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Retro Review: Growing Rich (1992) 1x04 & 1x05

The Deal Was Dinner
Annie’s parents boast about the wedding. Poppy crashes the Peckham trip to Newmarket and Carmen is left behind. Carmen stomps around in a pink lace dress, pink hat, red lipstick, pearl earrings, opaque pink tights, tacky red false fingernails, purple belt and purple purse plus she wields a green compact. All for 25 pence from Oxfam. She is a resounding cow and a virgin. The driver watches her from a mirror and causes a tractor accident; he has an orange tan and is a scene-chewing ham.

Laura looks like a slob and is an aggravating mass of offence and insults. Carmen’s incessant hostility and berating is vile. The driver ratchets up the trenchant dikats. At Newmarket Poppy runs around in a turquoise dress and black cartwheel hat finding another married man to play with and charm. Ronnie seems impaired as he gets punched again. In New Zealand, Tim’s decrepit mother is excruciating as she grinds the limpid eyed Annie down. The family’s antique heirloom dress is yellow and ugly. New Zealand does not have sliced bread and Annie doesn’t understand why her friends are ignoring her. Annie is unsupported, discontented and under-appreciated.

The driver tempts Carmen with sleazy royalty in the form of Prince Leopold (Jason Carter of ‘Babylon 5’) and an actor. Carmen only wants Ronnie. This ailing ep has no momentum; it is all barren and disconnected. Sir Bernard shows up and his Carmen preoccupation is still unresolved. The driver offers provocation, Carmen stupidly breaks the deal and everything falls apart. Carmen never considers the ramifications of her actions; she just does a rictus grin instead. Woodie has an affair with neighbour Angela, Carmen’s vituperative brother and parents show up and take over her house and Annie is cracking up due to Tim and his grudgingly sexist clan.

Sir Bernard plans to remodel the Fens. Carmen hurls herself at the muddled Ronnie even as he talks non-stop about Poppy and her new job at Peckhams. Carmen rubs holy water on the devil’s bite mark from 1x01. Ronnie runs off to placate Poppy and Carmen will not stop with her compromising, grating behaviour as she cries over her awful job, her nice home being ruined, all her money being gone and how she is unfulfilled without Ronnie. Laura cries over her ill-fit crumbling mess of a marriage and Annie finally snaps when Tim mocks her baking. Annie rants about being taken for granted and being tired. The dreadful Tim is a numb nut with no soul-searching or enlightenment. He’s an ungrateful toad. Woodie gives Carmen a slap, Laura further destroys her marriage, Annie is uncomfortable, Carmen wears a black leaf shaped hairclip, Carmen’s dad shows off his he-vage and Laura has no veracity and dresses badly. Everyone is just so stupid.

Best Lines:
“She really thought all our fates depended upon her.”

“She ruined my father, she killed my mother.”

“Spoilt goods that one.”

“You wanted kids, you got them.”

“You’re sleeping with the driver.”

“I can’t act.”

“You’ll rue the day! You haven’t seen trouble yet!”

“Marriage can be hard. But you sit it out and they wear it out.”

“Never dine with the devil.”

“The serpents weren’t just uncoiling, they were ready to strike.”

“One big non-event!”

“On top of everything else, I’m blow drying hens.”

“I want it back the way it was.”

“Evil is something real.”

“I forgot my key.”
“You would.”

“That’s what happens if you spit in the devil’s eye.”

~
You Need Your Friends
The driver has visions of a 14th century plague. Sir Bernard wants to own Carmen. As for Carmen? She is looking haggard again. The trio sit around ranting in a tea shop. Laura tells Carmen to whore herself to Sir Bernard so their lives will get better. Then she drags them off to see Mrs Baker. Laura wears neon-plaid and looks terrible. Mrs Baker and Mr Bliss have booked up. Mrs Baker instructs about ‘Faust’ and the devil’s orchestarion of things. Plus the hints that Mr Bliss is an agent of good go on.

Poppy wears a purple leaf shaped hairclip and is harsh, emotive and disconcerting but Ronnie is ever supplicant to her. Carmen takes no responsibility for her part in removing his free-will. Carmen still loves the unavailable Ronnie even as her friends yell at her to become Sir Bernard’s concubine. Carmen stomps around in pus-coloured culottes and walks away from her distaining ‘friends’.

Annie’s dad keeps body bags in the camper van, Annie’s mother is a medium again and Woodie ends things with his rotten arm candy Angela the manic pixie dream girl so she makes moves on Kim and he asks her to move in. Annie’s mother overlooks her daughter’s breakdown. Laura is an exceedingly annoying cow with a lack of lovability. Her rarefied air annoys. Annie is dying of anorexia suddenly and she wears a blue leaf shaped hairclip. Did the wardrobe department buy the hairclips in bulk or something? Carmen loses her job; the driver wears a stained wife-beater and leers. This ep was abhorrent. According to Weldon’s gender politics: it is all Laura’s fault that Woodie is cheating on her. Carmen resigns herself to sexual slavery and Annie wants the witless Tim back. Ick.

Laura gives Woodie another chance, Carmen soaks in her old fashioned bathtub as the driver looms around her house. Then she stomps around in high waisted jeans as Laura shouts down the phone to Tim’s mother. The driver walks through Carmen’s door (he doesn’t open it first) and dresses her up in the infamous red dress, a bracelet and pearls for Sir Bernard to defile. The driver has triumphed, their wills are broken. How will it all be resolved in 1x06? I don’t really care, this miniseries is sleazy and it has been hinted from 1x01 on that the driver is Carmen's father. Eew.

Best Lines:
“Annie home in disgrace.”

“All Carmen’s fault and her stupid stupid pride.”

“Can’t I ever get rid of you?”
“No.”

“Why do things go so wrong for us?”

“You offer Carmen everything and still she isn’t grateful.”

“I told you so.”

“You stole me from Kim on false pretences!”

“Some cheap jumped up shop assistant!”

“You promised me no more body bags in the house!”

“Rejected bride, who will look at her now?”

“It’s your house.”
“It doesn’t feel like it.”

“Once I’m in, I’m in forever.”

“You may have over-played your hand.”

“People don’t die from anorexia.”
“They do, I’ve seen them.”
Tags: growing rich
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