Monday, February 27, 2017

Mentoring: It's Latin for "Cleaning Caitríona's Toilets"

Season 21, Episode 50
First aired 23 February 2017

We open at the shop, where Tadhg is annoying Vince about the upcoming wine business, and accuses him of making the same sulky face Áine makes when she doesn’t get her way. The difference is that afterwards, Áine stabs you. Vince promises that Tadhg will get what’s coming to him, but Tadhg calls him and semi-innocent bystander Micheál “two cowards who’ve never done anything worthwhile.” Why do they keep going to his pub again?

At home, David is dressed to the nines, or at least the sixes, and is trying to decide between two neckties, one of which is boring and the other is ugly. Gráinne emerges from the bedroom, on her way to her first mentoring session with Caitríona, and is all abuzz about it. She’s certainly changed her tune. I predict she will change it again as soon as she finds out what Caitríona has in store for her, and the new tune will be “Fuck You” by CeeLo Green. She assumes David is dressed up because one of the hooligans is in court again, and tells him brightly that soon she too will be able to wear fancy clothes to work when the dough is rolling in. The dough will be wrapped in seaweed, though, so no one will want to touch it.

Vince is at the community center organizing a town meeting to discuss what a jerk Tadhg is. Wouldn’t it be easier to just make this a standing weekly meeting? Micheál thinks it’s pointless, but says he’ll be there, and then runs into Máire and tells her he doesn’t think Réailtín will be asking about Mikey any more. She is delighted, but he tells her he feels guilty about lying to his daughter. She, of course, is in favor of lying to teenagers because they are stupid, and she is also in favor of controlling their thoughts, because nothing good has ever come from thinking.

Friday, February 24, 2017

The 2017 Miss "Worst Person In The World" Competition

Season 21, Episode 49
First aired 21 February 2017

The episode consists mostly of Frances running around a lot, so it’s appropriate that we begin with her at Micheál’s in disbelief that he hasn’t spent his every waking moment agonizing over the mentoring nonsense with Berni, Caitríona, and Gráinne. His attitude is that Berni and Caitríona are both absolutely terrible, so it really doesn’t make any difference who they force on Gráinne. Half the time he can’t even remember which one is Berni and which one is Caitríona anyway. To make her go away, he tells her she could also just find a second person who needs mentoring, such as Sorcha and her Wagon Jam business, but Frances is reluctant given that Sorcha is the worst person in the world. She leaves, and he goes back to sorting through a box of junk, smiling wistfully at some old family photos before locating his address book, which incredibly sadly seems to have only three names in it, one of which is Mikey’s. The only way it could be more pathetic would be if the other two were pizza delivery places.

Sorcha has inflicted herself upon the café, where she plops her plate of slop down in front of Berni and pulls a long strand out of hair out of it, complaining that it’s gross and she’s not paying for it. Berni tells her to sling her hook, because the hair doesn’t belong to anyone who works there, but Sorcha protests that none of them are wearing hairnets and rolls her eyes at Bobbi-Lee, who is standing around doing nothing, and sniffs, “and her hair is all different colors.” Snerk. To make her go away, Berni agrees to only charge her for the coffee, but then she starts complaining that the milk was sour and makes a big production out of choking and barfing for the assembled diners, by which I mean one guy who looks like Captain Caveman. Sorcha laughs and leaves without paying for anything just as Frances arrives. Berni is excited to show her a business plan she’s written up for Gráinne, and you can tell it’s serious because she’s put it in a three-ring binder and put plastic over the pages. Ooh, classy. Frances’ awkwardness suggests that she had come to tell Berni she was fired, and now wants to add that she also needs to get a life, but instead she tells her that the details of the mentorship are under wraps, but that all will be revealed later today, on RTÉ News.

Tadhg has dropped by Gaudi to harass Vince and Caitríona, and after he tires of them and wanders away, Caitríona tells Vince not to worry, that Tadhg may take money from them with this wine shop, but that she’s going to get it back by getting money out of Frances. And just then, Frances arrives, because she is required to be in every scene of this episode. She and Caitríona exchange their usual passive-aggressive unpleasantries as they pass, and then Frances joins Tadhg at a table and fumes that thanks to him and his stupid wine shop, she’s stuck with Caitríona as a mentor, and now needs to find somebody else with a stupid home business to keep her busy. Perhaps David could open some kind of mobile karate van.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Semi-Recap: Guessing What's Happening Without The English Subtitles

NOTE: I've said a few times that I should try recapping an episode without benefit of the English subtitles to see how close I am to what's actually happening. Since this week's episode went out without CC, I decided to give it a try, so here's a semi-recap of the 21 February episode based solely on what's happening onscreen and my extensive knowledge of these characters and what makes them tick. (An actual recap of this episode is forthcoming.)



