September 04, 2018
It’s affected and too slow, but some stellar performances keep things interesting
Wanderlust review – the steamiest show on TV? Let’s just say there are some exciting new possibilities
Joy and Alan are having sex. Ah yes, I’ve heard about that, the sex. “Is BBC’s Wanderlust the steamiest TV ever?” asked the Mail on Sunday, not entirely approvingly.
Actually there is not a lot of steam coming off either Joy (Toni Collette) or Alan (Steven Mackintosh). More like cold sweat. They undress awkwardly, Joy hands Alan her crutch and undoes her wrist brace. Then he is on top of her. “Ready?” he asks. “As I’ll ever be,” she replies.
It doesn’t go well. Joy’s face says a little bit bored/a little bit pained. “What?” Alan asks.
“No, it’s good,” she lies. Oh, and this is all intercut with footage of Joy getting knocked off her bicycle, the reason for the crutch and the wrist brace. It – the accident – certainly isn’t helping. It is the opposite of the erotic fixation with tragedy as seen in JG Ballard’s Crash, this is more like anti-symphorophilia, if you will.
She brings up his technique, and that doesn’t help, either. “I’m not the one with the problem, Joy, so don’t try and needle away at my craft,” he says.
“Your craft?” she laughs. “I’m sorry, skilled woodsman.”
Skilled woodsman, that is funny. These two are good together. Apart from the rubbish sex. And that is the point. Wanderlust, adapted by Nick Payne from his own play, is an exploration of the connections and differences between intimacy and sex. And questions whether monogamy is even desirable. No wonder the Mail on Sunday is getting all hot under the collar.
So Joy and Alan give up. I mean, on this particular attempt, for now (although I think we know where this is all heading). Alan goes to work, and this time sex becomes a solitary activity, not concluded because of an interruption by her teenage son, Tom (Joe Hurst), who is setting out, wobbly, on his own sexual journey.
Over at the school where Alan teaches, his colleague Claire (Zawe Ashton) has walked in on a male colleague masturbating over an underwear catalogue. This brings Alan and Claire closer together, oddly. Nothing like a potential tribunal to move things along. One thing leads to another; a drink, Claire’s car breaks down (is that like a very mild form of symphorophilia?), a failed jump-start in the rain, a tow back to her place, then inside for a warm-up spliff and an introduction, for Alan, to Warren G’s Regulate, every teacher’s favourite G-funk track, the Ofcom anthem. It also contains a car crash, but that’s probably by the by. More importantly, it leads to sex, as Warren G often does.
Joy, meanwhile, is getting flirty with a guy in her hydrotherapy class. “Wet,” she replies when he – Marvin – asks how she is. Marvin’s a copper, Hertfordshire constabulary CID, and that certainly doesn’t harm his appeal. She says she will see him next week. “You will,” he says.
In fact, they see each other before next week. She is at the bus stop, in the rain, with a broken bike (cycling isn’t Joy’s forte). Marvin’s passing, gives her a lift home where she tosses him off in her office. Joy’s a therapist, she understands relationships.
Finally, at the end of the first episode (of six), after fessing up to each other, Joy and Alan realise what has been clear to everyone else for a while: that their marriage is opening up, to others. It has been a bit of an effort getting to this point; that might have something to do with turning a 90-minute play into six hours of television. Also … perhaps ... all the pausing … in the delivery ... of the dialogue. Is that about sounding authentic, like actual, real dialogue? Maybe, but I also find it a teeny bit annoying – affected and theatrical.
Stellar performances otherwise, from Collette and Mackintosh. And it is not just about Joy, Alan and their new sex partners. Tom is promising, as is his best friend, who is clearly in love with him. Also some of Joy’s clients, trying to patch up their relationships. Hey, maybe they should be looking outside, as well as in?
