he’s driven by decent motives. Luckily, every time he does something bad, someone else in his circle does something worse.
And like Californication , Sinchronicity ’ s more ribald aspects run the risk of overshadowing what is a story with a lot of warmth.
Not that you’d want to lose the raunch entirely — it’s a source of much of the humour — but it’s the relationship between the three main characters that’s likelier to get you tuning in week after week, and it may take a while to find it.
Another rich source of humour is the games that fate likes to play with us, as Sinchronicity piles coincidences and chance encounters on top of each other, entwining characters whether they’re aware of it or not.
I wasn’t sure after the first episode whether the program worked and in the early part of the second episode it felt as if the first episode was as good as it was going to get. But, really, this was just a show finding its feet and, like a good relationship, sometimes you just have to be patient as things get sorted out.
After that you may find it’s worth the wait.
Punny business: Jemima Rooper and Paul Chequer star in Sinchronicity