We open at Micheál’s, where he and Frances are arguing about who should mentor Gráinne: Berni or Caitríona. He thinks Berni, because it will give her something to do and keep her out of everybody’s business for a while. Frances, on the other hand, thinks Caitríona should get the job, because she’s certain Gráinne will run out of patience with her within the first ten minutes and strangle her with seaweed. Either way, they agree, they will be doing a service to humanity. Frances leaves, remembering that she left Áine home alone playing with her new flamethrower, and Micheál gets back to digging through a box of old stuff, because he is convinced that out-of-control teenager Réailtín has hidden cocaine somewhere in the house and he’s determined to find it.

And speaking of out-of-control teens, Terrible Sorcha has inflicted herself upon the café and is threatening to sue over a strand of hair she found in her plate of slop. She’s spent almost all the money she made on her recent slip-and-fall case at Burger King, so this will provide her some much-needed income. Unfortunately for her, Berni is broke, which causes Sorcha to choke with surprise, and also hair. She toddles off to the hospital in search of oxycodone, and when Frances arrives, Berni attacks her with a three-ring binder she’s very excited about. It seems that in the distant Faeroe or Hawaiian Islands where Berni is from, binders only have two rings, so this new development is almost more excitement than she can stand. Frances tells her she really needs to get some other hobbies, such as seeing how many hula hoops she can stuff in her mouth, but Berni tut-tuts that she can’t, because she sold her hula hoop to pay for Bobbi-Lee’s banjo lessons, which she never even went to because they were at the same time as her favorite TV show, the one where they pick the lottery numbers.

Tadhg stops by Gaudi to harass Vince and Caitríona, who are annoyed because they keep waking up and finding Colm in their bed. Well, Caitríona is annoyed, but Vince is intrigued, because, you know, you only live once, and also he saw Colm without his shirt that one time. Caitríona leaves just as Frances arrives, and they exchange their usual pleasantries, by which I mean they smile and tell each other to go frig themselves. She sits down with Tadhg to tell him that Áine is crying because her flamethrower broke when she hit O’Shea with it, but he assures her that when the wine shop opens, they’ll be able to buy Áine all the military-grade weapons her little heart desires.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

You Can't Spell "Seaweed" Without "Sewage"

Season 21, Episode 47
First aired 16 Februrary 2017

W e open today in Dee and Mack’s kitchen, where a strange smiling woman has broken into the house and OH MY GOD IT’S DEE! We didn’t recognize her with a smile on her face. She is joyfully ironing while cartoon bluebirds lift her skirt and bunnies frolic in the flowers, like in that movie, The Crying Game. Mack arrives, and they happily discuss their happiness, and how it will last forever, and then Dee gets a text from her boss Frosty Diane, who wants a meeting with her this afternoon. They look uneasy about her being called into the headmaster’s office, which I mean literally, because I am pretty sure the law office set is actually a school.

Next we have Tadhg, Frances, and Mo in an oddly slow-paced scene at the pub with extended discussions of mopping and floor tile, and a lot of long pauses between slowly delivered lines. You can practically see the director offstage making the “stretch” gesture. The important part is that Tadhg seems to be having slow second thoughts about turning the building across the street into a hostel, which may or may not have anything to do with the story Colm told him last episode about someone he knew who opened a hostel that went bankrupt and was then incinerated by a UFO, which I did not recap because it was boring. Frances wishes he’d thought of this before they bought the place, but Tadhg tells her the important thing is that his name will be over the door, no matter what they turn it into. Ooh, I hope he turns it into a salon, just to stick it to Caitríona.

