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Retro Review: Growing Rich (1992) 1x02

Work Isn’t School You Know
Retro pop songs play, Laura wears too much blusher and she is pregnant after her ill-advised tryst with Woodie. Her dad, Kim, who ran off with poison Poppy only cares for his fish, Kubrick, so isn’t paying the mortgage and her mother is a shrill malingering harpy. Laura’s petulant, Carmen is a bad tempered no talent and Sir Bernard is beholden to his driver who he seems unaware is the devil. Driver wants Sir Bernard to marry Lady Rowena. Mr Bliss obsesses over his horses and the driver mulls on Carmen.

Carmen has no ethical issues with driver’s dodgy antics. Why did he bite her arm in 1x01? This has no nuances. The trio are stuck in Fenedge and are off to the callous job centre in socio-economic need. Annie (Claire Hackett) gets a job as a maid at Sir Bernard’s hotel for 75 pence an hour but no-one will hire the pregnant Laura (Caroline Harker). The pregnancy discrimination is open, blatant and admitted. But as Laura is the least sympathetic character who ever lived with her crimped hair and whining, you don’t care.

The devil is a tit man apparently as Carmen’s bra size is restless. Social services aren’t involved with the pregnant Laura. Carmen wears fingerless gloves in the summer and the driver wears his tight white t-shirt. Ah 1992 fashion. The driver is predatory and menaces the trio with bees. The acting is unsatisfactory. Lady Rowena is dogmatic and a disgusting human being. Sir Bernard is the richest man in the UK apparently. Sir Bernard’s awful housekeeper Mrs Haverill won’t hire Carmen.

Sir Bernard is a perv who likes looking at younger women’s knickers. Carmen meets Ronnie (Wayne Morris), who is the one who got away for her. There is a prolonged scene of statue painting for some reason and a door knocker is truculent. Annie rants about how Carmen is bad and Laura is a broodmare. How is Carmen bad? Being perved over by a dirty old man makes you bad does it? The driver makes Carmen’s knobhead family into exemplary citizens.

This was overwhelmingly bad with bad blue screen. Carmen has zero self awareness as the driver takes her to an endless table in the forest and makes her a deal. He poses and is tawdry. Martin Kemp way overacts. Laura and Woodie (Pierce Quigley) marry, she is disillusioned and he has sense. Annie meets the kiwi Tim (Jamie Foster) at the hotel and falls in love. Carmen is badgered into a date with Sir Bernard during which she eats like a slob and turns down his marriage proposal. The driver reacts badly to Carmen reneging on their deal by hurling around CGI fire, sporting black contact lenses and blowing up a church, temporarily. The roof haired idiot Carmen is doomed by the twisted and vindictive driver. This show is a bit of a debacle and Laura’s voice over anecdotes grate.

Best Lines:
“They need you up there to take no notice of.”

“After Poppy, he loves his fish.”

“You have contacts in amazing places.”

“You can’t pass an exam you don’t sit.”

“Slammed a door so hard, another was bound to open.”

“Nobody could be that wrong by accident.”

“Something dreadful!”

“Naughty, naughty Carmen.”

“What Mrs Baker said, came true.”

“Taken our A Levels, failed the lot.”

“You should never say that kind of thing aloud, in case the devil overhears.”

“Who’s going to do it if girls like you don’t?”

“Carmen, you do know some weirdoes.”

“Nothings going to work.”

“See you later.”
“Mind you do.”

“It doesn’t do to disappoint me!”

“I’d rather work in a chicken factory for the rest of my life!”
“Then that’s exactly what you’ll do!”


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