Heart Shaped Box Set

It’s that time of year again. The dreaded commercial love-fest has descended upon us once again, all guns blazing, complete with abnormally long queues of ill-prepared boyfriends at the tills of Patisserie Valerie and Thornton’s, thousands of Instagram captions using the words “this one” with the yellow love heart emoji, and packed out restaurants with two for one deals and mellow music. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no Valentine’s Nazi—for those of us fortunate enough to have a bae, it’s a good excuse to spend some quality time together – meal, movie, cuddles. A day to celebrate love in all its forms. Bravo.

However, what are the rest of us supposed to do? Sit around basking in our loneliness, scoffing bag after bag of “Great for Sharing” Cadbury’s giant buttons, bawling our eyes out to The Notebook and screaming the whole of Adele’s 21 into an empty bottle of Chardonnay? Contrary to this stereotypical single person’s approach to getting through another lonely Valentine’s, I recommend a slightly more dignified solution in the form of Peter Kay’s Car Share.

“If it was anyone other than Peter Kay introducing the idea to the producers, the show wouldn’t have gone ahead, because on paper it sounds like pure shit.”

The man is a legend, and pretty much anything with his name on it is destined to rake in the highbrow acknowledgements and record-breaking audiences, and Car Share was no exception. If it was anyone other than Peter Kay introducing the idea to the producers, the show wouldn’t have gone ahead, because on paper it sounds like pure shit. “Hey Guys! Absolutely thrilling new idea for a comedy show on prime-time TV – let’s just film me driving my colleague to and from work and see where the conversation goes. It will be banging.” No, thanks.

“Chuck out those tissues—the only crying you’ll be doing this Valentine’s Day is with uncontrollable laughter”

But it works, and I’m not entirely sure why. Maybe it’s because they’re both critically acclaimed comedy actors with years of experience under their belts? Maybe it’s because Sian Gibson and Peter Kay aren’t actually acting at all because they really are best buds from uni days? Maybe it’s because the soundtrack makes you feel like you’re in Flares? Maybe it’s because underneath the hilarity of the situations the two characters find themselves in, there is a plethora of complex back story to each of them, as they deal with family issues, romance problems and the acceptance of getting older, all with a great snorting cackle.

So forget One Day or Titanic, and chuck out those tissues—the only crying you’ll be doing this Valentine’s Day is with uncontrollable laughter at Peter Kay’s giggle or Sian Gibson speaking in Japanese, and you will have smashed through the whole six-episode series before you’ve realised you are watching what is essentially what the average human does every single day of their lives. And that is where the beauty of it lies- it’s not just a way for Kay to fund a new house or help out an old uni friend whose career has flopped- it’s a recognition of the joy which can be found in all aspects of life- even driving your slightly irritating colleague to work. And why for Valentine’s Day? Because there’s absolutely no romance whatsoever. They’re just two pals cruisin’ their way to work, chucking wee at each other and singing some absolute 80s bangers.

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