Everyone liked The Inbetweeners, right? Yes, the show had many cringe-worthy, repetitive and outright stupid moments but offered a fair, if heightened take on the burden of adolescence.
Damon Beesley, who co-wrote the series alongside Iain Morris, now branches away from the playground and brings us a slightly darker and sassier story with travelling double-glazing salesman Vincent (Ed Westwick) heading the show. The BBC2 comedy White Gold starts as it means to go on. It’s slick, smart and silly – there is fun to be had here that’s for sure.
It’s Essex, 1983 and here we meet cocksure Vincent, our charismatic and terribly arrogant narrator that gets his claws in from the get go. This obnoxious man is the epitome of a classic salesman; giving us handy tips and breaking the forth wall just to tell us exactly how amazing he is at his job and what a perfect life he has, lying to every Tom, Dick and Harry he meets (including his wife) – because that’s just Vincent. Alongside this supercilious front man we have his band of merry men; Lavender (Joe Thomas) the quieter of the two playing it safe and never ‘really’ conning anyone into buying his windows, and then we have Fitzpatrick (James Buckley) donning a ‘Begbie’ moustache with an attitude to match his sleazy snake of a salesman (not an utterly insane Scot, although that would have been good too).
With constant testosterone flying through the air and the obvious chemistry Thomas and Buckley have, the dynamic between their characters perfectly balances out the suaveness of Ed’s Vincent. Despite clichés and certain stereotypes represented here; the individuals we see on screen (even if they are exaggerated throughout) are believable and we probably all know people with a touch of such attributes.
Gossip Girl’s Westwick holds his own here, even if he really did have to wiggle his hips to the iconic beat of Laura Branigan’s ‘Gloria’ in tight red y-fronts, but it’s near impossible not to see him as Chuck Bass. Well, just imagine Mr. Bass with a lot less money and class. Add Ed’s real accent and you got yourself Vincent. By no means is this a bad thing, because we all know he can pull this off without a hitch but perhaps this isn’t the role that will mark his next defining moment as an actor.
Above all else, the soundtrack here is simply brilliant. The recent Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 pulled out all the stops, yet White Gold is where the party is at. Blasting us pop-punk, 80’s electro making you hum away and tap your foot eager to bust some moves on the dance floor. Even though this isn’t anything we haven’t seen before, writer Beesley brings a certain edge to the double-glazing salesman and has created accessible viewing material that the majority are sure to love and laugh at across generations.
White Gold indefinitely grabs your attention but let’s just hope it gives us something other than Wolf of Wall Street in Essex. Time will tell.
White Gold begins tonight on BBC Two at 10pm.