Saturday, 9 October 2010

BBC's Whites skewers Heston and Ideal ends series 6

This weeks episode of  BBC2 programme Whites saw Alan Davies dive deeper into the tortured soul of Marco Pierre, I mean Roland White. The program opens with Caroline (Kathrine Parkinson) taking the mick out of chef for a dull predictable menu, but only after she draws Rolland out by pretending to change her bra. It doesn't help that Bib has already suggested spiny crab amongst other more adventurous fare. "Oh look, here comes Rolandosuarus with his boring food" .  Bib is entranced by thinly disguised celeb chef du jour Shay Marshal. As the story advances we find out Shay has to make chocolate bullets that really fire but don't harm anybody. So it's Heston Blumenthal and the frankenfood jokes keep coming from Jellied Eels the Shay way to something with gold leaf on it. Bib's desire to punch up the menu would go unfulfilled except Shay Marshall decides to drop in for a bite and sleep the night. Armed with sudden fear of being upstaged, Rolland allows Bib a shot at that night's service.  All goes well until Rolland takes charge of the celebrity chef's personal crab salad. You can see the disaster train coming from a mile away, but when it comes, it's still worth the wait. They say revenge is a plate best served cold, unless of course your victim was going to apologize all along. 

Some of the highlights include a brilliant exercise in futility between Bib and the thick as a brick waitress Kiki. They discuss at length the importance of Michelin stars, in what could only be described as G-d speaking to an ant about existential art. How this woman keeps her job is a mystery, perhaps one day we'll find she's Rolland's cousin and he was guilted into giving her a job by his Mam. Great  line of the night belongs to Rolland when he reacts to Bib's menu suggestion when he says "It's a menu? I thought it was a wizard's shopping list". Scoose gets a few shots in , but remains only a slightly annoying buzzing thing to be squashed.

If until now we had only seen Roland as a tired chef who might have got a bit lazy, tonight we saw the uglier side of him.  He is in fact deeply angry and resentful at Shay for something despicable he'd done years earlier. A normal person would not allow this to so completely warp one, but Roland forgets decorum, common sense, his own well being and the need to respect his own staff. The episodes finale is both well done and dark. Nice to see Matt King explore the darker aspects of the chef personality. Night Court and Fawlty Towers both did that with great effect. WARNING: There is vomiting, or maybe I'm lying.

Next week Scoose gets his chance at running the kitchen. Keep in mind sods law, the bigger the bell end the harder the fall, as we witnessed on Masterchef with super ego Kevin. BTW can anybody tell me who plays the excellent music at the start of Whites?

I must congratulate the scheduling boffins at the BBC for placing Whites right after Masterchef The Professionals. It makes sense, but that hasn't stopped loads of TV people from doing the exact opposite,  has it? Having Masterchef as the lead in is inspired genius, I only hope once Masterchef finishes, the BBC find a suitable replacement cookery programme to place before it. I strongly recommend you watch Behind the scenes with Matt King and of course there's more like this on the behind the scenes page at the BBC.

Sadly, Ideal on BBC3 had it's last episode for Series 6.  In it we see the rescue of Mos's father from the Low Clan. Filled with the usual insanity and surrealism, the cast deliver a finale worthy of Ashes to Ashes or Doctor Who. Hyperbole you say?   Hardly; after the successful rescue and arrests that followed, we are told that Mos will be alone after all next series. Yes I said next series. You don't think after that ending they'll leave us hanging? Johnny Vegas and company have to come back! We want to see what happens to Plastic Face, Cartoon Head's son, we want to know if Tilly the asexual lesbian will one day become bi-curious, we want to know if Mrs. low ever paid for her hedge trimmer.

Best line of the evening was Mos's reaction to the ransom drop instructions... "Chuck 30 grand in the bin? I'm not the Arts Council.", but only by a nose. The exchange between Mrs Low and her son about how and where to do the drop is something straight out of Python. The fancy dress party v the posh party at Tillies was every dull pretentious soiree I ever attended, contrasted by the most expensive collection of stand out costumes in one room not attended by Elton John. The maddest fancy dress  bit was the attempt to win back Psycho Paul at gun point, I can't remember the line but it left me stunned and amused. Catch up the series before it goes in the vault and you have to wait to buy the box set in a year like.

Tiny little nugget of news that floored me and left us wondering if any of my heroes or heroines are for real. The actress who plays Betty Driver off Coronation Street, Betty of Betty's Hot Pot.....doesn't even cook, and worse........She's a vegetarian. When will it end? Next they'll tell me Elton John is straight and lip synchs....

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