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Here's why you should immediately start watching Channel 4's new series 'Pure'

And why you shouldn’t watch it with your parents.
Jan 31st 2019, 10:30 AM 5,666 1

PastedImage-68561 Source: Channel 4

EARLIER THIS WEEK, Channel 4 launched a brand new comedy drama series about a 24-year-old woman named Marnie who is plagued by intrusive sexual thoughts about absolutely everybody she encounters. 

Friends, strangers, bus drivers, co-workers. Marnie sees them all in the nip, and imagines them having sex with each other and herself. She has no idea why this is happening to her, and assumes that she’s some kind of sex addict. In the first episode, she gets so overwhelmed by these thoughts that she has a huge public meltdown, and decides to GTFO of her hometown in Scotland and head to London to try and start a new life. 

When she arrives in London and starts going to group therapy for sex addicts, she realises that she’s actually nothing like them, and it results in more confusion and more stress for the young woman. Life begins to become unbearable for poor Marnie, until she makes some new pals in London, and when she opens up to one of them about her thoughts, for the first time in her life she learns about intrusive thoughts caused by OCD.

PastedImage-82322 Source: Channel 4

The show has been called ‘groundbreaking’ by Cosmopolitan, and Independent.co.uk lauded the show for having ‘the potential to deepen our understanding of mental health’.

Actress Charly Clive plays Marnie, and Joe Cole (who you may remember from Black Mirror’s Hang The DJ episode) plays her mate Charlie, who begins to teach her about ‘Pure O’. ‘Pure O’, as Charlie explains, is a form of OCD which is ‘Purely Obsessional’ – meaning that Marnie’s sexual thoughts are only obsessive, but she has no compulsion to act out on them whatsoever. In fact, the idea of acting out on them actually turns her stomach.

As GQ pointed out in their review of the show, Marnie herself is a bit of a prude. GQ were critical of this and said it took away from the drama of the show, because we didn’t see her thirsting over every person she pictured having sex with, but most other critics seem to argue that this is what separates the show from anything else like it. Marnie’s not some kind of pervert. She hates the vast majority of the things she visualises, and in the vast majority of her intrusive thoughts, she’s not picturing herself having sex with any of the people she meets. 

To give viewers a more accurate depiction of what Marnie deals with on a daily basis, the show is constantly interrupted with ridiculous cut-scenes featuring a lot of nudity, a lot of sex scenes, many of which are deliberately uncomfortable to watch. Have a look at the trailer for yourself. 

Source: Channel 4/YouTube

The general consensus from viewers that this show is funny, charming and pretty informative. And luckily for anybody who’s interested in watching Pure, the entire series is already on All 4, available for you to binge in one sitting if you’re unable to wait for next week’s episode. 

If you enjoyed Sex Education on Netflix, you’ll definitely enjoy this series. As with Sex Education, the director of Pure set out with a mission when making this show. Director Aneil Karia said:

When I read the Pure script, it was immediately apparent the show wanted to do something bold and different – but crucially, not just for the sake of being different. Its difference was an intrinsic part of it, much like Marnie’s difference is a difficult but immovable part of her. Beyond its portrayal of mental illness, it was – more broadly – exploring something more universal – the process of moving to a new city and having to figure out who you are versus who you think you’re supposed to be. There was a lot to like. 

If, for whatever reason, you don’t want to watch Pure on All 4, you can catch it on Wednesday nights at 10pm on Channel 4. Just make sure your parents aren’t in the room. 

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Kelly Earley

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