Toni Collette and Steven Mackintosh play Joy and Alan, a married couple who agree to indulge their Wanderlust, meaning their quest to find new and exciting sexual partners.
Wanderlust is an unusual series. It seems to be about one thing, but it’s really about something else. It’s a six part series. Not until episode 5 does the audience begin to understand what’s been happening.
Joy is a therapist. Every therapist has a therapist. Joy’s therapist is Angela (Sophie Okonedo). Episode 5 is the whole hour between Joy and Angela. We finally begin to see motivations, pain points, griefs, needs, guilts, and responsibilities.
Joy and Alan decide early in the series that their sex life isn’t working. They agree to casually date other people to try to rekindle their interest in sex. Alan picks Claire (Zawe Ashton). Joy can’t seem to settle on anyone in particular. It works for a while, but it also doesn’t work.
The amazing thing about the experiments in sex is that Joy and Alan’s family relationships are good and the two of them are very open in their communication about what they’re doing.
Joy and Alan have three kids: Tom (Joe Hurst), Naomi (Emma D’Arcy), and Laura (Celeste Dring). The three of them get their own romantic plotlines.
More important than the children’s subplots are the subplots involving some of the patients Joy worked with in her practice. There is some unresolved grief in her life as well.
I’m of the opinion that Toni Collette is one of the finest actors on the planet. She should be watched in anything she does. Steven Mackintosh certainly deserves praise for his outstanding performance in this drama, but I have to say that Toni Collette is brilliant. She carries much of the emotional journey in the series. I don’t think there’s anything she isn’t capable of doing in front of a camera.
Collette even sings in Wanderlust, something I don’t remember hearing her do since Connie and Carla, which is a shame. She’s a very good singer. The music choices for the series were outstanding.
Wanderlust was written by Nick Payne. Luke Snellin and Lucy Tcherniak share the directing with 3 episodes each. It’s currently streaming on Netflix.
Netflix tweeted this the other day. Although it was about a different Toni Collette project, I thought it was good for a laugh and worth sharing.