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16th December 2012 22:40:00
Posted by Nick Bryan

Him & Her: Series 3 - Final Review

Final review of Him & Her series 3 from BBC Three, starring Russell Tovey and Sarah Solemani.
The third series of Him & Her just ended, kinda. Tonight's sixth episode concludes the proposal arc that has been winding its way through the series,pausing only for last week's first date flashback. Next week, we get a standalone Christmas special, more coverage of that later, but now we've seen the end of the big year three plot, how did we find it?

After all, in my midway Him & Her/Peep Show check-in, I kinda concluded I wasn't loving this year as much as the previous. Did things pick up?

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Back To Back To Basics

To briefly recap myself, I felt Steve's ineptly trying to find the courage and opportunity to ask Becky to marry him was over-long and didn't entirely play to Him & Her's strengths - being a uniquely touching character piece about a couple - partly because it's a storyline we've seen many times before in sitcoms, also because the focus on Steve's personal struggle meant Becky and their combined interaction were kept off-camera, which robs the show of its key selling point.

But in the final two episodes, we put the focus squarely back on Becky and Steve as a couple - firstly, a flashback to their first date, secondly the long-awaited proposal itself. And, happily, it worked. My combined enjoyment of those two episodes has reminded me why I liked this series in the first place.

Don't get me wrong, the first date episode was cringingly, painfully awkward at times. But the almost-total removal of the supporting cast (except Dan) and slow build to a few sweet moments of connection, recognisable as flickerings of their later relationship, were great, really sucked me back in to their combined world after feeling distant in recent weeks.

And then the proposal itself! Some pressure on this to be a beautiful moment after building for the whole series. Perhaps that's why writer Stefan Golaszewski milked the build-up for so long - to instill anticipation and dread that mirrored Steve's own. It's false drama of course - the series Him & Her would really struggle to continue if Him split up with Her - but we're still sufficiently invested to care during the sudden physical scuffle in this last episode, even though it's a small thing.

Him & Her & Him & Her

In short, yes, pleased with the way they've wound things down. I felt emotion throughout the finale, especially when Steve inevitably unveiled his ridiculously elaborate proposal plan. They needed to make those scenes work to justify the whole series and I felt they did. Yes, the first four weeks of build-up still dragged, and I'd still rather they'd expressed all the proposal material out in the first two episodes, but never mind.

Elsewhere, Becky's brother-not-quite-in-law Paul... is apparently gay. Not much done with that in this episode, I assume Golaszewski is laying track for series four. Repressing his true sexuality might explain Paul's constant aggression, I suppose, and the revelation that he might actually be doing pilates did make me laugh.

And... although the propsal was a satisfying scene that paid off a lot of build-up, almost as cathartic was Shelly finally letting Laura have it. That's been coming since the very first episode, and honestly, it was worth it. And Laura's clear inability to understand was... outright unsettling. She's obviously been a great source of jokes, but you have to wonder if she's an entirely functional adult after seeing that.

Anyway. The third Him And Her series, in summation, may not have captured my heart as much as the first two, but the ending has done a lot to keep me invested. Even if I am worried that the fourth series will be dull wedding preperations. But before all that, now the proposal is done, we can get a warm and fuzzy Christmas special next week!

Him And Her air their Christmas special next Sunday at 10PM. More info on the official BBC site. Past episodes still available on iPlayer. May the force be with you.

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