Marcella is a bit of a mess.
An out of work actress left to try her luck as a children’s entertainer in between temping jobs, she is hopelessly single after her ex-husband remarried, is living in a share-house with two gal pals, is seeing a life-coach and always forgetting her driving lessons.
It’s a pretty dud shopping-list for one in their early 30s.
But she faces the world with a sense of humour and pushes -make that crashes- through.
GameFace is a comedy-drama from UK actress / comedian Roisin Conaty, whose style echoes shades of Jo Brand or Dawn French.
In the opening episode she is juggling a one-night stand who won’t go home, the preachings of her life-coach (purely as a result of a gift certificate, mind you) and an encounter with a suicidal office colleague …with a bereft outcome.
She lashes out at her ex Simon (Dustin Demri-Burns) on Instagram, without noticing her new driving instructor Jon (Damien Molony). There are doses of smoking, alcohol and carbs throughout as substitutes for being an angry single.
And angry she is. While housemates Caroline (Caroline Ginty) and Lucie (Nina Toussaint-White) are far more in control, Marcella is decidedly rudderless.
Roisin Conaty carries the weight of her own comedy here, as the epicentre of every scene. While she is irreverent and forthright as a modern woman, there’s no room for charm. At least there are some breakout fantasy moments, far more extreme than those we saw with another dysfunctional thirty-something, in Nina Proudman.
With Conaty as the star, the remaining ensemble are left to supporting roles.
GameFace may be light on belly-laughs but its social observations are left-of-field enough to tickle the funny bone. If you’re looking for something with a dark undertone, check this out.
9:30pm Monday December 4 on ABC Comedy.