British series Chewing Gum features a type of black female lead rarely seen in primetime, and it’s now available for viewing on Netflix.
The series stars actress, writer and comedian Michaela Coel, who plays Tracey Gordon, a character that manages to be quirky, bawdy, awkward, and at times, naive and nihilistic. She’s also a bit directionless.
Chewing Gum is based on Coel’s 2012 one-woman show “Chewing Gum Dreams,” and centers around Tracey’s religious upbringing. Tracey inhabits a world that was inspired by Coel’s own working class roots, growing up in the Hackney and Tower Hamlets neighborhoods. Coel was also raised by a deeply religious Pentecostal mother.
According to Coel, Tracey is “the sort of life you don’t see very often on TV. Tracey’s sexual naiveté, for example, reflects [my own] celibacy between the ages of 17 and 22… I had a massive conversion to this very Pentecostal, demon-exorcising church. Getting to the point where I started to do not such a good job of being celibate, was awkward and horrible. So much guilt. Psychologically, I was in a whirlwind.”
Watch a trailer for Chewing Gum below, and GO HERE to watch the entire first season on Netflix.