Life

TV Review: Everything I Know About Love feels like a hit

Everything I Know About Love starts (l-r) Birdy (Bel Powley), Maggie (Emma Appleton), Nell (Marli Siu) and Amara (Aliyah Odoffin). Picture by Working Title / Universal International Studios Limited, Matt Squire
Billy Foley

Everything I Know About Love, BBC 1 Tuesday and iPlayer

So, let's get the Sex and the City comparison out of the way.

Everything I Know About Love tells the story of four female friends in their mid-twenties (not thirties), living in London (not New York), who have no money (as opposed to loads).

Yet, lots of the action concerns the characters' attempts to find love in a world where the right man appears to be vanishingly rare.

The series is based on the book of the same name by Dolly Alderton, whose memoir told of the fun and mistakes of her 20s.

We first meet the central character ‘Maggie' on a train when her debit card is rejected as she tries to buy a quarter bottle of red wine, another of white and a miniature whiskey.

Maggie likes a party you see, as does the charming young man in the seat opposite who volunteers to pay her bill.

He is everything a young woman looking for some excitement could want. A rebel and musician who likes to quote poets to support his life view. And he's called Street. What could go wrong?

Maggie's best friend is ‘Birdy' and she couldn't be more different. She's practical, sensible and just wants an ordinary man who loves her. Think Charlotte with less expensive clothes and shoes.

She meets said man after Maggie sends Birdy on a blind date with Nathan, the flatmate, but not mate, of Street who sells insurance and is a personal trainer.

As Birdy's relationship with Nathan deepens, Maggie finds that the most important partner in her life since her school days is slowly leaving her.

We see little of the other two friends, Amara and Nell, in the first couple of episodes, but the four share a house in Camden. They're good buddies, support each other and are excited to experience life in the big city.

Maggie and Birdy work in promotions, which consists of dressing up as a selection of different foods to hand out restaurant flyers.

Maggie describes this approach to life to Street. “I will do anything other than murder for £40 in cash.”

She's the kind of person who knows how much is left in her bank account to the penny (because it's so small) but is reassured by Birdy that there's a good reason for this.

“You are the sweetest, funniest person in any room … someone who actually like skinny dipping and wearing bandanas and playing snooker in pubs.”

And “the cost of being that special is always being overdrawn,” reckons Birdy about her bestie.

Maggie (played by Emma Appleton, who is also on Disney Plus at the moment as Nancy in Pistol) is an engaging character and Everything I Know About Love is at times very funny.

The Sex and the City comparison could also stretch to Teachers (Channel 4, early noughties) or This Life (BBC, late nineties) about twenty-somethings trying to find their way in life.

It feels like it could be a hit.

It's on TV on Tuesdays but all episodes are available on the iPlayer now,

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Newsnight, BBC 2, Tuesday

It was a big night for the once celebrated late news analysis show.

Just 90-minutes earlier, Boris Johnson was dealt a potentially fatal blow to his political career.

And for once Newsnight wasn't a let-down. It wasn't scintillatingly good, but it was professional and competent as it worked its way through the consequences of a vote which left the prime minister without the support of more than 40 per cent of his own MPs.

That's a significant step forward for a programme that had lost its way in recent years.

The sniggering at interviewees has gone, replaced by old fashioned journalism.

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