The television landscape is littered with the corpses of shows that may have been terrific, but were sunk by an unimaginative or downright awful title. Better Off Ted. Bunheads. Cougar Town. All of them are worthy entries in the race for Worst Title Ever, but they now have some serious competition. So let's get this out of the way first: Scrotal Recall is an awful, awful, awful, awful, awful title. Now, do your best to try and get past that, because it's also a really great show.

It was aired in Great Britain last year, but Netflix has brought it to American shores for 2015. Season 1 is a scant six episodes that are half an hour each, so you can breeze through this in no time. Scrotal Recall (ugh) is about Dylan (Johnny Flynn), who begins the series at a health clinic, being informed that he has tested positive for chlamydia. He's advised to contact all his previous sexual partners, and he decides that instead of just calling them, the right thing to do would be to make an effort to meet up with all the women he's slept with so he can tell them in person. Each episode's title is the name of one of these ladies, and when Dylan goes to visit them, the show flashes back on their relationship and how it fell apart, while keeping up with Dylan and his two friends in the present.

Ah, the two friends. There's Luke (Daniel Ings), who's an unrepentant horndog, and there's Evie (Antonia Thomas), who has a desperate, secret crush on Dylan. Dylan actually develops feelings for Evie as well, but they're both too timid to bring it up, and circumstances keep getting in their way. And so, the story winds through time, doing a really admirable job of capturing how this group of friends relates to each other, and the romantic partners that enter and leave their lives.

So yes, Scrotal Recall is a hideously embarrassing title. And yes, Johnny Flynn isn't...quite the type of guy I envision as a romantic lead, physically. And yes, sometimes Daniel Ings' performance is a little too cartoonishly manic. But damned if this show hasn't stealthily become one of my favorites of the year so far.

Scrotal Recall - Season 1: A-


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