Netflix review: London Hughes: To Catch a D*ck
James R | On 06, Jan 2021
“I’m London Hughes and I’m really funny.” That’s how London Hughes introduces herself at the start of her Netflix special – and that frank, bold attitude swiftly sets the tone for a bracing, bawdy hour of laughs.
Called To Catch a D*ck, it takes us back through her attempts to catch a man over her 30-ish years on this planet and delves into why she’s mostly failed to do so. It’s a dissection of romantic and social expectations that’s as crude as it is shrewd, and that balance of low-brow romp and serious commentary makes for a highly entertaining watch – just make sure your parents aren’t in the room watching with you.
There’s no filter on any of Hughes’ jokes, and that raucous approach means that she focuses just as much on action in the bedroom as she does on relationship drama – from a guy with a thing for feet to an investment banker with a habit that intrudes upon her date. She races from 50 Shades of Grey jokes to a gob-smacking bit about the royal family without pause, celebrating herself as she goes – she’ll repeat punchlines and set-ups at increasing volumes, less to make sure that the American audience understands her and more because she’s just enjoying making her point.
It’s an infectious, energetic style, giving an empowering as well as an ironic edge to her philosophy – by being so openly, knowingly egotistical, she’s simultaneously self-deprecating and self-promoting. But beneath her raunchy anecdotes, the show boils down to a sharp critique of the double standards that surround her (the opening gag crucially links with her point later about Gucci handbags). They’re rife in the comedy world, too: as a successful, confident, funny person, she argues, she’d be met with praise if she were a man, but, as a woman, is instead dismissed or treated with caution – a bit about SNL stars backs up her claim with amusing veracity. “I need to carry myself with all the confidence of a mediocre man,” she decides, and that kind of casually delivered skewering of stereotypes, prejudices and norms makes this naughty special a deceptively barbed mission statement. The mission? Make herself a global superstar.
Hughes earned a nomination at the 2019 Edinburgh Festival Fringe for this special, but you suspect it’s a smart move for her to have headed to the USA in February 2020 – on a professional level, at least. Stateside, her accent, animated delivery and idiosyncratic perspective will stand her out from the crowd – it’s no coincidence that Netflix has included her in several other shows already, and the streamer seems guaranteed to turn her into the household name she already behaves like she is. After all, she’s London Hughes. And she is really funny.
London Hughes: To Catch a D*ck is available on Netflix UK, as part of an £9.99 monthly subscription.