Scrotal Recall (2014) is an unfortunately though hilariously accurately named sitcom starring singer-songwriter Johnny Flynn, Antonia Thomas, and Daniel Ings. Season 1 is 6 episodes at 24 minutes each.
It is currently available on Netflix streaming.
Dylan (Flynn) is a sappy romantic, so much so that he even cries at his roommate’s retelling of Point Break. When he discovers he has chlamydia, he decides against sending the impersonal NHS cards to each of his sex partners from the last eleven years and instead personally phones or visits each one. Because he decides to go down the list of exes alphabetically rather than chronologically, we witness a series of long-form flashbacks out of order. This structure is the key to the show’s success, adding a layer of complexity and mystery absent in similar romantic sitcoms, like Plus One (Scrotal Recall reminds me a lot of Plus One–It even has an eerily familiar dance-off).
Since each episode is titled with a different ex’s name, I assumed each episode would be its own mini-story, but this is not the case at all. Each episode fits into a larger puzzle of one storyline you have to arrange chronologically in your head as bits of the characters’ mythology falls into place: When Dylan, asshole best friend Luke, and photographer Evie shared a flat, Evie was dating Angus. Later, Angus is getting married to Helen, and Evie is moving in with Mal. Dylan accidentally breaks up Angus and Helen, making Angus run back to Evie, but Evie winds up getting engaged to Mal, so Angus moves in with Dylan and Luke; meanwhile Dylan has been secretly in love with Evie all this time…Yeah, it’s complicated but fun to keep up with.
The show is fast-paced and the characters are over-the-top caricatures, but the show is not without heart. Although nothing important really happens in episode 5, episode 6 is quite complex as Dylan discovers one of his exes has passed away and that Luke had been in love with her. Will Dylan and Evie ever get together? The season leaves it open-ended, leaving the possibility of a season 2.
Personally, my favorite episode is when they go to a birthday party. Luke is in competition with an old schoolmate to win the love of the birthday girl whilst Dylan and Evie get drunk and attempt the literal translations of everything on Luke’s bucket list, including jump out of a moving vehicle that leads to Dylan’s blackmailed nudity. Angus is my favorite character because he’s quite slap-sticky and also too nice for his own good. I binged watched the whole season in one sitting to the point where Netflix paused the show to ask me if I was still there watching. I had turned it on because I’m a big fan of Flynn’s music, but I saw here he’s also a good actor and the show stands strong on its own. It’s genuinely funny and a definite recommend.