Posts Tagged ‘Green Wing’


Any Gary and Miranda kiss is heartwarming. image credit BBC

image credit BBC

The internet tells me it’s National Kissing Day. This senselessly manufactured day of swapping spit prompted me to devise a list of cheer worthy TV smooches. You know, the kind that take forever to actually happen and warm your heart when you finally witness them. For example, any kiss that ever transpired between the constantly on again off again Miranda and Gary.


So without further ado, here are a few more telly kisses you might remember fondly…

Caroline and Mac proposal kiss – Green Wing



2.  Mark and Sophie first kiss at a wake – Peep Show



3. Tim and Dawn Christmas party soulmate kiss – The Office



4. The Doctor and River Song first and last kiss – Doctor Who


Which kiss will you try out on your loved one today?

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Now that Valentine’s Day has passed, I can safely share the following list without facing accusations of being a cynical anti-romantic.  I’m a sucker for a love story as much as the next gal, but admit it, there are times when you see a couple and wonder “how did that hookup ever happen?”  Below are my nominations for the Bad Romance Telly Awards.

1. Joanna Clore and Dr. Alan Stratham – Green Wing

Hospital human resources director, Joanna Clore and consultant radiologist, Dr. Alan Statham have a love/hate relationship.  Dr. Statham worships Joanna and she, in turn, despises him.  Joanna scorns Alan’s devotion and yet her scathing insults fall on deaf ears.  The glue that holds this pair together is Joanna’s mortal fear of growing old and being alone combined with some very disturbing sexual tendencies.


2. Gavin and Stacey Shipman– Gavin and Stacey

gavin and stacey couples

I know this will be considered quite a controversial nomination. In fact, this couple anchors one of my all time favorite sitcoms. But truth be told, I find Gavin and Stacey to be the most boring relationship in the entire series – Gavin and Smithy’s lifelong friendship is more enthralling.  Stacey is obviously too immature to be married – unable to admit her five previous engagements to Gavin, idle and homesick after the wedding and entirely focused on having a baby when so many other issues in their lives should be addressed first. And Gavin, God help him, gives in to every one of her demands.

3. Richard and Hyacinth Bucket – Keeping Up Appearances

Keeping Up Appearances

Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced Bouquet), an aspiring social climber and her hen-pecked husband, Richard, are an extreme example of a far too common unhealthy relationship scenario.  Sure, the severity of Hyacinth’s bossiness and snobbishness exists for comic effect, but after seeing reruns of this sitcom for over 20 years on PBS, you have to shake your head and wonder why Richard doesn’t do this more often.


4. Basil and Sybil Fawlty – Fawlty Towers

After 15 years together you’d expect the honeymoon phase of a marriage to be over, but Basil and Sybil Fawlty take matrimonial unrest to another level.  Sybil keeps her husband in line through verbal intimidation. Basil attempts to give as good as he gets usually through passive-aggressive pet names for his wife such as “my little nest of vipers” and “you rancorous, coiffured old sow”.  And even when he’s being a dutiful and thoughtful spouse, there’s an element of revenge to Basil’s plans…


5. Maddy Magellan and Jonathan Creek – Jonathan Creek

Maddy is a nosy, crafty investigative journalist, intent on getting to truth, often by unscrupulous means.  Jonathan Creek is a shy, brilliant, quirky young man who lives in a windmill and designs illusions for a stage magician.  When these two meet up by chance at a magic show, Maddy sees her opportunity to coerce Jonathan into helping her solve a “locked room” style mystery.  Apparently something sparks between the two and a long drawn out dance to relationship consummation ensues…


The thing is I didn’t believe it.  They seemed more like an argumentative older sister and younger brother.  To be blunt, every time I saw them move haltingly towards a more intimate relationship, my stomach turned a little.  Just stick with the clever crime solving.  There’s no need for any of “the sex” as Miranda Hart would say.

So there you have it.  Which couple wins the award for the worst romance? Cast your ballot in the comments section below or on my Facebook page.  Your write-in candidates are welcome as well.   The winner will receive a lovely trophy and a course of counselling sessions appropriate to their individual relationship dysfunction.

