Emma Arterton stars in the new comedy, Funny Woman, that premiered on Sky Max in October 2022. Adapted from the novel by Nick Hornby released in 2015 titled Funny Girl, Funny Woman, produced by Arterton herself along with many other female producers, the series follows the life of Barbara Parker who lives in northern England, Blackpoole and works at her widowed father’s candy shop.
A local beauty queen, Barbara is determined to head to London and make a name for herself. Being inspired by Lucille Ball, the series is set in the 1960s and Ball had become a well-known worldwide name at that point, Barbara has a knack for comedy, quick quips and one-liners. Paired with her classic, yet striking good looks, she has good reason to believe she might just be able to make it big in the city. Naive, yes she is, she is also has a tremendous amount of common sense and intuition, and through the first two episodes we see her persevere and rise above unwanted situations with those who wish to take advantage. Befriending her co-workers along the way with her humor and genuine thoughtfulness, she continues to seek out opportunities to make a name for herself.
With six 45-minute episodes in the first season and a second in the works, I had the opportunity to watch nearly five full episodes before my plane touched down in Seattle. While it is all but impossible to stream Sky Max series here in the states, if anyone has a secret on how to do so, please do share. I absolutely adored this series and almost didn’t watch it as I had not heard of it, but if you know Emma Arterton, perhaps you remember her from the film Gemma Bovery set in the north French countryside after world WWII, that is reason enough to watch. She is brilliant on screen and the series reminded me of the wit captured in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel paired with the friendships of Sex and the City/And Just Like That, as well as the retro wardrobes that worn by Arterton look smashing, let’s just be honest.
Each of the main characters in the series are a treat, from Barbara’s roommate Marjorie, to the producer of the comedy series Parker lands under her stage name Sophie Straw, Dennis, to the two writers for the comedy series. Rupert Evert also stars as Parker’s talent agent, and you almost feel as thought you are stepping back into the time of Lucy Ball, as Parker (Sophie Straw on stage) has impeccable improvisational skills as well as self-respect for wanting to be known for her talent and not her looks which is a constant struggle.
Certainly a series fit for our times, I applaud the creators and writers as well as the acting, and highly recommend watching it. Have a look at the trailer below.
Funny Woman was the Petit Plaisir for episode #367, How to Create Décor that Welcomes & Comforts: How to Embrace the Ethos of Slow Decorating of The Simple Sophisticate podcast