Hurry: For the next six days, you can stream Josie Long’s four-episode radio sitcom on BBC Radio’s website or with your BBC iPlayer app on your phone!
The character Josie Long arrives in Glasgow to discover that, after a miscommunication with a friend who is riding on a different wave length, she is homeless. This does not stop her from hastily falling head over heels for the city. As we hear from friends and family back home, who have all settled into marriages and have had children (or dogs they treat like children), we can’t help but wonder if it wasn’t the city of London that she is trying to break up with but instead the pressure from all the people there to, at 31-years-old, grow up already.
Romance and Adventure does not take the cliche route of a thirty-something woman trying to go against the grain of society, rejecting the notion that she must get a husband, bear some children, and find a career path. You might expect this from the standup comic who takes pleasure in non-traditional activities of mountain climbing and polar-water swimming, but her character acknowledges that although she hates the society’s pressure to fit into this mold, she does want to find a romantic relationship and she does feel her biological clock ticking, knowing that if she wants kids–which she does–she’ll need to settle down with someone quickly. Similar dichotomies are seen throughout Long’s work: she feels both young and old, content and missing out, indie and mainstream. This is the sort of complex emotional intelligence that gives Long’s work its depth, whether here, or in her standup show Cara Josephine, or to some extent in her standup show that shares the name with this sitcom.
Glasgow isn’t the only one that Josie is hasty to fall for. She immediately takes to her boss’s daughter and to her new flatmate Darren, who is riding on the same wavelength, mirroring her sense of humor perfectly. While there are backdrop situations like starting a new job or going on a disastrous camping trip where we discover Josie is not “outdoorsy as a bear,” the real thrust of the series is her relationship to her new friends. Them finding significant others, paralleling all the friends she’s left in London, will surely be the central conflict of season 2, should there be one. (There’d better be!)