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Spoilers, Sweetie. This isn’t just a cutesy intro line. This post is, in fact, full of spoilers. You have been warned!

Also please don’t complain that I’ve neglected to mention the Time Lord here because plot twists and cliffhangers are woven into the fabric of Doctor Who.  It would require composing a very thick tome in order to discuss all of them and frankly it makes my brain hurt to try to narrow it down to just a few.  I’ll only say River Song and move on to the post proper…

So recently on The Hour, Freddie Lyon finally gets his personal life sorted then proceeds to rush headlong into a insanely dangerous situation, inserting himself between a story source and some ruthless thugs.  At the end of series 2, things look very bleak indeed…

Is Freddie Lyon dead

Could Freddie actually be dead? I prefer to think he’s clinging to life so that he may once again set eyes on his beloved Moneypenny.  This classic example of a cliffhanger leaves our protagonist in a precarious situation in hopes that we will be compelled to return to discover the resolution.  But here’s the thing – The Hour has yet to be recommissioned for a third series so, as they say in the Tootsie pop commercials, “The world may never know,” and in our minds Freddie Lyon may be forever on the precipice between life and death.

This got me thinking about other telly shockers I’ve enjoyed:

Sherlock – The Reichenbach Fall

Reichenbach Fall

Though the end of this episode reveals Sherlock alive and well at his own graveside, we’re left in the dark about how he actually survived.  We all saw him jump off a multi-story building, smash his skull, and be interred, or did we?

sherlock jump

While countless others make YouTube videos, blog their postulations, and debate on fan forums, I prefer to actually wait and see how Mr. Holmes cheated death.  No matter how long it takes to reunite the insanely in-demand duo of Cumberbatch and Freeman, I have faith that the Moff will eventually reveal all.


Life on Mars – Series Finale

First off for those who still don’t know the premise of this show: ” My name is Sam Tyler. I had an accident, and I woke up in 1973. Am I mad, in a coma, or back in time? Whatever’s happened, it’s like I’ve landed on a different planet. Now, maybe if I can work out the reason, I can get home.”

Sam Tyler

This one also features a leap of faith (pardon the pun). After trying so hard to wake up from his coma and get the hell out of 1973, DI Sam Tyler realizes he’d really rather be back in the “dream state” where he felt far more alive than he ever did in real life. He too takes a tumble off a rather tall building, rejoins the colleagues he had abandoned in very dire circumstances and saves the day. It appears that it’s all happily ever after for Sam, but I’m told to truly understand the big picture you must watch the finale of the Life on Mars sequel, Ashes to Ashes for all to be revealed.  A cliffhanger within a plot twist…so clever.


Misfits: Series 1 finale

As a result of being caught up in a freak electrical storm, a group of young probationers find that each of them has gained a supernatural power of some sort – invisibility, the ability to turn back time, hearing other people’s thoughts, super sexiness (that one’s rubbish, by the way).  Everyone has a power, except Nathan, unless of course being a cocky, mouthy bastard can be considered an extraordinary skill.  Throughout the whole first series, Nathan waits for his power to take effect or be revealed and it isn’t until, wait for it…HE FALLS OFF A TALL BUILDING and is impaled on some fencing.  He’s buried and then this twisty, Jack Harknessy thing happens (You knew I wouldn’t drop the Whovian references altogether.  I just wanted to take some of the pressure off):


Comedy programs can leave us hanging as well and usually center around a long-established “will they, won’t they” romantic scenario.

