Thursday, April 28, 2016

It's My Party, and I'll Tadhg If I Want To

Season 20, Episode 70
First aired 26 April 2016

The preparations for Áine’s party are in full swing, and Tadhg is busily deciding where the bacon and cabbage will be placed, since those are the favorite party foods of every child. Instead of cake, there will be whole onions dipped in gin. Áine is setting place cards and gives Réailtín the spot of honor, causing Frances to worry whether Micheál will let her come or not. Tadhg says there will be so many kids Áine won’t even notice whether or not Réailtín is there, and we can tell Tadhg has never had a friend, because THAT IS NOT HOW BEST FRIENDS WORK.

Sulky Suzanne shows up at the pub in a slow-motion zombie fugue, which actually makes her more bearable than usual. She’s here to ask Bobbi-Lee for a favor, which is understandable, because she and Andy have built up so much good karma with her lately that Bobbi-Lee really owes them one. Do you listen to the nonsense you say, Suzanne?

Tadhg has stopped by Micheál’s work to try to make peace, or what passes for peace in Tadhg’s world, for the children’s sakes. He tells Micheál that Áine’s having a party today and they’d hate for Réailtín to be excluded, and Micheál says knowingly that he’s sure she won’t be, which is our first clue that Áine’s A-list gala is not going to make the cover of Hello! magazine.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Absolutely Crabulous

Season 20, Episode 69
First aired 21 April 2016

We open this episode in which everyone is in a foul mood with Áine, the world’s greatest football player artist, who is cheating death by scribbling all over her brand-new sunny pink backpack with a permanent marker. Careful, Áine—if Annette discovers this is a thing, she’ll make herself captain of it. Tadhg catches her in the act and complains that now her stupid mother will have to go buy her another stupid bag because Áine is stupid, and we are reminded that Tadhg can be awfully amusing when he’s not committing one or more felonies. Áine agrees that her backpack is stupid, and says she scribbled on it because she doesn’t like it anymore, so Tadhg hits her with a “Wait till your mother gets home,” and we remember that Áine has two terrifying parents, so it’s no wonder she’s taken to punching her way through life.

Over at the shop, David is buying party balloons in this show’s favorite color, Hideous Puce, when Bobbi-Lee elbows him out of the way to buy some aspirin. Another morning, another hangover. He reminds her that she better get over it ASAP, because she promised she’d help him decorate Gaudi for his birthday party tonight. Fortunately for David, decorating for your own birthday party is not sad AT ALL. Bobbi-Lee has, of course, forgotten all about it because it’s not about her, which is one of the many things we love about her. She’s noncommittal about the whole affair until he makes sad puppy eyes, and finally she promises she’ll come just so he’ll stop making that face.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Desperately Seeking Cuán's Hat

Season 20, Episode 68
First aired 19 April 2016

We open in Mack and Mo’s sitting room, which has become perma-lodger Katy’s new bedroom. Normally mild-mannered Mo has had it up to here with Katy, so she’s doing some unnecessary morning blender-ing. Mack charges in and tells her to knock it off or else she’ll wake Katy, but of course waking Katy is the point, so Mo revs the blender some more and complains that Katy’s been there for five days, and should be awake at 10 o’clock. Katy, of course, sleeps through all this, because all her recent tiresome nonsense with Jason has been positively exhausting. One wonders why Katy’s there in the first place until Mack points out that letting Katy use their place as her own personal doss house is earning him tons of brownie points with Dee. Mo gives approximately zero shits about this, so Mack volunteers that he’ll talk to Katy, but not today. He then adds, “Or I could stay home and not bother with the deeds if you like,” which has nothing to do with anything and makes me wonder if Mack knows what the word “or” means.

In the café, Bobbi-Lee brightly says hello to a passing David, but he gives her an icy cold shoulder. Berni and Evan are looking at brochures for lodgings at university or clown school or wherever Evan is apparently going sometime soon. He leaves, and Berni muses that she worries about him, and Bobbi-Lee says she felt the same way about Lee. Berni helpfully purses her lips and bugs out her eyes in “Fool, I don’t think so” fashion, which leads to an argument between the two of them about Bobbi-Lee’s parenting skills. It seems Bobbi-Lee would give herself about a 7 as a mother, which Berni would agree with, if the scale were from 1 to 100. Bobbi-Lee, of course, is already sensitive about this subject since Andy was calling her a bad mother through the haze of his African Hydraulic Fever just last episode.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Two Dummies Walk into a Bar...

