Trigonometry

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Trigonometry TV Poster Image
Lots of sex, nudity in realistic look at fledgling throuple.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Unorthodox subject matter doesn't negate powerful messages about honesty, considering needs of others and oneself, trying to work out long-lasting relationships as they change and develop. 

Positive Role Models

Though Ray, Gemma, and Kieran form a somewhat unorthodox relationship, they go about it in an unusually forthright and admirable way. They value their connections to each other and to their families and friends. They are also honest and clear-headed about the consequences of proceeding in their polyamorous relationship, on themselves and those around them. Cast boasts extensive diversity, strong Black leads. 

Violence
Sex

Sexual content is heavy and frequent. Characters have group sex and sex in pairs, with moaning, thrusting, suggestive hand movements, visuals that suggest (but do not show) oral sex and masturbation. Expect same- and opposite-sex kissing and sex, as well as nudity, including male and female bare buttocks, and briefly bared breasts. In one scene, a woman is briefly nude from the front. Characters watch porn on a laptop; we don't see the visuals but hear lots of moaning. 

Language

Infrequent but strong language includes "f--k," "f--king," "bastards," and English vulgarities like "bollocks," "muff," and "twat."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters drink socially, sometimes to the point of getting silly and flirtatious. They smoke marijuana, including a scene in which a chef scolds employees for smoking in front of a restaurant at 8 a.m., then sneaks a drag before stubbing out the joint. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Trigonometry is a comedy about a financially struggling young couple in London who take in a roommate that ends up leading to a polyamorous relationship between the three of them. Sexual content is frequent, and quite mature. There's group sex and sex in pairs, same- and opposite-sex with male and female nudity (including brief full-frontal female nudity in a nonsexual scene). Along with the sex, there are scenes in which the three main characters flirt and then grapple with the emotions and changes the new relationship has caused in all their lives. Characters and their struggles are realistic, and they're honest about the consequences (good and bad) of proceeding with the relationship, for them and for those in their orbit. The cast is diverse in tems of race, ethnicity, country of origin, gender, and sexual identity, with two strong Black leads anchoring the action. Language is infrequent but includes "f--k" and "bastards," as well as iffy English slang such as "bollocks" and "twat." Characters drink socially and smoke marijuana, including a scene in which a chef scolds her employees for smoking at 8 a.m. and then sneaks a drag before stubbing out the joint. 

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What's the story?

After six years together, TRIGONOMETRY's Gemma (Thalissa Teixeira) and Kieran (Gary Carr) are happy together, but they're financially stretched too thin after Gemma opens a new restaurant in their London neighborhood. The solution? A new roommate, who turns out to be Ray (Ariane Labed), a former Olympic synchronized swimmer who retired from the sport after a traumatic injury. The trio starts out sharing refrigerator space and rent; they wind up sharing much more as they slowly realize there's a sexual attraction between them. 

Is it any good?

Sexy, frank, realistic, and lovable, this unique series is definitely for adults, particularly the kind of adult who prefers character development over a plot-driven narrative. Whole moments go by in Trigonometry in which Gemma, Kieran, or Ray are doing something ordinary, like making pasta or showering a night's worth of club glitter off. Still, lustrously photographed and echoing the rhythms of real life, it's enrapturing. The three main characters emerge immediately as specific people. Ray is still tentatively feeling her way into an adult life after a past sacrificed to the Olympics. Gemma is launching a restaurant in an iffy neighborhood on a shoestring. Kieran is shredded by night shifts as an EMT in chaotic London. 

The chemistry between the three feels genuine, too, and though the setup sounds gimmicky at first blush, it winds up feeling like something that could happen between people who meet up at a liminal time in their lives, who are young and beautiful and only just calcifying into adulthood with the soft and fuzzy borders that often accompany that process. The emotion and heat is helped along by the gorgeous piano-heavy score, and by the visuals, which make workaday London look every bit as romantically European as audiences could wish for. Trigonometry could have skewed seamy and exploitative. Instead, it's something much more surprising: sweet and easy to like. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how sex tends to be portrayed in the media. Do you think many real people are as sexually active as many movie and TV show characters? What are the potential consequences of sexual habits like the ones in Trigonometry? Are any of these consequences explored in the series? Why, or why not? 

  • How does Trigonometry communicate how Gemma and Kieran feel about their relationship? What information does the show give you besides what the characters literally say to each other? How is the inner life of characters revealed without it being literally said out loud? 

  • TV shows and movies often begin at a point when a new character is introduced. Why? What are the dramatic or comic possibilities of having a new person enter your life? Why does that make a good starting point for a narrative? 

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love edgy comedies

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