Review for Finding Joy
Joy is a very typical woman, but suffers from an at times crippling obsession with routines and keeping to the status quo. After a messy break-up she is given a promotion opportunity at her job replacing her company's star vlogger 'The Happy Hunter'. She gets assigned to try things that she wouldn't normally do to find happiness or joy. These include abseiling, a wellness retreat and even wrestling. However, with her ex and his new girlfriend seemingly impossible to avoid (mainly due to her own doing) and the stress of a new flat mate and a dog that needs toilet training will Joy ever really find... erm... joy?
This show has been described by many as the Irish Fleabag and there are moments when I can understand it, but please do not go into this show thinking this. The reason is, unlike that subversly hilarious show, this show is more warm and never plunges the depths of the Fleabag character. As it is, a better comparison would be Bridget Jones and personally they could have easily changed her name and made this a show about Helen Fielding's iconic character.
Amy Huberman who stars as Joy also wrote the show and if you have only seen her in the impressive Striking Out you will almost get whiplash by how funny she is in this role. The inclusion of the new flat mate, Amelia (Aisling Bea) who is almost the exact opposite of her and has a new man (usually in the bath with her) in every episode is wonderful. Her heavily pregnant best friend Trish (Hannah James-Scott) is also a wonderful character to play opposite Huberman and the whole ensemble is just perfect.
That being said, the show does feel very cliche. However, it is a nice twist on girl meets boy, boy wants a commitment, girl cannot do this and loses man and then somehow also has a dog with the same name who seems to poo everywhere (who also acts as a narrator for the show). The humour is spot on, the emotional parts work and it does not tread the depths of despair that I expected. Maybe that is the thing which does not work, because they never really explain why Aidan was so perfect (other than a very disgusting accident Joy has which he deals with) and so as to why she is so cut up about him we never really get an answer to that.
There is only a Behind the Scenes special feature (despite them declaring on the box that Subtitles are a Special Feature?) though it is quite indepth and does go into the creation of the show and speaks to all those involved. It is surprising that they don't include a commentary track, at least over the first episode and I refuse to believe that this show did not have Blooper Reel they could have included?
Finding Joy was a simple and enjoyable show. Six episodes, written and performed perfectly and if you like a simple romantic comedy then this will be the thing you are looking for. However, if you are looking for the Irish Fleabag, you may have to try finding it somewhere else.