Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Scream If You Want To Go Faster

Season 24, Episode 72
First aired May 7, 2020

Welcome back! Let’s journey together, through the magic of Ros na Rún, to a time when we could eat in restaurants, speak to people in the street, and most of us could go out in public without always accidentally kissing Mack, Katy. Yes, it’s the village of Ros na Rún in The Before Time, when sneezing in someone’s face was met with good-natured laughter and nobody worried much about coughing, unless of course they were Maggie. 

We open this episode, directed by all-around good egg Eamonn James Norris, in the Daly kitchen, which this season has been the scene of 50 percent of all screaming and 90 percent of all screaming the word “faduda.” The other 10 percent is a mobile circle one meter in diameter that follows Katy around. Dee flounces into the kitchen where John Joe and Mack are attempting to operate a kettle and a coffee cup, respectively, and we can tell she’s in a good mood because her ponytail is swinging so bouncily that it’s sweeping the pictures off the walls. Mack looks afraid, which is of course always the sensible response to watching Dee enter a room, and she brightly explains that she’s printed out their tickets to Australia, which she sticks on the fridge. He asks why she’s printed them out given that nobody under the age of 900 does that anymore, and her non-answer is, “We’re leaving in a few days, so why not?” She and her ponytail exit, and you can tell by the intensely brooding look on Mack’s face that the toast he’s holding is about to get the buttering of its life. Another reasonable question might be where Dee obtained actual airline card stock on which to self-print her tickets, but I digress.

Over at the flophouse, the population of which has grown so rapidly since our last recap that it is now the third largest city in Ireland, Sorcha’s mother is anxiously suggesting places the two of them could go today instead of her doctor’s appointment, such as a couples root canal at Tayto Park or to have their skin burned off with lavender-scented sulfuric acid at Loinnir. Sorcha replies supportively that she knows her mother, whose name is apparently Sadie but whom we will always think of as Bettina, is nervous about going to the doctor, but reminds her gently that they’ve been waiting a long time for this appointment, and that everything will be OK. It would be more OK if the town doctor were still sexy Easter Island head Dr Tiarnán, rrowr. Sorcha has been lovely during this storyline, which is kind of a bummer, because she was a lot more fun when she was a complete snot whose main function was to annoy everyone with her stank attitude and problematic jam.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Mad Mams: Beyond Thunderdome

Season 24, Episode 34
First aired December 26, 2019

Happy Christmas! Hopefully you all had lots of awkward family time, like the kind Sorcha is having with her visiting mother in our opening scene. The mother probably has a name, but I don’t know what it is, so I’m going to call her Bettina. By the look in her eyes and her slightly-off mannerisms, plus the sick look on Sorcha’s face, we can tell that something is Not Quite Right with Bettina, who is currently touring the House of 10,000 Residents and declaring that she bets there are a lot of dance parties and quilting bees and so on happening there. Which particular brand of soap-opera problem mom is she? Let’s find out together!

Chez Daly, the entire family is crammed into the kitchen and everyone is looking nervous because Katy is saying and doing things. To be fair, that never ends well. There’s discussion of going to the annual Ros na Rún Fir vs Seanfhir football match, which is being held between the dumpsters at Recycle Bin Park because Aviva Stadium was booked, but things get chilly when Katy offers to stay home with Bláithín because of course Dee would rather gnaw off her own leg than let Katy borrow her curling iron, much less her baby. Katy even offers to make Bláithín’s dinner, but Dee thinks it’s not a good idea since Bláithín is very fond of her routine right now and is also allergic to poison. She and Mack leave, but she hangs out in the doorway to eavesdrop on Katy and John Joe discussing Katy’s plan to talk to Tadhg about resuming her mismanagement of Gaudi. We finally find something Bobbi Lee is good at—other than being fabulous, of course—and now Katy’s going to come bollix it up.

