Imagine swapping bodies with your best friend? One morning you wake up and instead of the male body you are suddenly in the body of your best female friend. How would you react? What would you do? How would you do their job??
Well new TV series Life is Easy is exactly that, friends, BFFs, Jamie-Li and Curtis, both share a birthday, have a bad trip and wake up in a wading pool, but they have switched bodies, with humorous results.
Written by Chye-Ling Huang and Cole Jenkins, who also star as Jamie-Li and Curtis, respectively. Life is Easy is about the adventures of two friends who inadvertently swap their bodies after a taking a line of coke during a full moon and how they deal with each other’s love life, work, anatomy and family dynamics.
The comedy style of the new TV series plays up the stereotypes and accentuates the camp over the top characterizations. There are moments in the story that briefly examine the difference between male and female gender role. This is explored by highlighting a female feeling threatened or unsafe walking home at night, but now having the chance as she is in a male body. There is also the theme presented of a stylized gay male protagonist having to navigate the sexual advances of a truly inappropriate boss and the common problems experienced by non binary sexually fluid individuals and their misgendered experienced by the community, but these are only minor themes, this is a comedy and written for obvious laughs.
Directed by Amanda Tito and Christopher Stratton, the directing style of this show reminds me a little bit of Saved By The Bell or Everybody Loves Raymond, situational comedy playing up the visual gags for laughs. There are moments with the performers that are genuinely funny and will keep you amused and then there are moments were you can see they are playing it up for the camera.
Chye-Ling Huang as Jamie-Li is at times very entertaining. There are times where you forget she is a woman playing it as a man who is trapped in her body. Also what does make the whole situation entertaining is that she is playing a gay man trapped in a sexually free female body and the characterization of this is executed very well.
Cole Jenkins as Curtis is reserved and controlled but also at times eager to explore this “new” life as a female trapped in a male body.
Reading over the cast and crew notes you realize that what is great about this production is that unlike a lot of television series the creatives are not all straight white men, all genders are equally represented with a larger than normal representation of women in executive roles, which is awesome to see.
As an Australian living here in New York City, it is great to see a show developed and presented from New Zealand. There are familiarities in culture and these are presented on the screen with this series Life is Easy. There are funny moments with each episode and they are presented within 15 minutes so you can easily watch a couple and get engaged. But there are also moments where the characterizations do play up the stereotypes and don’t explore the difficulties that still exist in the community living as a female or as a gay man, that aside it is a very funny series with some great performances and writing.
Life is Easy is available to stream online.
Another Australian living in New York seeing what experiences it will bring. Don’t get me wrong, this has been a dream… about 16 years in the making!