Waterloo Road: The future is digital

dynasty waterloo road(Series 8, Ep.23)  It was episode 2 in Dynasty Barry’s tussle between Education and Upbringing (episode one being the one where she chose education over pole dancing). With the arrival of her jailbird boyfriend Steve-O (he should wear brighter shirts then we could call him Hawaii Steve-O), all thoughts of the inter-school chess championship were thrown out of the window in favour of an engagement ring from the Katie Price for Argos Collection and a quick fumble in the Music Room.

dynasty waterloo rdShe should have realised Steve-O was a bad sort, aside from the fact that he’d just got out of prison. She really ought to have recognised him as the nasty man who pimped out poor Whitney on EastEnders. Not that the actor (Jody Latham) is getting typecast or anything.

kevin chalk waterloo roadShe saw the light when she saw the contents of his car boot – several top-of-the-range generic laptops which Cockney Lorraine had purchased for the school’s exciting new IT facility. Steve-O was dumped, and Dynasty ended up having a Thomas Crown Affair-style erotically charged chess game with Kevin Chalk (some sterling work by Dynasty’s false eyelashes), followed by a snog with him against a picturesque maritime backdrop. Talk about the odd couple… Anyhoo, Steve-O isn’t going to give up that easily, and administered a kicking to Young Master Chalk as a bit of a warning to Keep Off His Bird.  

Back to those laptops. Visionary Lorraine “Gor Blimey Mary Poppins” Donnegan decided this week that the way forward for Waterloo Road, educationally speaking, was to abandon all the tedious stuff like English, History, Geography, blah blah blah. IT was where it was at. You’d never get a good job doing your boring standard subjects, she informed the massed ranks of speaking and non-speaking pupils. So she had her sister and the boyfriend of the teacher with the pointy face install about a dozen laptops (give or take the ones Steve-O took and Dynasty gave back). Well, bless. The looks on the faces of those kids when they stepped in that IT room. They looked beyond excited and couldn’t wait to rush to a computer and have a look for themselves, chatting excitedly. “Look! It shines with a secret inner light! Truly this is a thing from the future come to visit us in our humble school!”

waterloo roadWith all that excitement, it was a hard task for the teachers of more conventional subjects to make them entertaining, but the teacher with the pointy face somehow managed it by brandishing a pointy sword, which she claimed to have found in a forest. This had the effect of making Harley come over all giddy with historical excitement. “That was brilliant, Miss,” he gushed. “I can’t believe I’d enjoy history so much.”

That would have been prime contender for Cringey Dialogue of the Week, but that award goes to this gem. Jane Beale assured Maggie the Dinnerlady that Grantly, currently in a coma in a nearby hospital, was in the best hands. “He needs more than the best hands now,” said Maggie. “He needs a kidney transplant.” Sorry, but LOL. As I predicted last week, Tom Clarkson has volunteered himself for the aforementioned organ donation. A quick glance at a Racing Post was enough to convince him of what would be lost if Grantly was to die. Maggie, of course, was thrilled and relieved at this news, though the chances that Tom’s kidneys will be a match for Grantly are very slim indeed. About as slim at Dynasty Barry finding Kevin Chalk attractive. Oh.

kacey waterloo roadBack to the Barrys, and I was severely disappointed by Barry’s behaviour this week. When the nasty Steve-O basically sexually assaulted Kacey/Robbie in an effort to find out whether s/he was male or female in the pants area, Barry stood by and did nothing to help her. I’m also rather disappointed by Kacey’s later decision not to be Robbie any more. Apparently it was just a bit of a phase, and Tom Clarkson’s promise of a girls’ football team has been enough to persuade her that she’s female after all. Now, while I’m not disputing that a lot of people do go through such a phase and then decide they were happy the way they were, there are also a lot of people for whom it isn’t a phase. Waterloo Road seemed to go to a lot of effort to take the story of Kacey’s gender issues seriously. Brogan Ellis’s performance was brave and convincing, and the reactions of people around her (particularly Barry) and her reactions to their reactions (trying to live up to Barry as the only male role model she has) were well done. Abandoning it seems like a cop-out.

Next time: The Lovely Josh is back! I expect he’ll be keen for his dad to keep both kidneys.

Posted by PLA          (More Waterloo Road here)

7 Comments

Filed under Waterloo Road

7 responses to “Waterloo Road: The future is digital

  1. remotecontrolled (kopitron)

    I couldn’t tell whether this was the end to Kacey’s storyline or not. It seemed a bit half-arsed for a brilliantly crafted story so far as you say. The scene with her and Steve-O was very gritty – much more like the darker stories of the earlier series. If I’d have squinted I could have thought it was Maxine and Lewis at his most creepy or Earl (who was permanently creepy).

    I wish Lorraine would just go away.

    No report on #broccoliwatch this week but Cringey Dialogue was spot on.

    • remotecontrolled (kopitron)

      Plus it annoyed me that Lula’s outburst was aimed at Robbie actually acting like old Kacey influenced by Barry, not acting like Robbie – and that seemed to be one of the instrumental turning points in her decision.

  2. Mr Donnelly

    Lorraine’s comments on traditional subject such as English made my blood boil. However I do think ‘Paradise Lost’ is far too advanced for GCSE students.

  3. Martin Rosen

    Am I the only one to like Lorraine. She really must have bottomless pockets, because I presume the school does not get an local authority funding.

    She has an idea and can instantly make it happen … ‘oh yeah we need to have an IT room – I will just order a dozen computers’ Hey presto they arrive and are wired up (and probably networked) in a matter of hours!

    I presume Barry felt too afraid of Steve-O, when he was attacking his sister. He just stood and watched. Could he not have even yelled “get off my sister” ?

    • remotecontrolled (kopitron)

      Yeah, I think they’re laying the groundwork for a bigger story of Barry being genuinely scared of Steve-O and probably that a big climax of the series will be him finally standing up to him. I actually thought his discomfort was acted pretty well.

      There was a good Awkward Barry Pose there for PLA to tally too!.

  4. Dreamer

    There was a line in the episode that made me want to punch that emo kid; it had something to do with Dynasty learning chess just to impress Luke from The Sarah Jane Adventures. Like, really? Women don’t do things to impress silly little boys – our lives don’t revolve around them.

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