Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Episode 52

By the end of this episode, one of these people will be dead. Let's guess. Will it be:

1. Bella Albrecht - delusional child-killer "My boyfriend wouldn't marry me with that child making me look uncool and clashing with the curtains etc..."

2. "The Big M" (see episode 51) a big old dolt who doesn't know what day of the week it is, or that there are such things as days or weeks for that matter.

3. Henry VII Monica Ferguson - our favourite circus-tent wearing wannabe top dog.

4. Nameless warder with no storyline

Place your bets!

PS If you said 2, 3 or 4 you were wrong.

Episode 51

Tracy Emin Noleen: Make a choice Martha. In one hand is the script of a storyline where you get to be best friends with a child murderer. In the other is the contents of your brain.

Martha has been creeping into storylines of late, so much so, that she's even been given her own nick-name by the other prisoners - "The Big M". She ends up choosing the storyline where she befriends a child killer, although it's a sad mark of her personality when even the child killer decides she can't stick her. When that happens, it's time to take a long hard look at yourself.

Episode 50

And this, reader, is Melinda, the student who Tom-Cat the lecherous lecturer has compromised his integrity over. If you're going to get yourself in that kind of trouble, you'd at least think he'd have gone for someone with faintly normal eyes and nose.

This is one of Prisoner's clever "deception" storylines. It works like this - you introduce a set of people who are not in prison and you have to guess which one will committ a crime by the second commerical break and end up sharing a cell with Bea. We were led to believe that Tom's wife would go on a killing spree, upon finding out that he'd been unfaithful. But it turned out that she went to the police when Melinda tried to blackmail Tom with naked photos. Fortunately we do not get to see the photos.

Melinda learns that she is pregnant (how unfair that her genes get to live on!) With her as the mother, and perma-Tom as the father, the baby will probably end up looking like something out of an HP Lovecraft novel.

Episode 49

Here's another one of those awful lecturers at the university that Karen Travers attends on her day release. This one is a kind of weird almagamation of Tom Jones (he's Welsh and has a big perm) and Howard Kirk in Malcolm Bradbury's The History Man (he sleeps with his students and is generally a bad lot).

From all of this university-bashing, I suspect that at least one of the writers got a third in English Lit, and now feels unfairly treated. Those bitter speeches about "book smart university people" by Vera Bennet are starting to look less like parodies of an authoritarian brute and more like someone's angry little manifesto.

Episode 48

Our first introduction to Colleen Powell, later to be known as "Po-Face". Those two scary protruberances on her enormous shiny forehead look like devil's horns are about to burst through at any second. Devil!

You have to feel sorry for Po-Face. She'll just be the occasional turn-key with hardly any storyline until 1981. She'll have to wait until episode 433 for her ENTIRE FAMILY to be blown up in a car bomb. And even then, it'll be a case of "been-there, done that" as Jim Fletcher's ENTIRE FAMILY got blown up by a bomb in episode 109. You'd think that lessons would have been learnt. You were wrong.

Episode 47

Everyone seems to be linked to everyone else at the moment. Woebetide you if happen to be waiting at the same bus stop as Monica on her release. Even if you never speak to her, you'll get written into a major storyline and that trip to a shopping centre will end in you on the roof, gunnning everyone down and being sentenced to life.

This shady looking character is Dr Clements, one of Karen Travers' university lecturers. He's a psychologist and is doing his "research" on the prison guards (though they don't know it). He's already driven Doreen bonkers (admittedly not difficult - I think he told her that Teddy didn't like her) and she's been written out for a few episodes.

Despite his horrible goat-face, he's somehow charmed Erica (she's such a snob - all you have to do is flash an A Level Geography Certificate at her and she's inviting you into her life), and needless to say, now nobody in the prison will ever be the same again.

Episode 46

Remember that aunt who had some money stowed away in her garage in episode 44? Me neither. Anyway, it turns out she has a similarly elderly neighbour (Edith) who's about to be turfed out of her house due to "developers", and because Edith isn't married to her equally ancient boyfriend, they aren't allowed to have a joint room at the local homeless shelter (I bet Vera runs it in her spare time). So as a result, they end up sleeping rough and he dies, and she goes a bit bonkers and steals some stuff and then attacks someone with an umbrella and before you know it she's in Prison, and I'm feeling like this is one of those annoying "Social Conscience" storylines that was written by a bunch of Jean Vernons, designed to teach us a lesson about the twisted schisms of the law.

Anyway, I included this picture because Edith seems to be the only person in existence who Lizzie towers over. It's like looking at an optical illusion isn't it. In fact it's giving me eye strain. Don't worry though. Edith will develop a cough quite soon after this and be dead by episode 49.