Monday, December 9, 2019

I Kissed A Boy And I'm Not Sure I Liked It

Season 24, Episode 28
First aired December 5, 2019

It’s the morning after the hen party, and we open with a close-up of a pile of vomit on the sidewalk that Máire is trying to sweep up. Dee walks by and nearly spews again at the sight and smell of it, and also the fact that she’s clearly the one who did it. She keeps trying to walk away, but Máire wants to have a quivery-voiced conversation about the general Sodom & Gomorrah-ness of it all. We knew this would happen if they let the gays get married. Eventually Dee gets recruited to push the vomit around with a broom as Máire repeatedly reconstitutes it by pouring water on it, which involves Dee having the dry heaves a lot plus many tight shots on the pile of sick so we can appreciate how realistic it is. OK, special-effects crew, we get that you put a lot of work into concocting this, or perhaps you all just took turns barfing on the pavement to see whose read the best on camera, but STOP SHOWING IT TO US.

Elsewhere, a hungover Mo, one of many people we will see today looking like they’ve been dragged backward through a hedge, staggers out of her bedroom and checks her phone, on which she finds a text from Bloody Fiach asking her how her head is. (If you have ever seen RuPaul’s Drag Race, you are laughing at that question.) She quickly deletes it, and the look on her face makes it unclear whether she is just starting to remember what happened with him last night or remembers it in appalling, terrifying detail. Either way, it seems picking hot-pink boa feathers out of every nook and cranny of her body and home is not going to be the worst thing she has to do today.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Girls Just Want to Have Fiach

Season 24, Episode 27
First aired December 3, 2019

You’re back! I missed you!

We open at the pub, where Bobbi Lee not-at-all discreetly stashes a bunch of shopping bags full of blow-up dolls wearing feather boas behind the bar so she can assure Mo she doesn’t have anything tacky planned for tonight’s hen party. She shouts from behind a giant vibrator that we will be experiencing PURE CLASS, and Mo reiterates, “I don’t want any nonsense or anything rude.” Unfortunately for her, Bobbi Lee’s middle names are “Nonsense” and “Something Rude.” Also “Jolene.” Anyway, Bobbi Lee assures her it will be extremely civil and posh, like having dinner at Buckingham Palace or walking in on Colin Firth and Dame Judi Dench having sex in a fitting room at Harrod’s.

Speaking of pure class, Caitríona waltzes into the shop just as Vince is stocking roll after roll of toilet paper, something Caitríona herself has never seen because she is JUST THAT CLASSY. She’s dressed to the nines for Maeve’s Nutty Pops commercial audition, and then summons our little Meryl Streep to show off her own, erm, “special outfit.” A grim Maeve emerges from upstairs wearing a number of pieces of clothing I do not know the name for in Irish or English, in various shades of Pukey Pink and Fugly Mauve, and so much makeup she can barely hold her head up. You know it’s bad when even Vince, who is up to his neck in Caitríona’s shenanigans around the clock, can’t make eye contact with anyone. Caitríona beams that she’s a shoo-in to get the part, and poor Maeve, whose hair is pulled back so tight her feet aren’t even touching the floor, looks grim, like Shirley Temple played by Morticia Addams.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

The Irish Mackstop

Season 24, Episode 2
First aired September 5, 2019

It’s a peaceful morning in Ros na Rún, by which I mean nobody is being shoved screaming into a police car, burning down a building, or threatening to jump off a roof yet. Still, these people are very resourceful, so we should give them time. We open with an annoyed Mack ignoring a series of phone calls and texts from Katy, and we get the impression that this has been going on for some time, and also that the mental hospital should perhaps supervise their “more fragile” patients’ phone use more closely. The latest text asks “Have you seen the DNA test yet? [eggplant emoji eggplant emoji].” That last part is implied. He pulls the scrap of paper with her email login and password out of his pocket, considers chucking it in the bin, but then sits down at the table where someone’s “Masha” brand laptop has presumably been downloading and installing Windows updates for the past eleven hours. Masha: The Computer Made By Albanians For Albanians. Just as he’s about to enter the password to Katy’s email account, Dee bursts in with a gaggle of children, at least 80 percent of whom were fathered by Mack, so he slams the laptop shut, which of course makes it look like he was looking at porn.

