Therapist Jean Holloway appears to have it all: a successful career, a comfortable home, an attentive husband, and a delightful young daughter. Despite all these outward trappings of success, there’s one thing missing from her life – excitement.
The daily routine of school run, shopping and work has become dull and predictable. At work, she counsels people on how to make their lives less chaotic by avoiding toxic relationships, but ends up being drawn into their dramas.
In therapy sessions with Sam, a young man who’s obsessed with his ex-girlfriend Sidney, Jean (played by Naomi Watts) begins to wonder what makes this woman so irresistible. She tracks Sid (Sophie Cookson) to her place of work, a basement café called the Rabbit Hole, and descends the staircase into an underworld full of secret desires.
Jean is instantly attracted to this mysterious and alluring beauty, a barista by day and singer by night. Does she want Sidney, or does she just want to be like her? It’s a bit of both, and the attraction turns out to be mutual.
“Something about you reminds me of me,” Sid murmurs. “You even smell like me.”
There’s a good reason for that – Jean has deliberately picked out a Chanel perfume knowing it’s Sidney’s favourite.
Jean escapes into an alter ego, with a new haircut, clothes and jewellery, and re-styles herself as Diane, a single girl who works as a writer – a risky reinvention, given that she hasn’t actually written anything – but the thrill lies partly in the risk-taking.
The slow-burning relationship between the two women moves in fits and starts, as Jean is forced to make a hasty exit every time she’s in danger of being found out, especially when Sid’s ex-boyfriend Sam is about to show up, which would completely blow her cover.
If you can get past some of the more contrived plot points and clumsy dialogue (Fifty Shades of Grey director Sam Taylor-Johnson also directed the first two episodes of Gypsy), it might be worth staying with the series, as the action reportedly picks up pace from episode seven.
The theme tune, a re-recording of Fleetwood Mac’s Gypsy sung by Stevie Nicks, appeals to the gypsy in all of us, the free-spirited traveller prepared to leave the comfort zone in search of adventure.
by Angela Lord
Gypsy is available on Netflix