Episode 45

Now. Joyce's husband pulled off a bank job and gave the money to Joyce to look after. But she gave it to her aunt who hid it in her garage. And then when Monica got released she got it. But then Monica's husband found some of it, and he went on an insane spending spree with his floozy girlfriend Blossom. And then Blossom turned on him and it ended up with Bruce. Got that? Jesus Christ! It seems like everyone in Melbourne or even perhaps THE ENTIRE WORLD has had that money at some point. I'm scared to look under my bed incase it turns up there!

Anyway, I'm too confused to comment on this photo. It's probably for the best if we just pretend it doesn't exist anyway.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Episode 44

I make no apologies for the Monica-centricism of the last few episodes - now that she has been released, we are spoilt for choice. What can be said about this "interesting" picture? I call Monica's outfit "Sexy Blackout Curtains". And what to make of her husband Fred? A few episodes back, I was judging Monica for being a husband-beater and then making a joke about it. But having seen what she has to live with, I'm verging on taking it all back. His personality is as slippery as the gallon of grease on his hair. And don't get me started on the tartan-esque trousers and cardigan-waistcoat thing.

Episode 43

Monica Ferguson - the gift what keeps on giving. This is her "release" outfit (actually a tarpaulin). If the prisoners had any sense, they could have simply all escaped at the same time by climbing underneath. In fact, I think I can see Lizzie peeping out from the hem.

Like many giantesses, poor Monica suffers from appalling posture. She's going to need more than a few sessions of Alexander Technique to cure that hunch.

Episode 42

Just how low can Doreen sink? Fresh from being Frankie's bitch and then a short-lived personality change, she's now back to the tubby 3-year old that we all love. But with Lynne's impending release (thank goodness, she is so boring!), Doreen's arranged to mess up her parole by planting valium on her. And you were thinking Lynne's biggest problem was her nipples showing through her tie-dye sweater (I blame too much time spent trying to emulate Jean Vernon and her hippie tendencies).

Lynne's found out the truth though, and so smears dirt all of Doreen's face. Let's avoid the obvious "pig in mud" jokes, and hope that Doreen's next weird friendship goes a bit more smoothly.

Episode 41

Ladies in Red. New prisoner Joyce has a pocketful of secrets, including some damaging gossip about Jim Fletcher. But the big gossip is that she's the only one who knows where her husband's stolen bank money is hidden. I'm more interested in her Fashion Influence, as no sooner has she arrived, than everyone in Wentworth adopts this sassy "red" sweater, blue dungarees combo. Poor old Monica, for whom fashion means cutting her own fringe with a switchblade and a spirit level or wearing some camping equipment (see episode 43), shows just how easily led she is. It looks much better on Joyce. It would look better on Jim Fletcher for that matter.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Episode 40

A suicide, two escapes, a stabbing, a broken colour tv, illegal "grog" and Jean Vernon's scary clothes... Wentworth is a fucking mess and it's all due to Erica's wishy-washy liberal ways, so the Department have brought in a new male warden to be deputy governer. He claims to be Vietnam veteran Jim Fletcher, but that's clearly a lie: the moustache, dead-eyed expression and acne scars give it all away - he's actually a 1970s gay porn star, seeking a fresh start after appearing in key roles in A Night at the Adonis, Kansas City Trucking Co. and Boys in The Sand. It's quickly established that he hates women and doesn't want to be in Prisoner Cell Block H. Oh just give Wakefield Poole a call. I'm sure he'll take you back.

Episode 39

More Greek people! This time it's Kramer from Seinfeld, who is Irini's illegal immigrant brother. While he visits his sister, Vingear Tits is quickly established as racist, as every time anyone speaks she (hilariously) screams "No GREEK! STOP SPEAKING GREEK! SPEAK ENGLISH!!!" at everyone. Even when someone says Irina's name it causes Vera to flip out because she thinks they're SPEAKING GREEK!

Fortunately, nice husband-killer Karen Travers knows three words of Greek so she quickly gets drawn into this storyline and starts campaigning for translators and whatnot. But then horrible Monica doesn't like Greek people because a Greek family once opened a rival shop near hers. So she starts calling Irina a "Dago".

You know what, I'm starting to feel all enlightened. I didn't realise that you shouldn't be rude about foreign people up until now because it might upset them and they have feelings too like everyone else. Goodness! The clever writers have sneaked in a social message disguised as sensationalist entertainment. Amazing!!

