Big Mood, a tour de force for Nicola Coughlan

Nicola Coughlan and Lydia West in Big Mood

Big Mood brings a dark comedy to the streamer Tubi. Two women in their late 20s who are loyal long time friends struggle with personal issues in ways that aren’t always helpful to each other. There are six short episodes in the series, which originated in the UK.

Big Mood stars Nicola Coughlan and Lydia West as friends. Maggie (Coughlan) is a playwright who can’t write because she’s overwhelmed by her bipolar disorder. She stopped taking her meds thinking it would help her write, but it led to her dropping into a serious depressive episode.

Eddie (West) runs a small bar she inherited from her father. The bar isn’t making money and her brother (Ukweli Roach), the bar’s co-owner, wants to sell it. Eddie wants to make it a success. She needs money to buy out her brother. She also needs money because of a few nights spent with an old lover who offered to help her with the bar.

Nicola Coughlan and Lydia West in Big Mood
Eddie throws a costume party / birthday party / fund raiser for the bar

Nicola Coughlan is brilliant in this. In six short episodes she goes through a full range of emotional mood swings. When she finally goes back on her meds, the substitute doctor who sees her gives her the wrong dosage. She begins hallucinating and losing big blocks of time.

The way the camera was used and the direction by Rebecca Asher help visually demonstrate what Maggie was experiencing, but Nicola Coughlan’s performance was total perfection. The series was created and written by Camilla Whitehill, who must have seen bipolar disorder first hand, because the writing is very good.

One of those big blocks of time Maggie lost was an entire day lost when she had promised to be there for Eddie, who was going through a significant crisis of her own. At the end of the first season, the two friends are not in a good place.

As far as I know, a second season hasn’t been approved yet, but it would certainly be welcome. As friends the two actors have wonderful chemistry together. I hope they get the chance to explore their relationship in more episodes.

The series deals with some heavy topics, but manages some humor in the situations. I especially got tickled by the Sally Wainwright jokes and the fake Instagram poses.

Have you seen Big Mood? What did you think of it?

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