Everything’s opening up, exciting new possibilities. Maybe consensual infidelity is the answer. A breakdown seems to help things along – vehicular, rather than mental. Also water – rain, hydrotherapy, whatever, come on in, it is lovely. These are some takeaway messages. Oh, and screw the Mail on Sunday, too, while you’re at it.
Latest News
Top news around the world
Coronavirus Disease

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
Julia Fox defends viral ‘Uncut Gems’ interview moment: ‘I was stoned’ | Page Six Celebrity News
February 17, 2022
4m-p0_-ePd8
Alexia Echevarria pushed ‘RHOM’ producers to show more of son Frankie’s recovery | Page Six
February 17, 2022
E-wTaN9NfkI
Pete Davidson rejoins Instagram amid Kanye West drama | Page Six Celebrity News
February 17, 2022
SsC3dmsI6t4
Aaron Rodgers And Shailene Woodley Reportedly Break Up | TMZ LIVE
February 17, 2022
FoErdRE8Qe4
Chet Hanks Done Talking About Famous Parents, Becoming Personal Trainer | TMZ
February 16, 2022
5_UrULOkQ6o
Woman Stabbed at Foot Locker During Nike Shoe Release
February 16, 2022
TfuXMs1JdVg
Steph's Freaky Side, "Summer House" & "Love During Lockup"
February 17, 2022
9W_raO0zlA8
Tay or Nay, Offset's Sushi Anxiety & Nick on Monogamy
February 17, 2022
PauYHpJRA6o
Kim Kardashian & North West TWINNING in Matching Pajamas | E! News
February 17, 2022
b-_Oib6R108
Adam McKay - Hollywood Walk of Fame Ceremony
February 17, 2022
tYtzsHoOZzo
Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg, and the Cast of 'Uncharted' Talk Most Challenging Stunts
February 15, 2022
d3ksX-SKi8c
Ryan Reynolds and Walker Scobell on ‘The Adam Project’, ‘Deadpool’, and Possible ‘Star Wars’ Role
February 16, 2022
5TxJsbJr9Dk
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
04
May
CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Playoffs
Seattle Sounders - Pumas
04
May
USA: Major League Soccer
FC Cincinnati - Toronto FC
03
May
ENGLAND: Championship
Bournemouth - Nottingham Forest
02
May
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester United - Brentford
02
May
ENGLAND: Championship
Fulham - Luton
02
May
SPAIN: La Liga
Getafe - Real Betis
02
May
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Bayer Leverkusen - Eintracht Frankfurt
02
May
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Borussia Monchengladbach - RB Leipzig
02
May
ITALY: Serie A
Atalanta - Salernitana
01
May
ENGLAND: Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur - Leicester City
01
May
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Mallorca
01
May
ITALY: Serie A
Roma - Bologna
01
May
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Ham United - Arsenal
01
May
ENGLAND: Premier League
Everton - Chelsea
01
May
ITALY: Serie A
Udinese - Inter Milan
01
May
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Fiorentina
01
May
ITALY: Serie A
Juventus - Venezia
01
May
SPAIN: La Liga
Rayo Vallecano - Real Sociedad
30
Apr
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Mainz - Bayern Munich
30
Apr
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Borussia Dortmund - Bochum
30
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Newcastle United - Liverpool
30
Apr
SPAIN: La Liga
Athletic Bilbao - Atletico Madrid
30
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Leeds - Manchester City
30
Apr
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Madrid - Espanyol
30
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Napoli - Sassuolo
28
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester United - Chelsea
27
Apr
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Semifinal
Liverpool - Villarreal
27
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Bologna - Inter Milan
26
Apr
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Semifinal
Manchester City - Real Madrid
25
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Sassuolo - Juventus
24
Apr
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Rayo Vallecano
24
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Lazio - AC Milan
24
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Liverpool - Everton
24
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Chelsea - West Ham United
24
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Empoli - Napoli
23
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Brentford - Tottenham Hotspur
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
zWJ3MxW_HWA L1eLanNeZKg i1XRgbyUtOo -g9Qziqbif8 0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.