BBC Three TV review: Eating with my Ex
Helen Archer | On 05, Jan 2020
Fans of the bite-sized portions of ‘Eating with my Ex’ – which racked up almost 20 million views when screened last year in short episodes – will be delighted it has now been made into a more fulfilling half hour course. It’s an irresistible concept – more ‘Last Dates’ than First Dates – which sees two people who have broken up get together to discuss why their relationship went wrong, and to (possibly) give it another shot.
There are three couples per episode, and a lot to pack in. Some were together for as long as a decade; others are brought back together after relationships spanning only a few months. As is usual with programmes like this, there are clearly some people who are in it purely for screentime, such as the man who claims to have been in a relationship with his “ex” for four years, despite her denying any such relationship existed and him not even knowing she’s vegetarian.
In the first episode, three couples are brought kicking and screaming back to each other. Steph and Scearcia had an intense – perhaps too intense – six-month affair, and Steph is reluctant to let go. Jodie and Jason were together for 18 months, and broke up after tensions arose surrounding her perceived poshness and his rapping alter-ego. Niall and Chloe were childhood sweethearts whose relationship ended for good, after Chloe slept with one of Niall’s friends.
The fact that, clearly, each couple doesn’t know why their ex is there (to apologise, to have an argument, to woo them back?) lends real tension to the proceedings. After a first few awkward moments of small-talk, they get stuck into the big questions, which each has an opportunity to set to the other. It’s all worth it for the genuinely invested exes, who are seeking proper closure, one way or another. The extended format gives us a little more time with each couple as they talk through their feelings about their upcoming dates with friends and family. But the nitty-gritty is the same, and it’s a tense ride for both the participants and the viewer.
Bagpuss is available on BBC iPlayer until January 2022