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Retro Review: Growing Rich (1992) 1x01

So You Want A Short Cut
This 6 part miniseries written by Fay Weldon aired 22 years ago! At a New Zealand wedding people with bad 80s hair and attire talk in stilted fashion as a grown up Laura tells a girl of her two friends and how they were bothered by a demonic driver back in their home town in England.

Carmen, Annie and Laura grew up in dullsville East Anglia. One day as fake lightening flashed rich old Sir Bernard showed up with his driver (Martin Kemp) to give a talk at their school. Laura wanted to go to university, Annie wanted to be a nurse and Carmen (Rosalind Bennett, wife of Linus Roache) wanted to study art and design. Thanks to the devil, because that’s who the driver is, none of those dreams would happen. Sir Bernard takes a gross fascination to the 17 year old Carmen. Driver and his black fetish outfit decides to meddle.

The trio of friends live in the same crescent with their families. Annie’s parents are eccentric, Carmen’s are chavs and Laura’s dad is about to run off with a teen tart. Meanwhile statues move when the driver is present. Laura’s toe rag boyfriend Woodie lurks looking about 30. The driver goes shopping in a tight white t-shirt and gold chain, his eyes glow red and produce rots in his presence. The trio slump around in baggy ill-fitting clothing as they come up with the moronic idea to ask Annie’s medium mother what will come up on their A Level exams.

This incomprehensibly stupid decision leaves desolation in its wake as they all fail. There are mentions of ‘Faust’, glass milk bottles, Carmen’s dad eats breakfast in his vest and this was dull and not relevant. The dated look detracts. The driver is good looking but it is not entirely the devil’s meddling that stymies them; it is their own bad choices.

Best Lines:
“How do I get out of here?”

“We don’t believe in that kind of thing in New Zealand.”

“I just come over as boring and middle-aged.”

“This place is the pits.”

“She came from a family of nutters.”

“I loved my dad and even sometimes my mum.”

“You’re aiming too high, stick to the chauffeur.”

“We’ll end up in the chicken factory.”

“If only Carmen hadn’t though of it. If only we hadn’t done it. Our lives would all be different now.”

“The ungrateful young.”

“What’s wrong with being drunk?”


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