Friday, May 01, 2009

Tonight on ITV1: Boy Meets Girl

Ah, the body-swap comedy – it's an actor's dream. If it's of the “man becomes boy, boy becomes man” type, a jaded star gets to play completely against type by clowning around childishly in business meetings, while a young up-and-comer gets to show his maturity and range by teaching his classmates the value of youth.

New ITV1 six-part comedy Boy Meets Girl follows a slightly different route, but one that's just as liberating for the stars involved. A pesky bolt of lightning – close the door on your way out, science! – simultaneously strikes conspiracy theorist and hardware store worker Danny (The Office's Martin Freeman) and posh fashion journalist Veronica (Pushing the Velvet's Rachael Stirling), causing them to switch bodies.

Danny, in Veronica's body, suddenly finds himself a fully paid-up (and fully punchable) member of the middle class, living in a swish apartment with an emotive man called Jay (Paterson ‘Johnson from Peep Show’ Joseph) and a stack of Elton John CDs, with a job which requires him/her to write horoscopes. On the plus side, he has breasts. Stirling, a noticeably deep- voiced actress already, whacks up the slobbery, surliness and frumpiness, and it's all quite uncanny.

Meanwhile, Veronica, in Danny's body, has lost her memory and is wandering round the streets, asking passers-by for money. Freeman looks like he'll have a bit more to do in next week's episode – winning back Jay could prove tricky – but de-blokes himself well, without resorting to lazy camp.

And so the screwball fun whizzes by nicely, but, as always, we do wonder if things might go even quicker if, when trying to explain what's happened to their disbelieving friends, Danny or Veronica just namechecked Vice Versa or Freaky Friday...

by Will Parkhouse, Wednesday 29 April 2009

Originally published on Orange.co.uk

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