Everyone’s got their favourite. I’ve got loads. My most recent is from just the other day. It’s the one where Josh films Jill making steak and kidney pie. He might just as well have painted a wall and set the camera to record it for fifteen minutes. If I tell you that the only vaguely interesting thing that happened was Kenton referring to the pie as ‘snake and pygmy’, it’ll give you some idea.
Boring episodes of the Archers. Lord knows, there’s an embarrassment of riches to choose from. All which feature the flower and produce show, for instance; and there’s so many of those, is it any wonder that Bert Fry has taken to phoning in his surprise at being awarded a rosette for the biggest marrow? All which centre around harvest festival, Easter or other Anglican red-letter day, and their counterpart, any based round a service in St Stephens, can be added to the teetering mound of mundanity. And naturally, any one in which Tom reveals that his sausages are organic. The presence of Tom alone counteracts any other possible excitement. He neutralises heists, earthquakes and Lilian’s giggle at a stroke.
Fanoflinda recalls fondly a particularly soporific episode in which Phil (god rest his soul) and Jill were showing holiday snaps. ‘Look at Jill in that hat!’ the poor actors were forced to cry. You could hear the sounds of their careers being flushed down the toilet – or you would have, if the flushing loo sound effect hadn’t been deemed too interesting.
One theory is that you must listen on Sundays for vintage dullness. It’s certainly usually Sundays when David moans about farming bureaucracy (such a drag, applying for all those subsidies, eh, Dave?), or when Mike gives a fascinating run-down of exactly how a milk-round works, or when Neil and Susan discuss events of great import such as whether she’ll work till 3 instead of 3.15.
I was astonished to hear a gaggle of humourless smallholders on Feedback the other day, begging Vanessa Whitburn for more episodes about paperwork, and new storylines about grinding poverty! Dear god, people, are you trying to kill me? Is there not enough dryasdust stodge in it for you already? Must we bring in yet more?
I can’t remember if my favourite ever drear-fest was on a Sunday, but it was a cracker. Don’t ask me to remember what happened in it – it was several years ago, and anyway, I can barely even remember exciting episodes. But I do recall that it was a perfect storm of aridity, featuring as it did many of the most yawn-inducing characters: Tom, Brenda, Shula, Ruth and Pat. I’m amazed I stayed awake, frankly. If Emma, Heather (Ruth’s mum), Christine Barford, Josh and Roy had been in it too, the whole thing would have fallen into a vortex of tedium in which the Archers might have been forced to remain. Who said that at the back?
I’d love to hear about your favourite boring episodes. Those in which even less than usual happens, and none of the compelling characters are allowed any air-time, and the poor continuity announcer is forced to open proceedings with a bright: ‘And at Bridge Farm, Pat is counting tubs of yoghurt’, or ‘It’s Sunday, and Ruth has asked Christine for help with her paperwork’.
Posted by Qwerty (See all Archers posts here)