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HBO imports an incredibly dark, starkly funny comedy.

Sally4Ever HBO
Emily St. James was a senior correspondent for Vox, covering American identities. Before she joined Vox in 2014, she was the first TV editor of the A.V. Club.

British writer and actor Julia Davis is having a minor moment here in the States. Her series Camping has received a (not particularly good) HBO remake from Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner, and now her series Sally4Ever has arrived to air alongside that remake and give us Yanks a taste of her incredibly bleak worldview.

Sally4Ever focuses on the transactional nature of relationships, on the idea that everybody in your life just wants something from you, and once they get it, they’ll discard you without a second thought. Sally4Ever works better than the strained American remake of Camping because Davis lets her title character try to navigate this world without losing herself.

As played by Catherine Shepherd, Sally is a woman caught endlessly in indecision, finally choosing to move forward when she meets the boldly sexy Emma (Davis). And that’s when things start to fall apart. This show will be ultimately too dark for some, but those who love it will become evangelists.

“The true stars here, though, are the failings of human nature. Sally4Ever is the kind of comedy so dark it pushes straight through bleakness to a morality-play clarity: It’s an unflattering, fluorescent light on the manifestations of human self-interest and weakness.” James Poniewozik, New York Times

Metacritic score: 77 out of 100

Where to watch: New episodes of Sally4Ever air Sundays on HBO at 10:30 pm Eastern. Previous episodes are available on the network’s streaming platforms.

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