— Chewing Gum (@ChewingGum) March 1, 2017
As you can see in the above tweet from the show’s Twitter account, season 2 of the hit British series “Chewing Gum” – which very quickly found an appreciative American audience once it first season premiered on streaming platform Netflix last year – will become available outside the UK on Netflix, on April 4th, not-so long after its domestic January premiere. Unlike season 1, which took about a year before crossing the pond for American audiences to see, season 2’s delay will apparently be much shorter, likely thanks to the popularity of the show outside the UK – especially here in the States.
Season 1 has been available on Netflix since last October, so check it out if you haven’t, and catch up before season 2 premieres.
We first profiled “Chewing Gum” in October 2015, as it kicked off its first season in the UK. A successful season led to its creator and star winning the BAFTA TV award (essentially the UK’s equivalent of the Primetime Emmys) for best actress in a comedy series, and a second season was ordered. Given the well-documented general lack of work available for black actors/actresses in the UK in film and TV, “Chewing Gum’s” accomplishments (even its mere existence, taking into consideration its subject matter and star Coel) were and still are certainly noteworthy.
The TV series is based on Coel’s 2012 one-woman show, “Chewing Gum Dreams,” in which the 26-year-old played a teenage version of herself, as she related past experiences growing up in the working class London neighborhoods of Hackney and Tower Hamlets, with her very religious mother, all while she became very acutely aware of her own sexuality, unprepared for the realities of sex and gender that she would face in the real world.
As Coel said when the TV show launched in 2015, she wanted her show to reflect “the sort of life you don’t see very often on TV,” adding that the “sexual naiveté” of the character she plays reflects her own celibacy between the ages of 17 and 22, as a member of what she called “a massive conversion to this very Pentecostal, demon-exorcising church.”
“Psychologically, I was in a whirlwind,” she said.
As already noted, season 1 of the series is already available for USA audiences to stream on Netflix. There are 6 episodes total, and are all rated TV-MA, meaning it’s not a series for the kids – targeted at mature audiences only, for its explicit language and “sexual situations”; although ultimately it’s a comedy.
It may only be a matter of time before we start to see Ms. Coel on this side of the pond – as in, American TV and film. Especially if “Chewing Gum” continues to build a fan base in the USA, which is made easier since it’s becoming something of a phenomenon here in the USA.
The series returned for a second season on Channel E4 (UK broadcaster) on January 12, 2017 at 10pm. Per the network, season 2 begins with Tracey’s (Coel’s) return to the Pensbourne Estate which doesn’t quite go as she would have liked. Best friend Candice isn’t happy to see her, and mum Joy won’t let her in. But at least she’s back at work at Deepak’s Delectables. Tracey discovers ex-boyfriend Connor is in a new relationship, and goes out of her way to try and fool him into believing that she’s moved on. Connor meanwhile tells a few lies of his own in order to get Tracey to talk about what actually happened between them.
Watch a trailer for season 2 of “Chewing Gum,” which is embedded below, and if you’re a fan, mark April 4 on your calendars for when it should become available on Netflix: