BBC Two will shortly embark on a journey back to the 80’s with the six-part series of White Gold, a comedy series coming from the co-creator of the Inbetweeners Damon Beesley, and he brings with him his sense of crude humour we have all come to love and expect from the man who made the story of four schoolboys so immensely popular they had they time in spotlight on the big screen.
White Gold is set in 1983, in the heart of Essex focusing on the beginning of the double-glazing boom in the UK and three young smarmy and overly confident salesmen, two of which will resort to underhanded efforts to obtain that sale without a moral in sight. Led by Vincent Shaw, played by Gossip Girl’s Ed Westwick as the chief salesman, his handsome good looks, charm and chrisma not only goes straight to his vain head but also wins over both the men and ladies in getting what he wants. Vincent’s team consist of The Inbetweeners own James Buckley who plays Fitzpatrick, a character in the same league as Jay, an arrogant reprobate who tends to lead with a head full of idiocy and not much logical thinking. We also have Joe Thomas as Lavender, the kinder (and smarter) of the three who just doesn’t seem to have the arrogance and ruthlessness needed to compete in a stake of top salesman.
Beesley’s inspiration for the new comedy show came from when he was just a young lad himself, in awe of his father “I’ve been thinking about writing this for 35 years because of my Dad was a double-glazing salesman and I spent a lot of my pre-teen years hanging around the showroom. I remember being fascinated and intoxicating by these groups of men who didn’t seem to have a proper job. Even before the Inbetweeners I always thought about writing something about that world. Similar to the Inbetweeners Salesman where stunted children living in the adult world but behaving like sixth formers”
Considering these men epitomise the very traits you would loathe in a person, the series has a homely and familiar sense which is so well written in its smutty humour in which you will find the three men in an odd predicament sat in the car in a car park for a night of dogging which doesn’t quite go the way they had hoped for. As the series continues, there is something quite unforgivable lovable about these dodgy dealing rogues.
Having previously worked with Joe Thomas and James Buckley, Beesley admitted that they were in his head while writing the characters of Lavender and Fitzpatrick “When I thought about having a double act in the showroom, to characters that learn to become friends but they wind each other up. Having worked with both Joe and James, who are brilliantly funny, I had them in mind as I was writing those characters”.
Setting the tone of the era perfectly, White Gold explores the world of the 80’s shabby chic and political grayness with precision with its shiny polyester suits, square lined cars and a perfectly matched soundtrack of classic 80’s pop giving credence to the filth, shenanigans and self-obsessed world of the cringe-worthy salesman.
White Gold will TX on BBC Two later this month and the full series will be available on BBC iPlayer. The DVD will be out on 3rd July.