Pour yourself a pinot and prepare to indulge your inner romantic, because the best-selling romance novel The Flatshare has been adapted for TV and has just landed on Paramount+, and we’re all in.
The premise? Two 20-somethings are forced to share not only a flat but a bed thanks to London’s rental market. The catch is this, however: they’ve never met, and if they stick to their contract, they never will.
Leon (Anthony Welsh) works the night shift in a hospice while Tiffany (Jessica Brown Findlay) sleeps, so she’s only allowed in the apartment from 8pm to 8am, and Leon catches some shut eye while Tiffany’s off earning less-than-minimum-wage at a clickbait website, only allowed in the apartment for the other 12 hours of the day. Despite these odd circumstances, a relationship begins to develop as the pair begin exchanging post-it notes placed around the flat, each gradually letting the other learn more about their chaotic and complex lives.
Starting out as a simple way to communicate about typical flatmate woes—the quality of the toilet paper, clothes left on the lounge room floor, “the milk situation”—the post-it notes soon start to mean far more to both Leon and Tiffany. Tiffany is trying to move on from an all-consuming relationship, while Leon is working to free his wrongfully imprisoned brother while working the night shift and getting life advice from a terminally ill teenager (one who thinks their post-it-based method of communication is romantic, no less).
Then their universes start to more closely align, and they start to lean on each other more and more. Tiffany opens up to Leon about her ex, Justin, after he shows up at the flat during Leon’s hours, and the breakup that led her to move into Leon’s flat, while Tiffany learns more about Leon’s life after his brother calls the flat while she’s there.
Eventually, the pair realise they have feelings for one another, begging each to ask the question: can you fall in love with someone you’ve never met? In this age of dating apps and first dates on Zoom, it’s a question young people have found themselves asking more and more.
And hence forth, the journey begins, as we follow Tiffany and Leon while seeking to answer this question (and living life in London earning minimum wage in less-than-satisfactory jobs).
So is it worth your popcorn and a night in? The Flatshare (streaming now on Paramount+) is a quintessentially cool romantic comedy. And yes, this adaptation absolutely stays true to the heart of the novel. The characters are complex, messy, and multi-faceted, so it makes sense that their love story would be equally as complicated.
Brought to you by Paramount+