As much as I’ve been enjoying True Love I have to say I’ve become slightly annoyed that ‘What the World Needs Now, Is Love Sweet Love,’ is constantly stuck in my head and in addition I just find myself randomly humming it from time to time.
There’s no escaping it though as it appears at the start of every episode, including our third instalment which features Billie Piper as a put upon teacher. I was taken aback at how dowdy Piper looked here, because even when she appears in period pieces, such as A Passionate Woman, she still appears utterly glamorous but True Love sees her don many an unflattering grey cardigan, while she is able to portray a woman who is seemingly stuck in a rut.
Piper’s Holly has journeyed back to Margate to be close to her mother, played by Jenny Agutter, and has taken up a job teaching English in a secondary school where she struggles to control her class, while at the same time doesn’t seem wholly passionate about her subject either. Her romantic life meanwhile involves brief liaisons with a married man, David played by Charlie Creed-Miles, who won’t stay overnight at her flat and seems to be using her for sex so when someone comes along who understands her she jumps at the opportunity to have a more fulfilling relationship.
The only problem is that the person in question is one of her sixteen year old students and even more shockingly it’s one of her female pupils. Karen, played by Kaya Scodelario best known as Effy in Skins, is the only one who understands Holly and the two bond at the afterschool art club that the latter runs. Holly is able to open up around Karen revealing her love of art, her wish to go travelling once again and her unhappiness with the state of her romantic life. As is the case with every episode of True Love the pair begin a sexual relationship however, unlike the previous two instalments, it didn’t feel grubby but rather I found the couple quite sweet. Through her relationship with Karen Holly is able to get the confidence to end her relationship with David, as well as stand up to her mother but of course all of this comes at a cost. It’s not long before the pupils in her class get wind of what’s been going on, thanks to Karen’s friend Lorraine telling everyone, and so she makes the decision to leave her job but is this the right choice?
For me ‘Holly’ is the best episode of True Love to date as it is the most sweet-natured because of the three characters focused on to date Piper’s teacher is definitely the most sympathetic. The two previous episodes have featured men playing away from home, albeit for slightly different reasons, however here we see how lonely it is being the ‘other woman’ and how hard it is to escape being part of an affair. The relationship between Karen and Holly is also incredibly lovely and I felt that Dominic Savage didn’t play up the fact that this was a lesbian relationship instead focusing on the fact that these two had, for the first time, found someone who had really understood them. Sure Holly’s class do taunt her when they find out the truth but if anything is played as a taboo it is the fact that the teacher has betrayed her position of trust with her pupil something Agutter’s character brings up in the second conversation with her daughter.
As I said Piper is brilliant here playing Holly as an unassuming character unhappy with her lot in life and looking for something to give her meaning which ends up being her relationship with Karen. I really felt for her in the scenes in which she is taunted by her unruly class, something that to me that seemed incredibly real, as well as in her unfulfilling affair with David. I also felt that she shared a winning chemistry with the equally excellent Scodelario even when they were simply smiling at each other in the school corridors. The jazz music that has haunted me throughout the first two episodes was also dropped in favour of a Cyndi Lauper heavy soundtrack, True Colours and Time after Time were both heard here, but I felt that more suited the tone of the central relationship. Like with episode one I felt that the amount of story on display deserved much more than the 25 minutes allotted to while I’m also getting a bit fed up with the amount of heart-to-hearts that have to be had gazing out towards the sea as it’s starting to feel like the show is being sponsored by the Margate tourist board. The inter-connected nature of the series is also really starting to be displayed as Karen’s friend Lorraine was also the daughter of David Tennant’s Nick while throughout the week both Karen and David will feature again.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed watching this episode of True Love and by the end I had a big smile on my face, which is something I couldn’t say had happened up to this point. I found it refreshing that the lesbian relationship was never sensationalised but rather it demonstrated that sometimes you can’t help who you fall in love with. This episode certainly gave me hope that the final two parts of True Love will be something special also even if I do get a certain song stuck in my head for weeks to come.
Did you enjoy this episode? What are your thoughts on True Love up to this point? Leave Your Comments Below.