Episode of the Series is hereby awarded to this week’s roller-coaster of delights. The last few episodes were slightly in danger of losing their sense of humour, so embroiled were they in action, plot and blood. But this week there were so many light – darkly light – moments to savour. Most involved my new favourite couple, Franklin and Tara. From him jealously strangling her when she received a text from Lafayette, and Tara choking out ‘He’s – my – cousin – and – he’s – gay!’, to Franklin texting him back: ‘Watch how fast I can type motherfucker,’ I love every crazy minute these two spend together. Admittedly, in Tara’s case those minutes are spent somewhat unwillingly and indeed, tied up. Franklin’s nuts about Tara, as well as being just nuts. He told Russell, ‘She’s such a fucking disaster, we could be twins’ and bust into great racking, psychotically over the top blood-stained sobs after Tara tried to escape. Their brief romance stepped up a pace when Franklin offered to take her out for a ‘last dinner,’ because he was planning to turn her into his vampire bride. Her Hammer House of Horror expression on receiving this proposal was a thing of beauty.
Tag Archives: Episode 5
I’m not sure quite what I made of the Rocky Horror Glee Show. On the plus side, it was good to hear some of those funny songs again. When I was in my teens I went through a Rocky Horror phase, playing the film over and over on video. I had a serious crush on Tim Curry (still do, come to think of it), and I loved it when Meatloaf roared in on his motorbike. If you’ve not seen the film, I suspect the phrase ‘Meatloaf roared in on his motorbike’ might seem slightly odd. Anyway, it was great to see the Meat himself pop up in Glee, though what a waste that he just had a dull speaking part. I’d pay proper pounds for him do a song with Sue. Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad perhaps? Bat out of Hell’s too obvious.
Also good were Kurt’s Riffraff, Quinn’s Magenta (doesn’t she look lovely as a brunette?) and Finn as Brad: at last, the role he was born to play. And I completely loved Emma doing Touch-a Touch-a Touch-a Touch me. It was so sexy. The chemistry between her and Will zinged off the rafters; and Brittany and Santana watching through the window (in homage to Magenta and Columbia in the film) was a joy.
Had Maryann ever been creepier than when Tara found her in Sookie’s kitchen, piling the table with supersize-me fruit salad? Tara’s social embarrassment – far more painful than a life-threatening three-clawed gouge – was palpable when Maryann revealed her intention to stay. Tara suddenly found she was dealing with a pair of infuriating hippies. Eggs sat there unconcernedly strumming his guitar and mumbling the Deep South equivalent of ‘what gives, man?’ He explained they were always moving around. Tara stared, agog. ‘What are you? Nomads?’ she cried. ‘Fucking Bedouins?’ No Tara, they’re freeloading dropouts with a side-order of evil destruction.
In fact, Maryann managed to raise the creepiness bar to eleven. When Tara returned from an unsettling evening at Merlottes, reeling from everyone having been mysteriously so mean, Maryann was sitting at the fruit-free kitchen table, wearing a prim smock, hair in a loose bun. Having realised the Greek/excess/orgy vibe wasn’t doing it for Tara, Maryann had cleverly decided to model herself on Gran instead. This tactic worked. Tara, like an eejit, agreed that Maryann and Eggs could move in, saying, ‘Sookie won’t mind’. Oh yes she will, Tara.
When my moment finally comes, and I am called to the Great Reckoner in the Sky (Desert Island Discs, I mean), my dilemma will be which songs to choose from Cabaret. So I was in showtune heaven this week, as Rachel and April went head to head on a tingly version of Maybe this Time. It wasn’t quite Liza, but it wasn’t half bad.
April, played by the versatile Kristin Chenoweth – last seen as a sensible media consultant in The West Wing – had been wheeled in by Will, partly because she was a charismatic fire-cracker of a performer who could replace Rachel, but mainly because Will had the hots for her back in the day at school. I have a secret affinity with Kristin, because we are exactly the same height (quite small – in fact the same as Judy Garland, to bring us full circle, except obviously I can’t sing and Liza lets the side down by being a bit tall at 5 foot 4).
Kristin sparkled as a boozy, tarty, tiny washed-up cougar. She had all the best lines: ‘Can I get you a drink? I just cracked open a fresh box of wine’. When accused of being ancient by the assembled Glee clubbers, she slurred, ‘Old, huh? You guys look like the world’s worst Benetton ad’, which is completely accurate. To Rachel, also complaining ageistly about her: ‘Talent doesn’t age, sweetheart’, with the naughtiest sidelong look in the history of sidelong looks.
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In clear defiance of the Christmas Telly Rules, Gavin & Stacey was set on the beach, in as close to blazing heat as Wales ever gets (watery sunshine; goose-bumps; most people fully-dressed). Everyone was there, of course, continuing this series’ unbroken streak of contrived situations.