There is discussion of Gráinne’s seaweed business and the mentoring thing, and how David has a meeting with Fidelma, the woman or possibly bank we heard about a few weeks ago. And now, Tadhg has popped by the shop to annoy Vince, and also theoretically to buy a bunch of wine for a funeral he’s doing. They argue for a while, because the off-license part of the shop isn’t open yet, and also because Tadhg doesn’t want to pay full price, and furthermore, because he is a dick. You know, all the usual reasons. This whole time there’s a poor woman standing at the register just trying to pay for her Pampers or whatever and leave, but Vince is completely ignoring her, yet another example of the sterling service provided by all the local businesses. Meanwhile, her poor baby is at home pooping and pooping, alone and pantsless. They argue for about ten more minutes and finally Tadhg says he’ll go buy his wine somewhere else, but Vince replies that he’ll have to go a long way to find as good a selection, and the light bulb goes on over Tadhg’s head. It’s one of those energy- and anger-efficient ones.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day, Now Stop Sexually Harassing Me

Season 21, Episode 47
First aired 14 February 2017

The calendar may say it’s Valentine’s Day, but apparently it’s Opposite Day at Dee and Mack’s, because she’s the one who’s slept on the couch and is now smiling and being helpful, whereas he’s treating her like something he stepped in and can’t get off his shoe. The world’s turned upside-down! She tries a variety of tactics to soften him, such as making him breakfast and performing the Bert & Ernie puppet show that usually makes him squeal and clap with glee, but he is quite adamant that she should go eff herself and he storms out the door.

At the café, Micheál is opening Réailtín’s mail, in this case a valentine, because that’s a surefire way to improve strained relations with one’s teen daughter. Laoise arrives and tells him he’d better stop or Réailtín will never speak to him again, which I’m not sure is the best threat against the parent of a stroppy teenager. He’s sad because he knows she’ll never tell him who sent it, because that’s the kind of thing a girl only discusses with her mother, which she can’t do now that he euthanized her 13 years ago, according to my sources.

Mack is sullenly drinking coffee at Gaudi when Berni stops by to tell him that her new oven is up and running, so she’s reopened the café! Once again speaking for us all, Mack could not possibly be less interested in this, but Berni and her enormous scarf can’t take a hint, as usual. At a nearby table, Colm tells Caitríona that his hearing has been scheduled for next month, and that he is available to help her finish her book, and gives her meaningful glances, possibly. His baseline level of sleaziness is so high that it’s hard to get a reading on what he thinks he’s doing at any given time. Vince comes over and makes nice with him, which is an input Colm’s operating system does not recognize, so he wanders away confused. The important part of this scene is that Vince has FINALLY gotten a haircut, buíochas le dia, so he once again looks like the very handsome and distinguished gentleman we have a mild and intermittent crush on rather than a crazy wild-eyed hermit who has come into town from up in the mountains wearing a Farrah Fawcett wig. Berni whispers to Mack that she can’t believe Vince is going to let Caitríona continue to work with Colm after they kissed, and asks him leadingly, “I wouldn’t be so understanding, would you?” You can hear the gears in Mack’s head grind to life as he tries to remember why this situation seems so familiar to him, as if he’s seen it on TV, or perhaps last episode when Dee made out with her co-worker.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Haulin' Oats

Season 21, Episode 46
First aired 9 February 2017

We open with Mack and Dee still arguing, which is something we never get tired of. By “never get,” I mean “are already.” This time he’s the aggrieved party, which is at least a nice change of pace. He’s still angry she stood him up last night to go out drinking with her friends, or whatever Turlough is. I might go for “parasite.” He tells her they’re going around in circles and twirls some keys around as a visual aid, because he often forgets which shape is a circle and assumes she does, too. He storms out, and we all figure this is the last of their arguing we will see this episode, ha ha.

Speaking of arguments that have been going on uninterrupted since last episode, Micheál is still quarreling with Réailtín about her trip to Galway while digging through her bag, accusing her of going into town to buy some “glad rags” to wear to the “disco.” Well, that tells us how long it’s been since Micheál went out on the town. He pulls out the thing she bought yesterday, and buíochas le Dia, it isn’t a box of tampons as we all feared, because we desperately did not want to hear Micheál attempt to have that conversation with her. It seems to be some item of clothing, but we can’t tell what it is because he’s got it all balled up. He declares it’s inappropriate and scandalous, so presumably it’s something that will show Réailtín’s ankles, like a common prostitute. She protests that “Tiffany’s mam lets her wear things like that,” which is a terrible argument, because as my best friend Tiffany says, on TV shows people named Tiffany are, and I quote, “always the drunk slut.” He exclaims that he doesn’t care what the other mothers do, and then there’s an awkward moment as he realizes what he’s said, and she exits promptly so he can’t make a big deal out of her being motherless and all.

