Giving Lip Service Some Lip

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BBC Three's new lesbian drama, Lip Service, is everything you feared it might be: stuffed full of stereotypes and nudity. While the accomplished actresses play (mostly) likeable characters it's little but an unoriginal sleazy romp hoping to grab ratings.

Set in Glasgow, the series follows a small group of twenty-something lesbians (and their two male friends) as they fall in and out of relationships. At the heart of the gang is Frankie (Ruta Gedmintas) who returns home from New York after receiving news of a death in the family. Things get further complicated when her ex-girlfriend, Cat (Laura Fraser), attempts to get over her while both still harbour feelings for one another.

Interestingly, though predictably, most of the main cast are girly girls--there are very few real tomboys in sight, perhaps because the producers think they’d be less appealing to the sort of viewer they’re looking to attract. Those tuning in to leer at the girl-on-girl action certainly won't be disappointed: from what we've seen of the first two episodes the show includes as much nudity as the 10.30pm slot allows.

Nothing seems to be off limits, in the wider scheme of things, though. By the end of the first episode Tess (the ditsy loveable one) has broken in to her ex-girlfriend's house; Lou (the straight one) turns gay after two glasses of wine; and Frankie (the rebellious one) gets it on in a morgue, whilst motioning to the dead body beside her and saying: "I bet he thinks he's died and gone to heaven." Listening to a line like that, we bet he doesn't.

Don't worry; none of these points can really be considered spoilers. The plots are, in most cases, glaringly obvious; chiefly because they're driven by stereotypical characters. It feels very much like a gay version of Mistresses, which is unsurprising considering it's created by the same woman--Harriet Braun. For this reason it may have a broad appeal despite its veneer of red lipstick and lack of any real bite. The sex scenes will no doubt help gain viewers too.

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