Love Life

"Hang on: no hair? Vacant expression? Why, this baby looks just like Alexander Armstrong!"

Isn’t life hard? You break up with your girlfriend, go off and climb Everest, come back 11 months later and she’s all knocked up, but surprisingly cagey about naming the father. And you’re pretty sure it’s not you, because women can’t be pregnant for 11 months. But maths is hard too, so who knows?

Let’s deal with the elephant in the room first: Worst Fake Pregnancy Bump Ever. If having an ensemble cast means scrimping that hard on props, ITV, we probably could have done without the extremely peripheral characters of Joe’s brother’s wife and their fifteen kids. This would have enabled the very central character of Lucy to be dressed in something other than varying shades of wrap tops, quite clearly concealing an actual football pinned to her stomach.

Thankfully she’d had the baby by the end of the episode, because that was just embarrassing for everyone.

This is the kind of story you hear from your mum, gossiping about the neighbours. “That Lucy, she only went and slept with her boss! Yes, he’s married! I mean, everyone thinks his wife’s a bit strange, but even so. And now Lucy’s pregnant and living with her dad. Only he’s got a gambling problem and is about to be turfed out of his house. I ask you…”

Having a love life can be complicated and messy. Stuff like this happens every day. Doesn’t mean we should devote a three part drama to it. We’ve got Jeremy Kyle for that.

So there’s the pregnant one, the pregnant one’s mountaineering ex-boyfriend, the ex-boss/father of the illegitimate baby, and his mad-broody and slightly crazy wife. That’s it. Let the tender and funny storytelling commence.

Question for commenters: did anyone notice when heavily pregnant Lucy and her philandering boss Dominic were reunited in the pub, the only thing on the specials board was split pea and spinach soup? How annoyed would you be if you went there for lunch?

I hope they had a good selection of crisps.

Also, wasn’t it dramatic and heart-warming when Lucy said Dominic’s job was to forget about his unborn lovechild and concentrate on loving his wife?

No, not really. Though it was funny when he described his marriage as “Hell. It’s the kind of hell where you can’t admit anything’s wrong. She’s taken up gardening.” Alexander Armstrong is really quite good.

The rest of Love Life was just silly. The constant leaping in and out of flashbacks to tell the tale meant you spent the entire time checking Lucy’s stomach for sports equipment. No football = 12 months ago. Football = present day.

Also there were not one but two ‘going into labour in the passenger seat of a transit van’ scenes. And far too much chat about a certain brand of pillows.

Oh, and Penny (Dominic’s desperate-to-have-a-baby wife), maybe you should stop sleeping in separate bedrooms for a bit? Might help things along somehow.

So, now a baby’s been born, where do we go from here?

Well, Everest-climber Joe could tell Lucy he still loves her, offer to stick around and raise the baby as his own. Or he could run off abroad again to continue to find himself. It’s hard to tell what his character is hoping to achieve in life, other than standing around with his hair flopping into his eyes. He does that very well.

There was also talk of Penny and Dominic adopting a baby from China. But they’d have to go over there for a visit and the budget probably wouldn’t stretch to that.

Whatever happens next is bound to involve love. And life. Common sense would also suggest crowbarring in a scene with a football, now there’s one going spare.

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Love Life is on ITV on Thursdays at 9pm. You can watch it on ITV Player here

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