Episode 1 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 2 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 3 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 4 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 5 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 6 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 7 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
If ever there was a slice of life comedy/drama hybrid that depicts something a little different, it’s Somebody Somewhere. Although presenting itself as the typical “girl moves back to hometown and struggles to fit in” mold, this dramedy extends beyond that to champion thought provoking ideas around belonging, grief, love and acceptance.
It’s certainly going to be an acquired taste though, and there are moments that some would arguably call mundane, but it’s a pretty entertaining watch nonetheless.
The story here follows Sam, a true Kansan who moves back home with her folks. However, she’s struggling with loss, and can’t quite fit in at work. She’s constantly arguing with her sister Trish too, while her mother’s alcoholism threatens to undo the whole family dynamic.
When Sam meets Joel at work, the two hit it off immediately and realize that they’re both outsiders in their own way. It doesn’t take long before Sam embraces this new way of fitting in with those who don’t fit in, typified by charismatic Fred Rococo joining them for the ride.
However, each of these characters have their own issues they’re dealing with, which are slowly revealed over time.
We’ve all felt like we haven’t fit in and eventually find that friendship circle we click with; Somebody Somewhere depicts that beautifully. There’s a really nice ebb and flow with this series, and the 25 minute episodes tick by nicely with a mixture of comedy, drama and sorrow.
Those going into this one expecting an outright funny or amusing show will be left disappointed though. This is very much a drama with sprinklings of comedy, which makes it all the more surprising why HBO billed this as a comedy.
There are a lot of hard-hitting topics covered here, including the aforementioned loss of someone close to Sam. I won’t spoil that here, but it’s a recurring issue throughout the show which is explored in more detail across the episodes. It’s also directly linked to Sam’s singing too, which takes on a whole new meaning toward the end of the series.
Joel is an equally endearing character here and although he starts out as a quirky sidekick to Sam, he soon presents himself to have his own set of issues and problems.
The later episodes are great for this, really settling into discovering who this man is and what drives him forward. It’s a great way of rounding out the show and these later episodes work to mend some of the bridges that were burned earlier on in the story, offering a sense of closure.
Somebody Somewhere won’t be for everyone though, and this is undoubtedly going to be an acquired taste. With decent acting and some poignant, relatable themes, if you can take to the style and enjoy the first few episode, you’ll undoubtedly fall in love with this one.
Verdict - 7/10