Stella: RIP Thingamey Parker


(Series 5, ep. 2) Stella was all car boots, former sherry swillers and name dropping this week but first of all we started with droppings of a different kind, picking up back in Michael’s allotment the morning after last week’s Christening. Stella and Michael are discussing the up and coming Town Event of the episode, the car boot sale, and making sure we’re aware of their episode theme and lack of finances. Fertiliser is one thing they don’t need to waste money on though, and as Glen Brannig appears with a bucket of his pet donkey’s manure to remind us of who their neighbours are we’re reassured that this episode will have a lot more than household accounts.

Michael and Stella aren’t the only ones having problems right now but most other residents’ woes are centred around love and work. Confirming that Emma Rydal will also be joining the absentees this season, Little Alan has taken up residence in Hotel Stella and is having his blossoming relationship with Cerys stifled by Ben. If forced babysitting and awkward discussions about post-childbirth sex aren’t going to put a damper on his Lads Summer then by God Cerys Ferris who lives in the terrace isn’t. In order to protect Ben from having to get all melodramatic and using the word “betrayal” (place your bets for which episode this will happen…), Little Alan and Cerys decide to embark upon a clandestine relationship instead. Maybe Michael can point them to the Cock Inn so that they don’t have to sneak around the Frisky Fox.

BrendaShlossSpeaking of Frisky, poor Karl was getting frustrated this week and despite his best
efforts to court Nadine with beguiling welsh (I was amazed that I already knew 2/3 of his words) she was much more interested in everyone’s new favourite vampire undertaker – Evan/Ivann/Ivan Shloss/Schloss/Shlush. As I had hoped for last week, the slapstick mortuary humour had returned and the little tribute to Daddy Simpson (who’s bodysurfing in Torangoa) wasn’t the only thing that made me reminisce about some of those quality, corpse related scenes of old. It was poor Thingamey Parker’s turn as the body this week and between living in a coffin and teaching dance classes, Ivan couldn’t conduct her burial without help. This was arguably the main plot of the episode as Bobby and Auntie Brenda competed to be Ivan’s right hand man (or woman). While it was unclear how Auntie Brenda would have enough time in her role as Friend of the People to fulfil undertaker duties, she was determined to compete with Bobby (and the usual cockin’ suspects) to take the coveted role. Considering that despite his oddities Ivan still seems one of the most clued up residents, it was of little surprised that Bobby eventually won out. Personally, he won me over at “natural born bummer”. I am happy enough with this trio that I am looking forward to seeing where this storyline goes, though I will reserve judgement on if it is up there in the dizzy heights of quality that Bobby, Paula and Daddy treated us to.

CarIn events closer to Stella’s world, Beyonce is still
being an annoying brat and (being from Pontyberry) Stella is done with being polite and with Michael’s penniless snobbery. They did find a middle ground however and finally having something going her way, she was rewarded with a prize draw car. Its only journey so far has been back and forth to the car lot (where is Dai Davies when you need him?) but eventually it found its way back to her in what seemed to be a grand gesture Michael could take credit for. I am just hoping that the foreshadowing with his colleague isn’t going to be another out of character regression or Stella may be forcing his body into that prize draw car boot (the kind you can’t buy at a car boot sale).

Also this week, every Welshman and his band were name dropped and we were even treated to an Andy Fairweather Low cameo. Ashley Banjo didn’t turn up but Betty Wong did and Cheryl was ripped off by Michael being conned into spending an extra £5 for apparently just a thrown in bottle of toilet cleaner.

Next week, Stella is cornered by her original heartbreaker and Mayor Mary Mare (?) is a likely candidate for Ivan Schloss’s second customer.

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