Thursday, 19 August 2010
It's always nice when Prisoner decides to use a lazy stereotype. We've got Jean the fluffy middle-class social worker, Greg the earnest British doctor, Erica the ladylike governess, Lizzie the old lag and now meet Dr Wiseman the Jewish psychiatrist. Because Freud was Jewish, wasn't he? And Jewish people have big noses, don't they?
Here's Vera and her DRUG DEALER boyfriend I was talking about. He has all the allure of a 1970s Australian man - check out that scraggly beard (grown to compensate male pattern baldness) and the white John Travolta jacket with lapels that could take your eye out. I know Vera is supposed to be a desperate spinster lady, but really, she could do so much better. Aren't there any good-looking drug dealers in Melbourne?
There's kind of a complicated love dynamic going on in Prisoner at the moment, with both Dr Greg and barrister Steve being simultaneously attracted to husband-murderer Karen Travers and social worker Jean Vernon. It's all a bit like a DH Lawrence novel. Poor old Meg gets to act as the gooseberry in all of this (always the bridesmaid), whereas Vera doesn't even get invited to their "hilarious" soirees, and has instead hooked up with DRUG DEALERS. I don't care how it will all resolve itself, and I can't work who's going to end up with the booby prize. I guess with Karen, as long as you hide the knives it might stand a chance. There's less hope with Jean though. As Vera is fond of saying, she's learnt about life through her "university books" and now feels equipped to tell everyone all about it. Presumably, she didn't take a course on how to dress herself - if these blue "robes" are anything to go by. Even in 1979, this would have been viewed as an extreme, perhaps even aggressive statement.
This character has only a small role onscreen, but he more than makes up for it. The actor has obviously spend quite some time getting "in character" for his role as a down-trodden, world-weary store detective in a dreary dead-end job. You can imagine him dressing for work - brushing the "comb-over" into place with his hand and then patting it down with under-arm sweat,then reaching into a huge wardrobe full of identical off-white polyester shirts and poorly-fitting brown jackets. Another day, another Australian dollar.
Saturday, 7 August 2010
Here we are, finally at Karen Travers' retrial. It's not going well. Her lawyer, Steve has already failed to get off Catherine and Lynne, and I'm beginning to suspect his qualifications are faked. Karen has a plan though - if she doesn't get released, she will use the GIANT COLLAR WINGS on her blouse to fly out of the courtroom and all the way to New Zealand.
Lizzie gets day release to visit her narky old brother on his death bed, and Erica decides to accompany her (well if you spent 95% of your time in that dreary Soviet-era office you'd want to get out every now and then). In this "touching" character-development scene, the odd couple sit by a lake (ERICA IS ACTUALLY SITTING ON THE GROUND!!) and we get to hear about Lizzie's struggles in The Depression (it must have been bad - it looks like she was never able to afford to buy any clothes since then), and Erica's often-hinted at "family troubles". Erica, I do hope it's not after Labour Day as you're wearing white heels.
When we last saw Doreen, she was "disguised" as a nun on the run, as a way of conning money from unsuspecting charitable folk. But it all goes wrong - Frankie is fatally wounded by a policeman and Doreen gives herself up. However, in those last fleeting seconds of life, Frankie's soul entered Doreen's body, meaning that Doreen stops washing her hair, sits with her legs spread apart and talks in a "male" Australian accent. Here she is, with her new "gang" (two extras - budget troubles?), toughing it out in the prison garden. Don't worry, in a few episodes Frankie's spirit will leave her for good and Doreen'll be back to carrying around a teddy bear and wetting her pampers.