New Paramount+ comedy is mildly cheeky, as Lauren juggles work, family & a string of one night stands.

Lauren (Katherine Parkinson) wants it all: career, family, sex and more sex. Just without the commitment.

With a little help from her gay colleague Alex (Rowan Witt) she devises a Spreadsheet of one night stands. All action, no responsibility. Why should men have all the fun?

It’s the premise of a new Paramount+ local comedy created by Kala Ellis with director Darren Ashton.

Parkinson, best known for hit Britcom The IT Crowd stars as the lawyer divorced from husband Jake (Robbie Magasiva), who spends most of her time outside office hours banging horny men from bars and dating apps and leaving them wanting more. In between she stumbles through raising her two young daughters and placating the school principal (Georgina Naidu).

But the randy men come… ummm… thick and fast, and Lauren abandons all the rules of the universe to spread her legs and send rude selfies in her quest for equality.

Even her boss Ange (Katrina Milosevic) mistakes the constant messaging as a sign of pursuing romance and getting back in the game, while office geek (Ryan Shelton) has a crush on her. But Lauren’s Spreadsheet remains a dirty little secret with the very dapper Alex and conquests include Kevin Hofbauer, Keegan Joyce, Stephen Curry, Bernard Curry (is Andrew Curry next?).

The script keeps things light with various degrees of lewdness led by Parkinson in carefree mode.

But does the bedroom-farce-meets-Sex-and-the-City really offer much we haven’t seen before? Kim Cattrall was more confronting in her pursuit of casual sex over 20 years ago, as well baring more flesh. Back then, these sorts of questions were shocking in primetime. On a streaming service, where inhibitions don’t have to adhere to Free to Air niceties, this needs to be more extreme.

I’m also not sold on the idea of her gay sidekick existing just to be chief administrator of her Spreadsheet… he really lacks a subplot, and could do more than what Damien Bodie did in Winners & Losers a decade ago. And Katrina Milosevic is under-utilised.

I would have also appreciated episode 1 setting up the concept of the Spreadsheet… whose idea, what are the rules, is there an end target? I don’t get why she needs it and what would change if it didn’t exist. It’s as if we jump into Episode 2.

There are lots of likeable faces to come including Nazeem Hussain, Kerry Armstrong, Christie Whelan Browne, Anne Edmonds, Zahra Newman, Justin Rosniak, Claire Hooper, Sachin Joab, Tim Kano, Caroline Craig, Damian Callinan and kudos for filming it all during Melbourne lockdowns.

Spreadsheet is cheeky without being explicit, daring without taking a risk, and Free to Air safe without being Streaming.

Spreadsheet screens Wednesday on Paramount+.

One Response

  1. ‘Spreadsheet’ looks like it got some inspiration from Phoebe Waller’s ‘Fleabag’ which cleverly used dialogue to make the show more racy and of course sexual imagery. you cant really have a show, especially a sex comedy without the sexual imagery but it’s how that sexual imagery is used that makes all the difference.

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