Actress/writer Sharon Horgan (right) is amongst the first ranks of British comedic talent. Up there with Ricky Gervais, Steve Coogan and The League of Gentlemen. But I don’t mean to compare her solely to males, I’m merely comparing her to other writer-performers. Horgan’s so good that, like her closest contemporary Julia Davis, her work so thoroughly transcends the notion of “female comedy” or “comedy for women” that it would be ridiculous to insist upon it.
Still, Horgan does happen to be a female, and a very attractive one at that. The series she is best known for Pulling (the second series comes out today on DVD in America) follows the travails of three single women in dead-end jobs and even worse relationships. Her acting style is similar in many ways to Warren Beatty or Gary Shandling’s awkward hemming and hawing, half-finished sentence school of acting (ugh, there I go with male comparisons again). With creative partner, Dennis Kelly, she knows how to write for her strengths. Like Gervais and Larry David, Horgan is a master at finding uncomfortable truths in the in-between moments of life. It’s tempting to describe Pulling as Sex and The City meets Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Sadly, the suits at the BBC—for whatever DUMBASS reason—decided not to renew Pulling for a third series. They did commission a one-off ending to the series, so it was neatly tied-up, but boy did they drop the ball on this one… However, the BBC’s loss is America’s gain as Horgan has reportedly signed a deal with HBO (Great move, HBO!)
Here are two more scenes from Pulling, one where Horgan’s Donna meets an old friend on the street and a second clip featuring fan favorite Karen in a typically awkward encounter in the supermarket.
More Sharon Horgan brilliance: In this painfully observed scene from Horgan and Kelly’s ensemble comedy for Channel Five, Angelo’s, husband and wife police partners, Dave and Karen visit the fertility clinic.