Lip Service: Episode 3

Originally written for the spiffing Watch With Mothers site

There came a point during last night’s Lip Service where I frowned slightly, took a test reading from my internal enjoyment-o-meter and was rather surprised to find it hovering at a fairly steady 57.5%.

The previous episodes rated 34% and 49% respectively, so it does seem to be getting better.

However, I’m not saying it was by any means perfect as there were still a couple of moments where I shrieked ‘Nobody TALKS like that. Not even Glaswegians’ – most notably when Cat said ‘Oh-Em-Gee!’ to Tess.

Come on, surely anyone under 50 knows it’s pronounced ‘Omg’. But Cat’s all of 29 or so, which is apparently the equivalent of 60 straight years in Lip Service. At one point, a sassy young lady intern at Jay’s architecture firm says that he can’t possibly continue going out drinking after he hits 30 as he’ll be far too old. He’ll end up looking haggard, in fact. Like Rod Stewart.

Yeah, cheers for that. I happen to look a tad Stewart-esque today, but I’m sure I’ll be back to my radiant self soon *injects face with botox*.

Last night’s episode kicked off with a truly athletic sounding sex session between Tess and TV presenter Lou. I say ‘sounding’ because we heard rather than saw it. In fact, it might not have been sex at all: it sounded like a stegosaurus being molested by an angry, time-travelling bear. I think they just used some spare audio clips from Walking With Dinosaurs.

Initially, things between terminal closet case Lou and impishly daft Tess seem to be going rather well. After doing it lots, they head to a gay bar together and Lou pecks Tess on the cheek (the face cheek, not the botty cheek – that was last week). But, unsurprisingly, Tess’s run of good luck doesn’t last – later in the episode she gets the bum’s rush (sorry) and ends up weeping in a Glasgow street dressed as a hooker.

I can’t tell you how many times that’s happened to me.

Things seem to be going slightly better between Cat and her new ladyfriend, PC Ripley From The Alien Films. However, Cat’s still clearly hung up on her waif-like ex Frankie. It’s odd, because they’re about as convincing a couple as Jordan and Peter Andre: Cat’s a frosty-faced, dull as ditchwater architect whereas Frankie’s a smouldering, anorexic, sexed up version of Aaron Carter from the Backstreet Boys who can get ladies to take their pants off just by glancing languidly in their general direction (a bit like me, really).

Cat repeatedly tells people that Frankie used to be her ‘best friend’. Again, that seems hugely unlikely. They’ve got about as much in common as I have with a Western Lowland Mountain Gorilla. In fact, less, as I don’t think Mountain Gorillas like weak characterisation in lesbian dramas any more than I do.

PC Sigourney Weaver puts up with Cat’s constant chatter about Frankie but then flies into a rage when Cat complains about her work problems, saying that she’s seen lots of dead bodies that week, which is much more stressful than pitching to a room full of people.

Clearly that’s not true: hasn’t she ever seen the Apprentice? It’s well stressful. At least dead bodies don’t roll their eyes at you and mock your sales and marketing skills. Or force you to work for Amstrad.

Speaking of Frankie – when I was a wee girl, my mum always used to tell me: ‘if you want to find your baby photos, befriend a homeless junkie’. And she was right. Frankie pops back to the address she stole from the lawyer’s office last week and finds the squatter a bit more welcoming. He invites her and Jay in for a nice smoke of drugs (which in Glasgow is the equivalent of offering someone a cup of tea).

Skinny McNoBum then sneaks off to explore the squat and discovers she’s standing in what used to be a child’s bedroom. I’m going to make a dramatic leap of deduction here, bear with me:

Kids’ bedroom = HER bedroom.

(God, I’m good. Just call me Sherlock).

Her detective work continues at the Glasgow Council’s ‘Haunted By Your Past’ department, aka the archive facility, where she discovers both her parents’ death certificates, and also….


Her own death certificate! Or at the very least one with ‘Francesca Alan’ written on it.

She lurches out of the office like a starving zombie, only to encounter the squatter-junkie watching her. But a bus drives between them and once it’s gone past, he’s disappeared.

Picture 5

It’s like Lesbian Most Haunted.

Even through it’s moderately silly and Jeremy Kyle-ular, the ‘Frankie’s past’ mystery is actually starting to engage me. I’d quite like to know if she’s dead or not (as it’d explain her Skeletor-like appearance if she was).

Another storyline that I found quite moving was the Lou-Tess breakup. It was genuinely quite sad when Tess discovered Lou was boffing her male co-host, and the moment when her friend Ed punched the lizardy old git was positively satisfying. In fact, I may even have said ‘yeaaaah’ and waved my arms about a bit. Don’t judge me.

To sum up, I think that some excellent performances – e.g. Tess and PC Ripley – are helping to lift Lip Service out of the Valley of Silliness and Contrivance into the sunny lowlands of Moderate Believability. In fact, I suspect next time I watch it my enjoyment level might even hit 60% or more.

Here’s hoping, anyway.


About Hilary Wardle
Hilary is a freelance journalist and copywriter who writes for a wide range of websites, magazines and newspapers, including Buzzfeed, MSN, The Poke, Chortle, the Guardian and the Independent. She specialises in arts and entertainment, comedy, video games and viral content. Contact her at

One Response to Lip Service: Episode 3

  1. Cooliejartmell says:

    A remarkably funny insight into #pilservice,you need to take one b4 u watch.U’ve forced me into an early onset follow Wednesday. Many Funny Thanks

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