Episode 38

Is it Halloween? No, it's just new character Irina and her sister-in-law Tessa who are in a Very Special Storyline about Greek People which is supposed to Educate us about Racism. Unfortunately, none of them can act very well so I got a bit distracted and started playing Sneezies on my Iphone during all their bits.

Episode 37

Oh Tracy Emin Noeline. If you were a bit nicer to the other women (like not smashing up their tv with a hammer), one of them may have kindly pointed out your camel toe. Kudos to actress Jude Kuring and her make-up artist though - other people have to take crack cocaine for years to look like this.

Episode 36

It's not easy being Val Richardson. After your release from prison you're making a "go" of your life, and then who should show up for an "open-ended visit" but loud-mouthed double-murderer escapee Bea Smith. It's enough to make you PUT YOUR WIG ON BACK TO FRONT!

(Prisoner FACT - actress Billie Hammerberg returned years later to play popular prisoner May Collins)

Episode 35

Upper-class Clara Goddard is so desperate to be seen as a kindly benefactor that she's been cheating her shareholders out of their money for years and she's now on remand for embezzlement. A "challenging" prisoner, Clara is even posher than The Queen Governor Davies, calling her "Erica" or "darling" and when Erica throws a wobbler on her, Clara just tells her "It's that time of the month!"

Clara is Completely Bonkers and breezes through prison like she's playing a virtual reality game and can select the "quit" button at any point. She also seems to have a Yorkshire Terrier dog sitting on top of her head. Posh people eh?

Episode 34

Meet Miss Marianne D'Vere, Melbourne's most outrageous transsexual socialite. Her coat is made out of puppies and she's just come back from London "Hated it darling, full of blacks!" (I'm not making this up - she really is a RACIST!) Miss Marianne wants to take a walk on the wild side so she's visiting Wentworth and is going to give them a colour television and a halfway house. Except it's all going to go wrong (Noleen + hammer + television = she'll end up throwing a tantrum and screaming "THESE WOMEN ARE ANIMALS!")

Episode 33

Question. You are Meg Jackson. Your husband was stabbed to death in a workplace "incident" a couple of months ago, your teenage son has left home in a sulk and your hair is made of Lego. How do you seduce a dreary English doctor who's a decade younger than you, bearing in mind that he can't make up his mind between two more attractive women so you don't even feature on his radar?

Answer. Dust down your lego hair. Put on a pair of knee-high leather boots, tear down your curtains and make yourself a dress. And By the end of the episode your ensemble will have psychodelicised him into a hypnotic submission. Meg 100. Karen/Jean 0. Dr Greg minus several million.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Episode 32

You can say what you like, but I like wigs. And judging by the look on Bea Smith's face, I may have found my soul-mate, because Bea looks just ecstatic at her new wig-do. Unfortunately, "Mum" and Judith-Anne aren't so impressed. I guess it's understandable if a double-killer turns up at your house with stab-wounds, plops herself down in the nearest chair (and probably breaks it), smokes around your UNBORN BABY (I know it was 1979 but it's no excuse) and then decides she wants you to buy her a Whole New Look. I'm not a fan of Judith-Anne (she has two names and split ends), but I'm with her on this one. Bea needs to Go!

Episode 31

I hope you're not reading this at work. If you are, you're fired. Sharp-eyed viewers may have raised an eyebrow at this rare topless shot of Nolene - which must have made it past the censors who blinked at the key moment (I didn't though). She's pulling that face because Doreen, Monica and Lizzie have hatched a wicked plan to trap her in the shower with scalding water. But what's that on the walls? Is Lynne Warner on shit strike again?

Episode 30

Which Vera do you like? Vinegar Tits Vera with her hair tightly up in a bun, a contemptuous snarl for the prisoners ANIMALS, and a crisply starched uniform? Or off-duty nice Vera - with that cute little up-flip to her wig (it must be a wig - how can all of that fit into the bun?), and the drug-baron boyfriend? Like Bea and Frankie, Vera is one of the true Tragic Figures of Prisoner, her key character trait - her loneliness being the driving force which explains all of her behaviour.

Episode 29

The Pris writers are feeling frustrated with dreary will-they won't-they please-don't-they storylines about Karen and Dr Greg and have instead thought up a psycho-thriller narrative about strange shoplifter Susan Rice and her hated of celebrity Jason Richard (pictured here looking as if he's modelling a 1970s macho man fancy dress outfit). I can't say I remember how it turned out (and I only watched it last week) but needless to say, this character gets acid thrown in his face, and it transpires that two people were actually one person. Watch out Alfred Hitchcock!