My Left Nut is streaming now on BBC iPlayer.
We all know that teenage boys are generally not good at talking about their health, which often continues throughout their adult lives. As a man, I can tell you with 100% certainty that many men will search the internet for answers to concerns rather than consulting a doctor, wrapping themselves in worry while putting on a brave face to friends and family. Therefore, any TV show that aims to highlight the importance of discussing well-being in young men’s lives is more than welcome; in fact, it’s essential in challenging and 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 in turn based on the real-life experience of 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 navigates his 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 a delightfully original teenage drama and a brilliant 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 of 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.