Over at the café, we have no idea what Berni is serving, but Peatsaí laments the fact that her infamous quiche has disappeared off the menu, which you may recall I pointed out a few months ago had been “Today’s special” on the chalkboard for approximately 2 years. Surely it had turned to jerky by now. John Joe points out a newspaper advert for a €300 oven, which is clearly a quality long-term investment in the business’ future. I mean, things that are too good to be true are never too good to be true, right, Berni? Anyway, she notes that she doesn’t have €300, but that she could probably scrape it together, probably by selling Evan on eBay. She gets a text from Bobbi-Lee and hilariously notes it’s all “honey this” and “honey that.” It seems she’s gone away for a few days, and Berni sourly snots that wherever she’s gone, she’s sure not worrying about Berni or her kitchen, that’s for sure. You may recall that just last episode Bobbi-Lee organized Operation: Kitchen Rebuild for Berni, for which Berni thanked everyone except Bobbi-Lee, and now she’s saying this shit. Nice. Now I’m even more hopeful the €300 oven blows up. Mack comes in and they all get in a fight about nothing, and by the look on John Joe’s face he knows this involves Dee somehow, because all arguments lead to the Daly sisters, and since Katy is still in the hospital, it’s all fallen on Dee.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Day Mo Yelled At Everyone

Season 21, Episode 45
First aired 7 February 2017

I would like to know where they got the clips of Caitríona being smiley and happy that are in the title sequence. Can anyone remember the last time Caitríona was happy about anything? She must be smiling and laughing at someone who is falling down or being run over by a car just off-camera.

Anyway, we open with Mo out on a casual morning stroll that’s brought her to Séamus’ poitín shed. You may recall that last episode the shed was miles and miles from civilization through the deserted Arctic tundra, but this episode it’s a leisurely stroll from wherever Mo started. It’s like Suzanne’s Holiday House of Horrors last season, which sometimes was at the end of the block and other times was in Albania. Anyway, Mo runs into David, who nervously explains to her that he doesn’t know why he’s there or what he’s doing, but it’s not suspicious, that’s for sure. She wants to go into the shed to reminisce about old times, but he blocks the doorway and waves her away, all, “You might not want to go in there right now,” as if it’s a smelly toilet that needs to air out. Of course Mo immediately realizes he’s up to something, because she’s spent her entire adult life around Mack and Peatsaí and therefore knows ridiculous nonsense when she hears it.

At Teen Strop Headquarters, Réailtín is applying makeup with a trowel, as tween girls and drag queens do, and panics when she hears her dad approaching. He immediately asks her what’s on her mouth, and because he thinks she is 6, assumes she’s been eating sweets. By the look of her she’s been rubbing them on her cheeks and eyelids as well. She’s got the radio on and he tells her to turn down that racket, because he is 150 years old, but she protests that there’s about to be an interview with Westzone One, who we assume are the Two Ali G’s we saw on the poster in the pub last week. I am pretty sure they are fictitious, like that Francis Brennan guy from last season, but because I am also 150 years old, I am not positive. Anyway, it seems they’re having a concert in Dublin soon and she really wants to go, but he hilariously snots that they’re living in Ros na Rún like she wanted, and isn’t that enough excitement for her? In his defense, they do have a café without a kitchen and a polytunnel, so I don’t know what else a teenaged girl could want. INGRATE. She whines that Frances and Tadhg are letting Áine go, and Áine is just a child somewhere between ages 4 and 10, but he reminds her that Frances and Tadhg are awful parents and terrible human beings, and that no daughter of his is going to “a place like that.” Yes, how dare a tween girl want to go to a show for tween girls! Next I suppose she’ll be wanting to have her period just to annoy him.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Run, Pádraig, Run!