Twenty Twelve: Series finale

Sally and Ian

Ian Fletcher, the head of the Olympic Deliverance Committee would be nowhere without his ultra-efficient and sweetly loyal PA, Sally Owen.  She sees the extreme stress that Ian’s job and unraveling marriage is inflicting on him and undertakes to look after his health and welfare in her wonderfully quiet way.  As Ian’s life gets even more chaotic, Ian and Sally fall out and she leaves her job only to return when he is abandoned by his new PA at a very inconvenient time. In the end, as the deliverance committee hands over its work and disbands, Ian prepares to leave for a trip to Italy, planned by Sally naturally.  Ian calls Sally into his office to talk about something important and well, that’s it.  We’re left in the dark.  Does he invite Sally to accompany him?  Is he about to thank her for her dedication and send her on her way?  This is the cruelest type of cliffhanger of all; one that is purposely ambiguous and never to be resolved.  Disappointing but somehow appropriate for this couple and this show.


This post wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the most authentic cliffhanger I know of:

Green Wing: Series 1 Finale

Greenwing cliffhanger

Dr. Guy Secretan, distraught over learning the identity of his birth mother just a little too late, hijacks an ambulance containing his injured and newly discovered half-brother, Martin Dear.  Guy’s friend, Dr. Macartney, jumps on board in order to calm him down. Guy drives to the coast of Wales and just about plunges them over a cliff where they dangle while discussing which member of the Three Musketeers each one is most like.  Leave it up to Green Wing to take a cliffhanger to such a literally absurd conclusion.

Now if we only knew who Clara Oswin Oswald actually is;)

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Green Wing is a television show that is difficult to pin down.  It’s primarily a comedy but was produced in hour-long episodes more like a drama series.  While there are ongoing storylines, the show is composed mostly of sketch-like scenes that feel as if they stand alone.  The focus of the show revolves around the soap operatic relationships between various hospital staff members such as the bittersweet love story of Caroline and Mac. And yet indescribable things like this happen:


After watching all eighteen episodes of this absurd, camera-tricky, melodramatic, sweet, edgy ball of contradiction called Green Wing, I believe I’ve gleaned some lessons about medical matters in the UK and the full extent of adult content programming.

First off, they call their doctors different things than we do in the States.

Consultants are senior specialist physicians who’ve completed all necessary training in their field. (In America, we tend to call them attending physicians.) For example, Doctor Alan Statham is a radiology consultant.

Dr. Statham is rubbish at teaching, social interaction and physical coordination. We can only assume his ability to read X-rays is top-notch.

Registrars are doctors who are undergoing advanced training towards becoming a specialist.  Caroline Todd is a surgical registrar.

Starting on the left: Dr. Todd (registrar) is joined by Guy Secretan (anesthesiologist) and Dr. Macartney (surgeon) for on-the-job experience and, more likely, shenanigans in the surgery theatre.

Finally we have House Officers (similar to interns in the US).  Boyce is under the direct supervision of consultants and other senior staff and primarily lives to torment Dr. Statham.


Martin Dear, on the other hand, never seems to be able to pass the exams that will allow him to progress in his medical career:


Don’t let all the medical titles and jargon above fool you.  The second thing I’ve learned from Green Wing is that medical procedures rarely take place in hospitals.  In the UK, hospitals are venues for practical jokes, deviant sexual behaviors and parking space feuds.  They are receptacles where strange people gather and pretend to work, but spend a majority of their time in the canteen or making up games like the Spoon of Destiny. Patients are almost non-existent and when they are present, they’re basically scattered about like furniture or serve as props for the doctors’ amusement.


In addition, I have gathered that Human Resources departments are surprisingly short of humans.  Meet Green Wing‘s prickly, eccentric staff liaison officer, Sue White and her nemesis, Head of Human Resources, Joanna Clore.

Neither woman is particularly tolerant, let alone compassionate.  Sue is dangerously obsessed with a staff doctor and basically treats everyone else who comes to her for assistance with disdain.  Joanna hasn’t a kind word for anyone, particularly her son, and is deathly afraid of getting old.  Not really anyone you’d want in charge of your workday or private concerns.  Given these examples, one can only extrapolate that all hospital support personnel are nasty pieces of work.

