My Left Nut is streaming now on BBC iPlayer
We all know that teenage boys are generally not good at talking about their own health, which often continues throughout their adult lives. As a man, I can tell you with 100% certainty that we men will often search the internet for answers rather than consulting a doctor, wrapping ourselves in worry while putting on a brave face to friends and family. Therefore, any TV show that aims to highlight the importance of talking about wellbeing in the lives of young men is not only more than welcome; it’s essential in changing behaviours. BBC Three’s new comedy/drama My Left Nut does precisely that by confronting the importance of male health in a narrative rich with humour.
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Based on the stage play of the same name, which was based on the real-life experience of one, Michael Patrick. My Left Nut follows Mick (Nathan Quinn O’Rawe), an average 16-year-old who finds a significant swelling on his left testicle. This sends his world spiralling into a web of fear, embarrassment and horror, just as he is also navigating the first date with his school crush (Jessica Reynolds). Meanwhile, Mick’s supportive mates, Conor and Tommy, have no clue about the third ball growing in Mick’s pants. After all, conversations about their bits are hardly the norm. At the same time, Mick’s loving yet busy mum struggles to balance work and family life, following the death of Mick’s dad from Motor Neurone Disease, and his older sister is too busy navigating her own relationship issues.
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Split into three thirty-minute episodes; My Left Nut is not only a delightfully original teenage drama but a highly intelligent exploration of male communication and emotions. Here My Left Nut delicately explores themes of male connectivity in a show aimed at a teenage male audience. The result is a mix between Sex Education, Embarrassing Bodies and The Derry Girls as humour and broader discussions on testicular cancer combine. My Left Nut clearly aims to break down the taboos of self-checking, medical intervention and emotional expression by lifting the veil of embarrassment and bravado surrounding male health concerns. But does it achieve this? You bet your ball sack it does! So come on, boys, get checking and get talking.