A rom-com-dram story with a twist, Wolf Like Me is set to make its US debut on Peacock.
“Nobody’s perfect.” — Mary
Ain’t that the truth. And in the case of Wolf Like Me, the personal imperfections of two forty-somethings living in Adelaide are the stuff on which their budding romance is built.
We meet Gary (Josh Gad, Avenue 5, Central Park) while he’s on a date. Not quite the date from hell, but close enough. A different kind of hellish event is the car accident that Gary and his 11-year-old daughter, Emma (Ariel Joy Donoghue, High Life), are involved in the next day. The trauma triggers Emma’s panic attack, which is calmed quickly and effectively by Mary ((Isla Fisher, Wedding Crashers, Definitely Maybe) — not just a bystander but the person who caused the crash.
It turns out that Mary has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and now works as a syndicated relationship columnist. She, like Gary, has experienced the death of a spouse, and each still has a hard time with their respective loss, for very similar and very different reasons. For Gary the difficulties extend to taking care of Emma — not so much in providing the physical necessities and comforts of life but in connecting with her beyond surface-level stuff.
So, yes, Gary is an emotional wreck who won’t allow himself to be vulnerable, not just to stay strong for his daughter’s sake but for all the other reasons an adult male can have to keep those who would like to get close to him at bay. Mary, understanding people as she does, sees this about Gary in a New York minute — but don’t let this fool you into thinking she’s got her stuff together. Mary is, in fact, a hot mess. She, too, has a reason for keeping Gary at arm’s length — a secret she has been keeping for more than a dozen years. A secret she hasn’t told anyone. A secret she can’t run away from, no matter how fast and how far she runs away from Gary and everyone else.
But things keep happening — weird, sometimes violent things, that keep putting Mary and Gary, with their shedloads of baggage between them, in each other’s space. Maybe it’s all a series of mere coincidences, but it seems like theirs is a relationship that is (ill?) fated to be…
Under different circumstances, the title of the series would be a dead giveaway as to what Wolf Like Me is about. Here, though, it serves a broader function, giving form to the many aspects of the complexities of being human.
Beyond this, there is a sort of quantum physics, electron entanglement-esque type of connection between Mary and Gary that seems to explain why they keep ending up in each other’s orbit — and why certain songs play when they do. (Like “Fortress” by Queen of the Stone Age, an earworm that’s been playing on repeat in my head since I first heard it in the series.) Look past wherever your expectations of the title lead you, past the rom-com-dram genre, past the trope of two wounded people starting a relationship, and you’ll find a touching, humorous, feel-good show that can bring a giggle to your lips and a tear to your eyes.
Created, written, directed, and executive produced by Abe Forsythe (Little Monsters, Down Under), the six-episode half-hour series features Emma Lung (Wonderland) and Anthony Taufa (Mr Inbetween).
Wolf Like Me, a Peacock Original series, premieres in the US in its entirety tomorrow, Thursday, January 13, 2022, exclusively on Peacock.
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