My final observation is that what is allowed on UK television during the watershed period (9 pm and after) is basically…anything.  I’ve watched a lot of British programs so I like to think I’m immune to anything they throw at me.  But on Green Wing – maybe because the tone is so all over the place – I sometimes found myself surprised. Most swear words aside, the characteristic inappropriateness of Guy’s sexual comments actually offended me, as was intended.  Any nudity, of course, was always for comic effect, but Sue White’s painting of Martin’s frontal nudity was a bit of a graphic shock.  In fact, any artistic medium Sue took an interest in tended towards a phallic representation.

However, there is always something to pull the show back from the edge of total depravity.  Notice how skillfully the crassness of Guy is juxtaposed against the sweet quirkiness of Mac.


If you wish to venture into the mind-altering world that is Green Wing, the entire series is available on Hulu and Netflix.  If you wish to check into a hospital across the pond, just make sure it’s more like the hospital from something like Casuality and less like East Hampton Hospital, home of Green Wing… unless of course it’s true that laughter is the best medicine.

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Never one to give up on a proposed series of posts, I am returning to the topic of lady killers on the telly.  In this installment, I will concentrate on those men with at least two women who simultaneously fancy them. Presumably a problem all men would like to have; however, these situations usually culminate in the women eventually forcing a decision because the man can’t seem to decide who to choose – although it’s always painfully clear to the audience which woman is “the one.”

Now I know my readers, all twelve of them, are very smart cookies, so let’s see if you can detect a pattern emerging from the following list of confused Casanovas:

1. Iain McCallum – Dr. McCallum is a motorcyle-riding (i.e. rebellious), forensic pathologist on staff at an East End hospital in London.  It has been some time since I watched this show so I can’t ensure all the details are correct.  Despite my fuzziness, I seem to remember that in the first series, McCallum has a live-in girlfriend named Joanna.  They have a history, an on-again, off-again relationship with not much trust between the couple, but they’re trying to make it work.  In the meantime, Iain works with this feisty yet likeable woman, Dr. Angela Maloney – not a slut or temptress by any means.  But it’s obvious she has more chemistry and more in common with our leading man than his dead-end girlfriend.  For the whole first series nothing happens between them but there’s something below the surface, something that makes me, as a woman at least, root for Dr. Angela.

SPOILER ALERT: By the end of the second and final series, the two pathologists finally admit their feelings for one another and take off for America, leaving the morgue in the lurch and this guy from Inspector Lynley to unimpressively fill McCallum’s surgical clogs.

Even though it was an obvious attempt at a spinoff, this oddball pilot episode was still part of the McCallum series.

Here’s the one McCallum clip I could find.  It’s a bit longer than I usually post and it takes place after Joanna is no longer in the frame, but it does put the doctor’s charismatic skills on display:

2. Dr. Macartney (from Green Wing)  – Mac, as he is known around East Hampton Hospital, is admired by everyone. He is a skilled surgeon whilst also being cool, clever and actually quite kind.  You know, he’s one of those “women want to be with him and men want to be him” types.  In series 1 (which is all I have watched thus far) Mac’s many female admirers include bizarre hospital HR lady, Sue White, obsessed with him and his strawberry lion’s mane of hair, and new girl in town, surgical registrar, Caroline Todd. Although Dr. Macartney has a girlfriend and, at first, Caroline is taken in by Mac’s friend/foe Doctor Guy Secretan, it’s clear Mac and Caroline are a true love match.  Between current romantic entanglements, past lovers, crazed and potentially homicidal hospital employees and their own adorable shyness will MacTodd ever become reality? (with fingers in my ears “la-lalala-la”):

3. Hamish Macbeth –  Hamish is a police constable in a northern Scottish village.  He likes where he is and is so against being promoted to a larger city that he sometimes gives credit to others for solving local crimes.  This clip has nothing to do with Hamish’s lady-killer status; I just love the cows and the music:

Now then, who will our modest policeman choose?  Alex Maclean, daughter of a former army major and landed gentleman, she and Hamish were once an item until she fled away to the big city in order to pursue her dreams of becoming a famous novelist.  Meanwhile, Isobel Sutherland is a tenacious reporter for the village newspaper with her life firmly anchored in Lochdubh.  Although Alex is leggy with long blond tresses and womanly wiles, Isobel bides her time and after an unfortunate accident, our intrepid reporter emerges victorious.

