The sex, though, was its own conundrum, televisually speaking, and much was made of the hiring of an intimacy coordinator, Ita O’Brien (she’s the best in the business, apparently – which comes across a bit droll, if you didn’t realise that was a business). How do you tell the story of two characters whose entire journey is sexual, without just making a soft-porn film? These two questions – how do you present a story so clear without telling it too simply? How do you put the sex in the centre, without making it the point? – are in fact the same question. I only realised that when I saw this quote of Rooney’s: “When I hear the phrase ‘sex scene’, I think about a dialogue scene.” There is no such thing as some sex that just happens, it is as freighted with meaning as words are. The characters are saying something important to one another, something that will propel them forward. If sitcom characters chat and characters in drama talk, then by extension, in the Rooney school, sitcom characters shag, and these characters, well, they do something other than shagging. I wouldn’t say “make love”, so let’s just say “fuck” and let its Anglo-Saxonness transmit the vitality of that. I found their first sex scene really moving, and not especially erotic. I wouldn’t write off anyone else finding it erotic – and there have been some complaints about the volume of sex scenes – but I think I’d defy anyone not to be moved by it.
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