Season 20, Episode 67
First aired 14 April 2016

Our episode begins with the same creepy minor-key piano banging last episode ended with, and the first minute feels a bit like we’ve wandered into an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. Suzanne, who is with Andy at their holiday home, keeps trying to call Bobbi-Lee, who refuses to answer the phone because she’s busy looking out the window trying to figure out where that music is coming from. A tricksy radio-DJ cut leads us over to Jason’s house, where he’s snooping through Katy’s purse (?) and finds a letter from the fertility clinic telling her she has an appointment today at noon. Is that how people in Ireland are informed about their medical appointments? They get a letter? Anyway, Katy appears about this time asking him if he wants her to pick up Cuán from school, so he crams the letter back into her purse and acts innocent, and then like a cranky baby, so she leaves, clearly wondering what bug flew up his butt.

At the café, Micheál is blathering on to Berni and Evan about Tadhg and Annette and the ongoing football saga. Because children’s sports are not interesting even if it’s your own children playing, Berni is yawning and rolling her eyes and Evan is semi-comatose. Micheál eventually notices she’s not paying attention and calls her on it, and she’s like, “Yes, yes, it’s terrible that Réailtín fell in a volcano or whatever. Well, slán!” He leaves in a huff, and Berni sadly tells Evan she thought Micheál would’ve remembered that today is the one-year anniversary of Cathal’s death. They exchange greeting-card platitudes, which David overhears, and he puts on his scheme-concocting face and then brightly tells them he’s been looking for them.

Suzanne has shown up at Bobbi-Lee’s, so Bobbi-Lee immediately lays into her, but she stands her ground and says she’s not leaving till she’s said her piece. Throw a drink in her face, Bobbi-Lee!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Never Go with a Hippie to a Second Location

Season 20, Episode 66
First aired 12 April 2016

We open at the pub, where Frances makes Tadhg even more apoplectic than usual by breaking the news to him that Terrible Annette has just been named manager of the kids’ football team. He makes vague threats against Annette of the sort he always makes, all hell this and hag that, and Frances asks, as she is required to do as his personal social worker, if he can just drop it. Tadhg claims that he will, which none of us believe, but he says that he’s going to the game to support his daughter whether Frances likes it or not, and if Annette somehow gets put in a headlock or pushed off a cliff, it will be pure coincidence.

Now we begin the 1990s computer hijinks portion of our show, which involves John Joe spilling tea all over Noreen’s laptop, on which is stored the ONLY COPY of her term paper. There is also a “tea + laptop = schoolwork catastrophe” story going on over on Pobol y Cym this week, for those of you who are keeping score. Anyway, Noreen is somewhere else and needs John Joe to email her the ONLY COPY of her paper, which means there is going to be a lot of scrambling. Mack drops by about this time, but unsurprisingly he is no help when it comes to repairing the picture typewriter, leaving poor John Joe with no choice but to envision his imminent death at Noreen’s hands.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Offend It Like Beckham

Season 20, Episode 65
First aired 7 April 2016

We open in Coach Tadhg’s kitchen, where he’s kicking a football around and looking for Deep Heat, because it’ll come in handy if any of the kids get hurt. Right, the miraculous cut-healing and bone-knitting powers of Deep Heat For Kids. Frances asks him if he’s going a bit OTT, but Tadhg tells her he doesn’t have time to discuss this right now because he’s busy going OTT. He explains that he’s on his way to pick Áine up from school and run some drills with her, because as you may recall, she stinks. Frances informs him that he’s not allowed to go take Áine out of school two hours early. Well, we established last week that she’s not learning anything at that school, so why not? She reminds Tadhg that this is just supposed to be a bit of fun, but Tadhg, like Berni, doesn’t know the meaning of the word.

At the B&B, Vanessa is saying her sad goodbyes, although nobody seems particularly sad about it. I imagine there’s been a lot of encouraging her to leave extra early in case there are queues at the airport, or they run out of those giant Toblerones at duty free. As she hugs Fia goodbye, Vanessa promises she won’t say a word to Ganja about the baby when she gets back to Oz, and we see cascading face-making from Fia, then Evan, and then Peadar.