Isobel Sutherland – I know, she bears an uncanny resemblance to Moaning Myrtle. Alex’s accident always seemed suspicious to me.

Truth be told, I think Isobel actually came in second to Hamish’s West Highland Terrier, Wee Jock… and you can guess what happened to him, too.

4. Archie MacDonald  (Monarch of the Glen) – A young Highland aristocrat rushes home expecting to say goodbye to his dying father only to find he has been tricked into returning because his parents want him to take over their highly indebted estate.  Thus begins Archie’s new life as laird of Glenbogle.  As if rescuing the family castle and grounds isn’t enough, Archie has three women vying for his attention – his present girlfriend, Justine, with whom he runs a restaurant in London; local school teacher and activist, Katrina, who was a childhood friend of Archie’s sister; and Lexie, Glenbogle’s informal yet outspoken housekeeper and chef. Lexie is quite adept at turning men’s heads when needed but her heart really seems to belong to Archie.  Again, I’ve not gotten beyond series 2 but I can tell from on-line summaries and clips, Archie does finally settle down with one bonnie lass.  Here’s a clip featuring all three interested females:


So did you pick up on the pattern?  Ah, I knew you would, all you clever clogs.  It’s the Scottish connection – McCallum (John Hannah), Macbeth (Robert Carlyle), MacDonald (Alistair Mackenzie).  Okay, I was pushing it with Macartney (Julian Rhind-Tutt), but his character has a possibly Scottish name and he has ginger hair.  Some may suggest that it’s the mystery of what lurks in the lochs or beneath the Scotsman’s kilt, but there’s apparently something irresistible about a Scottish lad that makes the lasses get in line.

I like to think I know and I’ve been waiting for just the right post to share the secret.  Welcome to the Scottish Vacuum of Charm.  This too is a long-ish clip so you can enjoy the entire interview or just skip ahead to the 2:45 mark for the SVoC explanation:

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According to Dictionary.com, an eccentric is a person of odd or unconventional behavior.  And while such a person might seem quite mad to us, the Wikipedia entry for eccentricity states the following:  “Dr. David Weeks mentions people with a mental illness ‘suffer’ from their behavior while eccentrics are quite happy.  He even states eccentrics are less prone to mental illness than everyone else.”  Enough of the academics, you want to see examples of British tv characters displaying eccentric behaviors.  Don’t deny it.  So without further ado…

Sue White from Green Wing – Among the totally dysfunctional staff of East Hampton Hospital, Sue Green, the staff liaison officer, is by far the wackiest.  She is at turns  manipulative, obsessive,  sexually inappropriate and just plain bizarre in her behaviors.  Please enjoy Sue’s cell phone dance.

Miranda from Miranda

In public, Miranda is mostly just socially inept.  But in the privacy of her own flat, she showcases some quite fanciful past times.  The fact that she hides this behavior from others means she’s not really an eccentric, but in my opinion when you befriend household appliances, you’re in the ballpark.

Vince Noir from The Mighty Boosh

While there are numerous characteristics that qualify Vince for this category, the most noticeable is his fashion sense.  He has the confidence of  a true eccentric which allows him to wear capes, feather boas, even Jacobian ruffs and somehow make them look good.

Ray McCooney from Little Britain

Little Britain has spawned a virtual island-full of eccentric, or at least quirky, characters.  Ray McCooney is the keeper of a Scottish inn.  Even though his establishment is apparently located across from an Ikea store, Mr. McCooney seems to live in a whimsical world of riddles inhabited by sprites who dance to the tunes of his piccolo.

And finally just for good measure

The Silly Walk Minister from Monty Python’s Flying  Circus

The Python troupe ruled supreme as the epitome of absurdity and so how could I salute British eccentricity without one of their classic sketches.

What’s your pick for most eccentric British character?

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