Mick and Pam turned up in Barry unexpectedly, but the whole street knew it before they’d stepped from the car, thanks to a nosey neighbour’s mastery of Twitter and texting. I grudgingly admire the programme’s assumption that middle-aged people talking about Facebook is amusing. On the one hand it’s kind of patronising to assume that everyone over 22 is foolishly excited by new technology; yet on the other, Bryn and Gwen do talk exactly like the middle-aged parents of my acquaintance. Actually – oh god – let’s be honest here: I am a middle-aged parent of my acquaintance, who only today was boasting about my mastery of certain i-Phone apps.
I was concerned the whole beach thing was going to mean one of those episodes where we sit round watching the cast having lots of fun without us. I was right to be worried. There were sandcastles, and log flumes, and predictable longeurs about which cans to buy. Then suddenly, reminding me in the nick of time why I keep watching, there were Nessa and Smithy, squashed hip to hip in a dodgem car, coming face-to-face with a hollow-eyed Dave. This programme’s ability to wrench genuine emotion from everyday situations is the reason we all loved the first series, and if it has lost its way lately, this at least was one of those moments. It was, sadly, undermined shortly afterwards by Nessa being more concerned about the barbecue than the state of her relationship, just for a cheap, and not even very big, laugh.
Gavin and Stacey’s boring anxiety about not being able to have boring babies bored me to bored tears; and Doris, who I know is heading for national treasure status, was simply irritating.
But Mick was splendid as ever, and it was so nice to see less-than-perfect bodies being admired, something that never happens on telly. Mick’s in good shape for his age – not movie-star shape but, you know, not bad (as I’ve hinted before, I’m always happy to take a call from Mr Larry Lamb; he knows where I am), and everyone said so. Bryn was never happier than rubbing oil slowly into Mick’s chest, brushing aside Mick’s objections with the classic line, ‘I’ve got cream on my hands now – what can I do?’ What indeed, Bryn?
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My stars, remember how boring it was when you were a student and some idiot on magic mushrooms insisted you wait while he lovingly counted every brick in a block of flats? That’s what it was like in Jason’s company this week. After storming round to Lafayette’s to complain about his aubergine-willy experience, he almost immediately agreed to try vampire blood again, one drop on a piece of paper like an acid tab. Man, that Jase is stupid as pecan pie. On a V-trip, all his senses were heightened a hundred-fold, which to my reckoning brought him almost up to the level of normal human functioning. He realised he had loved Tara all along, with visions of her as a Botticelli-type angel, revealing how very loop-de-loop he’d gone. The real, earth-bound, Tara advised him to ask her again when he was sober. And rightly so, for not ten minutes later she found him ecstatically shagging a jailbait divorcee, doggy style, round the back of the bins.
As usual, Jase was the Art Garfunkel to the Paul Simon of the Sookie and Bill storyline. This week, Sookie boinged like a pinball between Bill and Sam, only able to see the merits of one when she was with the other. I started to wonder if both men mightn’t get fed up and go off with each other, but that was just me, trying to add an extra layer to a plot that really has no need of further complication.
Irritating Gran had arranged for Bill to speak to her church society, and unsurprisingly the whole town showed up, including a bunch of hooligans armed with that classic redneck weapon, the garlic crusher. Best gag was when a plump middle-aged lady in her best hat tried to remove the cross from the altar in case it fried Bill like a bacon rasher. It proved immovable so she chucked a union flag over it, but Bill coolly removed this when he stood to speak. His reminiscences about fighting in the Civil War were very moving, as was the way he won the crowd over, and we got to see flashbacks when Bill was the same colour as the rest of us (Kid: ‘Mama, he’s so white!’ Arlene: ‘No, darlin’, we’re white. He’s dead’). Sookie gazed at him adoringly, and was dragged off by Sam, after a sexy face-off with Bill in which they argued about employment legislation.
Lots of fun scenes this epi, including the appearance of the above-mentioned red-herring good time girl who looked set to be the next victim but was in fact just the next casual shag for Jason (which probably does make her the next victim, of being bored to death if by no other means); Tara dumping garbage over the pair of them, thereby putting the trash in trailer-trash; the virginal Hoyt failing to get off with the red-herring but drinking the red drink and recoiling at it being served warm, at blood temperature; and Lafayette harnessing the power of his ingested vampire blood by straight-bashing three cartoon baddies at once.
We discovered more of Bill’s back-story, including how he came to be a vampire (a nasty lady bit him on his way home from war), and we saw that despite Sookie’s protests, Bill does indeed have feelings, taking vent on a completely innocent toasting fork. In fact, Bill came out well in this episode, a lot better than Sookie (fickle), Sam (weird), Jason (everything), or Irritating Gran (dead). Yes, it looks as if Gran has delivered her last line of annoyingly fey homespun wisdom. For which I can only say, chuck another log on the fire, Bill, and let’s raise a can of Fresca.
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