(Series 7, Ep.12) We’ve come to expect Waterloo Road to take quite a few liberties with reality. “That would never happen in a real school” is a frequent refrain. We love it anyway, because the liberties usually fit the story, and the stories are generally gripping and the acting’s almost always fantastic, so we can forgive the odd lapse in realism.
But last night’s episode was just silly. Let’s start with Michael Byrne’s A level recruitment drive. Are we really expected to believe that a school would let its pupils make choices about their A levels based on a five minute presentation about how “All computer games start with maths” or “All science is just like CSI”? No matter what your aptitude or your GCSE subjects or results?
Then there was that dreadful “inspirational” speech by Michael Byrne himself, in which his description of how reading a book changed the entire direction of his life (he didn’t tell us which book it was. Maybe it was Catcher in the Rye, maybe it was Teaching for Dummies, who knows?) Any real teenager of my acquaintance would have just sniggered, if they weren’t too busy texting.
It didn’t take Matt Wilding long to come up with a scheme to bring people together in musical harmony which would result in sulks, strops and theft. In this case it was starting up a school orchestra. He displayed one of each instrument in his classroom and invited people to have a go. This was meant to fire them with a passion for playing the cello/harpsichord/whatever. But the point with most instruments is you can’t pick them up and get a decent sound out of them without a lot of practice and probably some lessons from someone who actually knows how to play them. Hence, there weren’t many (any) takers for the tuba and everyone wanted a guitar or a drumkit. Well, of course they did. The problem was, there was only one of each. Scout got the sulks because she couldn’t have a guitar, so Denzil stole one for her.
We’ve swallowed all that, but are we really supposed to believe that Ronan Burley has saved up enough money from a Saturday job on a market stall to be able to afford to rent a rather swanky flat with en suite bedroom? We always knew he was a younger and far better looking Sir Lord Baron Alan Sugar, but really.
Plotwise, Jez Diamond’s kids, Madi Diamond and Zack Diamond, were dumped on him by his ex-wife. He might have walked out on his marriage, but his ex-wife reminded him that Diamonds are forever and not just for Christmas. Zack seems nice enough, but that Madi is a bit of a handful. I particularly liked her trick of harvesting hair from the hairbrush to put in the soup. The highlight of the evening was seeing Janeece cough this up like a cat expelling a furball. She’s a classy act, that Janeece.
And Michael Byrne tried to get big haired brothers Phoenix and Harley to bond with their dad, loveable comedian John Thomson.
Posted by PLA (more Waterloo Road here)