Season 21, Episode 44
First aired 2 February 2017

Team Ros na Rún clearly went on a field trip to the countryside today, because several of the characters find themselves in a remote land of windmills and livestock this episode. The first is Bobbi-Lee, whose extensive training as a cowgirl does not seem to have prepared her for this, as she is limping along a dirt road in the middle of nowhere looking pitiful. She tries to flag down a passing car, which ignores her and zooms past, so she waves her arms and curses at it angrily as it speeds away. The harsh Siberian or possibly Martian tundra may have broken her high heel, but it’s good to know it hasn’t broken her spirit.

Shady builder Kit and his sketchy crew of workers are just finishing up ripping out the old kitchen at the café, and he tells Berni they’re heading off to pick up the new equipment and will be back with it soon. She’s thrilled that she’ll never have to see the old kitchen again, which is not entirely correct, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Máire pops in to faint at the noise and pray to God to save them all from the nightmare of a kitchen renovation, which she is pretty sure is one of the signs of the Apocalypse. She’s getting the Bible confused with the IKEA catalog again. She doesn’t think there was anything wrong with the old kitchen, of course, and worries that Berni is biting off more than she can chew financially, but Berni assures her there’s nothing to worry about by using the word “iontach!” about 11 times in this scene.

And speaking of people who find everything “iontach!”, over at the shop Gráinne gives David the good news that they can stay at Micheál’s empty sex house again tonight. David is thrilled, and takes this opportunity to complain some more about how irritating Pádraig is. Well, you should’ve thought of that before you married him, David. Just then offensive Pádraig himself arrives, and David decides that he may be a complete nuisance, but he is still useful, and goes over to strong-arm him into helping him with the poitín later. I’m pretty sure there’s a commandment about “Thou shalt not bitch about thy homosexual friend behind his back all day and then asketh him to do you a favor” that Father Charitable is forgetting here.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

The Grammy For Breast New Artist Goes To....

Season 21, Episode 43
First aired 31 January 2017

We open today’s tale of woe and boobies with Bobbi-Lee squealing as Mack delivers her brand new CDs. We forget that, along with café mogul, hackney driver, and Japanese tour guide, Mack is also a FedEx deliveryman, and possibly one of Little Mix. Before she even opens the box, Bobbi-Lee asks a passing Caitríona if she’d like to buy a CD, and of course Caitríona is a rude snot, as are all world-famous authors and soap recappers. It seems Mack is also not interested in listening to Bobbi-Lee’s album, so she turns to the other person who is standing around in this scene, which unfortunately for her is Berni, who begs off because she’s on her way to the café to have the new kitchen installed. Bobbi-Lee judges this an acceptable excuse because, as she puts it, the old kitchen is “shabby” and really needs replacing, like, yesterday. As usual, Berni is offended, but at least this time she at least kind of has a reason to be. She can’t stay to shout “Gabh mo leithscéal?!?” repeatedly, though, because she’s got to dash off to the café to make sure the builders don’t mistakenly remove the salmonella and E. coli colonies she’s spent years cultivating.

At the pub, proud grandparents John Joe and Noreen are showing baby photos to proud possible-grandparents Tadhg and Frances, and everyone ignores Caitríona when she arrives and sits down at the bar next to them, which is probably unintentional, but funny anyway. Bobbi-Lee arrives for her shift, which of course began some time ago, but when Tadhg scolds her she tells him she won’t need his poxy job much longer, because her new CD has arrived and has already entered the Top 40 at number 1,850. She hands him a copy, and he and Frances start smirking as soon as they see the cover, which we assume is because the photo shows Bobbi-Lee with her breast hanging out or something, and we’re only somewhat wrong. Tadhg begins a mock auction, starting the bidding at 5 cents (heh), but she points out that the price is actually €20 (!). Steady on, there, honey. Tadhg passes the CD around to see if any of the assembled barflies see anything unusual about it, but none of them—including Caitríona, Ireland’s self-declared version of James Joyce—notice that it says in big letters at the top “BOOBI-LEE.” Everyone laughs when he points it out, except Boobi-Lee herself, who realizes she’s made a real tit of herself.

Down the road, Laoise is trying to sneak Colm out of the B&B after clearly having an afternoon delight. He tries to kiss her, but she waves him off and hisses that Sally might see. Don’t worry, Laoise, Sally is too busy upstairs in head-to-to leather hitting a ball-gagged and harnessed Peatsaí with a whip. You can thank me for putting that image in your head later.