Elsewhere, a drug deal reminiscent of the one in the opening credits is happening in the street. Upon closer inspection it turns out to be Sorcha slipping Briain a scrap of paper— which may or may not have been ripped out of the same pad as Katy was using at the hospital the other day—with the name of someone she knows at So You Ran Over An Old Lady Motors. He’ll be able to get Briain a mirror for his 1982 Reliant Robin to replace the one that broke off in Jude’s torso, she explains. Just then Berni pops out of a doorway and hilariously bugs her eyes out at the sight of her intermittent soulmate fraternizing with the enemy. She flies up in Sorcha’s face and starts screaming at her, hissing that she warned her not to show her face around here again. I knew the people of Ros na Rún would regret that referendum that gave Berni the right to decide who can and cannot exist. Furthermore, she rants, she can’t believe she was so stupid as to give Sorcha another chance after all the other times she has screwed things up and caused drama. It always pains me to admit when Berni is right about something, but this is one of those times. Berni says that trouble follows Sorcha wherever she goes, which is rich coming from the woman who has been almost murdered by half the people she's ever met. Anyway, Berni concludes she is done with Sorcha, DONE! Of course everyone else who has ever met Berni, including Briain and Evan, would be thrilled to think she was DONE with them forever, but Sorcha looks sad, and after Berni storms off, she and Briain exchange pained glances, which in Briain’s world constitutes foreplay.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Sometimes You Feel like a Nut, Sometimes You Don't (Season Premiere)

Season 24, Episode 1
First aired September 4, 2019

We’re back for another season of thrills, chills, and windmills in our favorite Connemara crazytown, Ros na Rún! You may recall that before we left for the summer, all hell was breaking loose: Briain and Sorcha had sex as foreplay to get them in the mood to hit-and-run Jude; Andy, in the role of Che Guevara, extorted tremendous amounts of money from Michelle; and Vince, Caitríona, and Maeve went to Tayto Park! Oh, also a screaming Katy got hauled off to the mental hospital in a police car while foaming at the mouth and clawing at the glass. So, a typical Thursday in Ros na Rún.

We open at the hospital, where Katy is sleeping off the six to eight tranquilizer darts it took to get her into the bed in the first place. It’s nice that they gave her a bed with linens that have clearly never been used before and in fact still have the straight-out-of-the-package creases in them. She starts muttering Jay’s name and then wakes up to look confusedly around the room, calling out “Jay!” again, although I suppose it is also possible she is trying to ask someone, “Cad é mar atá tú?” but loses consciousness halfway through the question.

Back in town, Mack drops Jay off at the crÁeche and then a radiant Dee takes his arm and they stroll happily across the road, with baby Bláithín in her stroller, and Dee has that classic I-just-gaslighted-my-sister-into-an-asylum glow about her, that’s for sure.

Monday, May 27, 2019

The Godfather Part IV

Season 23, Episode 75
First aired May 21, 2019

We open today’s tale of vague thuggery and pointed bitchery at Caitríona’s, which coincidentally is Europe’s primary exporter of both of those things. She’s not there, though, apparently off on a bad-will tour of the county, but Vince and Michelle are. Normally this would make things more pleasant, but Michelle is skittish and distracted, and though Vince tries to be sunny and cheerful, she and her glum ponytail are having none of it. You can tell things are bad because she didn’t even have the energy to put on her headband today. I was starting to assume it was tattooed on, really. Eventually Vince leaves, having failed to recruit Michelle to sub for him today as Caitríona’s personal social worker, and then Michelle gets a text from Andy demanding his money or he’s going to start breaking her everything. She looks scared and then goes over and dramatically locks the front door. Another option would be calling the police, but we’ll go with this, I guess.

Over on Daly Estates, Cóilí Jackie and Noreen have come to visit Dee, presumably separately since we can’t imagine she would allow him in her car. She’s being all sweetness and light, thanking him for saving the baby’s life by helping Dee give birth in that ditch and so on. If he really wanted to be helpful he would’ve told her it would be a lot easier for the baby to come out of she weren’t sitting up, a problem he rarely has with his cows. I will give you a moment to picture a vertical cow standing on end like a child’s drawing rotated 90 degrees before we proceed. Anyway, Cóilí Jackie appears to be understanding about 30 percent of what is being said, which is pretty good for a non-Donegal character in a scene full of Dalys, and everyone is having a lovely time until he brings up the fact that Dee’s asked him to be Bláithín’s godfather, at which point Noreen develops a sudden case of diarrhea face and stops talking for the first time ever.