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Retro Review: Growing Rich (1992) 1x03

One Oyster’s Worth
Three years have passed since 1x02 for better and for worse. Laura is pregnant with her third child and is as full of drivel and bile as ever. She is not a pitiable figure even when the bus driver won’t let her and her brood on. Her tempestuous mother is still whining. Mrs Baker quit teaching because of the terrible trio. Annie has got a pixie cut and is living in New Zealand with Tim and he doesn’t do cooing romance. He is a patrilocal, fat, permed, tremulous, belittling sleaze. Carmen has bad luck, lives in a squat and is still condemned to work in the chicken factory as blowback for being noxious to the driver. She hates her job and her life.

Laura is starting to belive Carmen’s tales of the coercive driver in-between dreams of walking out on her children. The driver returns and slinks in his black uniform to tempt Carmen once more. Carmen is badly dressed in ugly clothes, haggard, wears orthopaedic shoes and has aged 15 years in 3. The impeccably cranky Carmen succumbs to the mesmeric driver due to being disinterested and unmotivated. Driver takes her shopping. He’s suddenly sporting a suit and a Spandau Ballet hairdo. He squints and makes a jocosely red dress appear on a clothes rail. It is ugly.

He takes her out for oysters and Carmen wears the ugly red dress and is tarted up with diamante jewellery, big hair, long red fake nails, a red flower in her hair, too red lipstick, green eye shadow, numerous rings and way too much blusher. Even for 1992, her flashness is overdone and she looks like a tart. Driver is wearing a red tie and spouts rhetoric. When Carmen attempts to pay for her food, Mrs Haverill pops up to say the restaurant doesn’t accept credit cards, only cheques or cash. In 1992! The driver eats the rest of the oysters as loud slurping is hilariously dubbed over. Now Carmen has to go out on a date with Sir Bernard, again, to pay her debt. She never learns does she?

Laura’s mother dies. Kim shows up at the funeral with Poppy. He was her teacher, she’s knocked up and Poppy wants the house so Laura and her family can go live on the street for all she cares. Poppy is a scathing, cringeworthy, noxious, emasculating bitch. Kim being spineless and full of melancholy malaise lets Poppy rant away. Carmen still hasn’t developed any insight; she gets a promotion that elevates her from the factory floor to marketing manager, the squat turns into a nice house with dated Laura Ashley furniture and fittings, her fellow squatters vanish and she gets a dated new wardrobe. She’s pressurised but not thinking, her extremely tight fishtail plait must be squeezing her brain. The driver causes a chip pan fire with CGI flames to underline his point

The languid Annie is finding it hard to cope with hardnut kiwis who expect her to be a housewife to Tim. His mother keeps a newborn lamb warm in the grill and talks her down. Tim rants about the EEC and the Labour government and is snobby about Annie having been a maid. She is isolated and lonely amid the pretty New Zealand scenery. Laura is ditzy and regrettably defective. Woodie builds garden sheds for a living.

This was good, better than 1x01 and 1x02. Carmen wanders around a supermarket and reunites with Ronnie, who is a head office trainee. They discuss the coming thing that is free range chicken. Poppy shows up to con the supermarket by making another false food contamination claim and driver pairs the spares by having Ronnie and Poppy do a grotesquely, cutsey hook up. Driver then mocks the bereft Carmen and expounds on his own grandiose loneliness. Ronnie accompanies Kim and Poppy to her scan, she’s not pregnant anymore. Kim gets his feistiness back as Poppy (Erika Spotswood who cannot act at all) screeches and reveals what awful cheap, excruciating trash she is. Ronnie and Kim brawl.

Annie and Tim go bungee jumping, Annie wears a pink sweater that has 8 white sheep and 1 black sheep on it. Kim returns to live with Laura’s family now they’re not being slung out of the house. One of Laura’s daughter’s shows up to shout hello to Kim who doesn’t seem to be any better at being a grandfather than he was a father. Carmen knows she will have to date Sir Bernard and Prove His Manhood. I enjoyed this.

Best Lines:
“Object lesson to every schoolgirl in the land.”

“Don’t be so boring.”
“I am boring.”

“Dad didn’t want to know.”

“His past being my mother and me.”

“If you’ve nothing to lose, you win.”

“It’s horrorsville, East Anglia.”

“Who was there to win against?”

“Burnt the candle just too bright.”

“Friends in high places.”
“Or low.”

“God, you’re so old fashioned.”

“Three years with frozen chickens.”

“People who are almost half witted can turn out to be mathematical geniuses.”
“Only if they stop drinking larger.”

“Your friends will be sorry!”

“Snotty as ever.”

“We’re in very crowded accommodation.”
“Good.”

“I think I’ve been noticed.”
“Are you going nuts?”

“Funny sort of flame.”

“Are you really miserable Laura?”
“Deeply.”

“Little woolly things.”

“Because of the rabbits and the EEC, she can’t.”

“Guilt-ridden carnivores.”

“Love is the hook.”

“I was pregnant! Where’s my baby?”

“I only seduced you for a dare!”

“You sickening little whore!”

“She still had a debt to pay.”
Tags: growing rich
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