At Gaudi, Pádraig is protesting because Jason has asked him to look after Cuán while he’s out running errands. Awful Suzanne is in the foreground being awful, because as we established last episode, she’s annexed Gaudi as her office, and her interest seems overly piqued by this discussion of Cuán. Pádraig disappears into the kitchen, and when he comes back, he catches Suzanne creepily taking photos of Cuán in his stroller. He asks her what she’s doing, and then she becomes overly nonchalant and explanatory in the way guilty people do, and explains that she’s, uhh, waiting for a bus to, erm, the hospital where she does charity work with, errr, orphan nuns. She explains that she’s an old friend of Bobbi-Lee’s and that she’s heard so much about her grandson that she just had to see him for herself, but Pádraig knows shenanigans when he sees them and glares at her.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Keep Your Hands Off My Katy

Season 20, Episode 64
First aired 5 April 2016

We open at Gaudi, where John Joe has come to complain to Noreen about how inappropriate Jason is for Katy. Hopefully you find this topic interesting, because we’re in for a lot of it. He says Jason is an old man who’s saddled with a child, which is the last thing Katy needs, but Noreen thinks he’s a nice guy with a job and a house and that they should count their blessings and butt out. Yeah, she could hook up with Fia’s boyfriend Danny, a.k.a. Ganja, who has neck tattoos and a chainsaw bolted to his forehead and probably hepatitis A through E. Or Fia’s other boyfriend Niall, a.k.a. Fia’s mother’s boyfriend.

And on that front, over at the B&B, Máire is leading a baking class, and Fia’s face may or may not be covered in flour. It’s hard to tell. Vanessa appears and announces she’s postponed her flight back to Australia by a couple more days to give Fia time to change her mind, but Fia wants to stay in Ros na Rún because Máire and Peadar are happy to have her, RIGHT, MÁIRE AND PEADAR? Since they’re standing right there, they agree, Peadar much more enthusiastically than Máire, but Vanessa snaps at them that they shouldn’t be encouraging Fia’s idiocy by making her feel welcome. Yeah, they should toss her out in the street, and her baby after her! Máire says Fia is a young woman now and should be allowed to make her own decisions, but Vanessa accuses her of just saying that because she’d miss Fia if she left. If only we could cut to a montage now of all the times Máire has complained about having Fia around, particularly my all-time favorite, the time she made Fia go away because she was annoying. Vanessa thinks this all has something to do with Niall, but she can’t figure out what, and at the mention of his name, Fia storms out of the kitchen, forgetting all about her half-finished flour ball, which presumably will appear in a basket on someone’s doorstep tonight with a note asking them to take care of it.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Fia-patra, Queen of the Niall

Season 20, Episode 63
First aired 31 March 2016

We start out at the B&B, where Evan, who seems to be a permanent fixture there now, asks Fia if she’s told her mother Niall is the baby’s father yet. Well, we haven’t heard screaming or explosions, so my guess is no. Vanessa appears in the kitchen and asks Fia if the baby likes Vegemite, and Fia says she doesn’t know because you can’t really get it in Ros na Rún, so Vanessa replies that there’s Vegemite as far as the eye can see back in Australia. Suddenly this has turned into a Men At Work song.

At Gaudi, Mo, Micheál, and Pádraig are gossiping about Fia and the baby, so I guess the latest issue of Máire’s newsletter must have come out. The summer swimsuit issue is my favorite! At the bar, Katy is disappointed that they didn’t win last night’s Eurovision Restaurant Contest (stupid Latvians!), but Jason’s just happy that business is good, and that the two of them are cute together. So cute, in fact, that he takes her hand, but then Pádraig shows up to share the gossip, so they let go of each other like hot potatoes. Pádraig, who in addition to the gay empathy gene also has the gay gossip gene, is thrilled by the scandal. Jason is also excited, so perhaps he’s got it as well, only as a recessive trait. Katy, who is suddenly wise beyond her years and a little boring, can only think about how hard this has been on Máire and Peadar, to which Pádraig replies, “I’d say Máire hasn’t put her rosary beads down since the news broke!” Snerk. He also notes that business will be booming today because gossip brings out the punters, and I guess this is one of those cases where I as a lifelong city-dweller don’t understand that there’s a correlation between some teenager getting knocked up and a spike in small-town restaurant business.