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Retro Review: Growing Rich (1992) 1x06

Mrs Baker’s best girls
In the finale Laura steps up to sort out her own life, Annie stops dying of a broken heart and Carmen wears black suede shoes with her ladylike pearl choker and red dress. Mrs Haverill the horrible housekeeper harangues a waiter (Graham Norton of ‘Father Ted’ and his eponymous chat shows). Sir Bernard doesn’t get the stigma he’s placed Carmen under for years. This isn’t darkly comic just sleazy as Sir Bernard goes on and on about how he wants Carmen to marry and baby him. Carmen’s curled hair is so 80s. Mrs Haverill calls Carmen a fancy woman and is fired.

Sir Bernard fails to note the pain his coveting and personal out sourcing to the devil has caused people. Carmen is urged to put on a negligee and put out. The driver menaces her from a mirror and tartly bitches about Carmen’s granny underwear. Carmen and Sir Bernard talk and talk as the driver ogles at the door. As a consolation prize, Carmen is tempted with money and children. She and the sexist ass Sir Bernard play chess on an ornate board and decide they are compatible as the driver sits in a chair stewing.

Laura yells at Kim and Angela and does angry arm swinging. Ronnie is informed of Poppy’s sustained cheating. Tim shows up with some petrol station forecourt flowers and no apology, Annie greets him with adulation. She is relieved to see him and is soon sanctifying him and begging to go back to New Zealand to tend sheep with him. Ronnie ditches Poppy. Ronnie did love Carmen until the driver interfered, but now they’ll never be together. Poppy is left unappeased and shouting.

Carmen and Sir Bernard are engaged. The driver gurns, he is a fixer. He cleans up messes and does specific things. There is an unpleasant discussion of Carmen’s paternity by her parents leading to her fed up mother ordering her shiftless son out and throwing her mocking husband’s fry up breakfast into the bin. Then she heads off to get a job at Peckhams. Poppy’s married lover is given incentive to ditch her by his fed up wife. He didn’t care about his indiscreet affair.

Woodie comes up with a money making scheme that works. Tim and Annie head off to a travel agency. Kim and Kubrick the fish move into Angela’s. Kim has never apologised for the crap he pulled. Carmen now loves Sir Bernard due to the bizarro world plotting. The driver yells at the trio as they all head off to a service of reconciliation being held at Sir Bernard’s Fens development. Protestors run around, Sir Bernard goes on a mad egocentric rant of self congratulation and the driver decides to collect his soul and laughs as he gives Sir Bernard a heart attack.  Cue CGI flames, red light and the driver, or rather the devil for that is who he is, stomping around in a black leather and feathered fetish outfit while making speeches with an echo chamber voice.

The trio save Sir Bernard from hell by mocking the devil and bringing up Carmen’s virgin status. Why are they saving Sir Bernard? He deserves hell! Laura and Annie admit they screwed up their own lives. No principles or restraint is on display. Laura prays, Carmen dislodges the devil from their lives by wiping her virgin tears on his face and overlooking his claim of paternity. The trio laugh at his OTT coercion and disturbances. The devil predicts bad things for them and wanders off cowed by their resistance. Sir Bernard wakes up and gets away with all his crap. Annie and Tim wed and everyone plans to move to New Zealand. Laura monologues inspirational rhetoric to camera like a cold medicine commercial. The devil is still out there but so what? This episode had no vitality or believability. Carmen becoming so obliging to Sir Bernard was ghastly and the way Annie begged for Tim to take her back was unspeakable. The climax was bloated and twee, not to mention hackneyed. After years of ruining their lives, the devil suddenly becomes amenable and strolls off? This was oddly compulsive camp.

Best Lines:
“The devil running all our lives.”

“Not behind a potted plant.”

“I do wish you’d call me Bernie.”

“You’re such a miserable old cow.”

“What’s he doing? Riveting bits together?”

“I’m here, I’m willing.”

“Company for you when I’m away.”

“One up to me and one down to the driver.”

“The devil’s works began to collapse, one after the other.”

“And what is more!”

“Otherwise, there might be violence.”

“You might want to do something about it.”

“She’s making me unhappy.”

“Will you shut up dad?”

“She’s got everything and I’ve got nothing!”

“Do your worst!”

“Who says?”
“She does.”

“Eat one now.”

“Get rid of her.”

“Tell Poppy to piss off.”

“Land of the long white cloud.”

“I’m a black plastic bag man.”

“You do what you’re told.”

“Today’s favourite is tomorrow’s old hag!”

“What’s a grave but a hole in the ground?”

“Yes Bernie, PR.”

“People always go too far, now he’ll die.”

“Forget jam tomorrow!”

“Stop buzzing like bees little girls, be quiet.”

“I’m the very devil.”

“Original sin! Original sin!”

“He’s gone! Pray to me!”

“I’ll get it in the end!”

“I don’t believe in the devil.”
“How very unwise.”

“Remind me to fire the driver Carmen, he really gets above himself.”


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