There’s a party going on. The kind of function where the adults are dysfunctional beside a sad little barbeque and the kids get their game on in the front room.
Della is keen that the family get out there and socialise because, as she notes, lying on top of someone doesn’t count as socialising – although she may change her mind about that later on. Uncle Nate is the host, and clinically depressed (‘so would you be if your wife left y’ for a Bargain Hunt contestant’). Germaine is delighted – she describes herself as a people person. ‘I think “people” disagree with that assertion’, Aretha mutters.
Della will keep to safe subjects to avoid upsetting her depressed brother (‘say nothing about Shirley’s massive new boyfriend’), and Germaine is keen that everyone should have dazzlingly witty conversations, like on Mock the Week with Russell Howard and ‘that woman they have on sometimes.’ A moment passes before they decide that nobody can actually remember who that woman they have on sometimes is. Nate, keeping his spirits up while drinking far too many spirits, has put some basic rules in place to aid his recovery: ‘No bathrobe after Homes Under the Hammer’.
Yoko is terrified. The last time she went out of the house was when the birds hatched on Springwatch (they’re all dead now). Mum Della is on hand to calm her nerves: ‘You’re just turning a bit shy. It’s part of why you’re so friggin’ cool’. Germaine, meanwhile has been watching too much American TV, expecting to find red plastic cups full of beer and cutting edge chat.
But this party isn’t at The Bronze; it doesn’t even get bronze. She wants to rock up with a vodka-infused melon, but as Della tells her, she’s in the wrong town to find a melon: ‘Crack, yes. Fruit? No.’ Aretha is unsurprisingly a lot more cynical: ‘Find me someone with five GCSEs, grade A to C, and I’ll chat.’ (That’s your next geek t-shirt slogan, right there.)
Meanwhile, the kids are playing shoot ‘em ups, and Lee stages a mini Gamergate in the front room, altering the boobs on an avatar as a flirting technique with Jackie. To be fair, it appears to work.
Yoko – a computer noob – survives the party (and several levels of a zombie computer game) by keeping her eyes tightly shut and quivering silently. You’re unlikely to find a more acute metaphor for being a teenager this week. Nonetheless, by the end, she’s a hero, even earning Lee’s respect.
Making good on her promise to socialise, Della finds promise in a man armed with lighter fluid and wrapped reflective stripes. Tabard and handsome: Sort of a Poldark you can see in the dark. He’s got to leave early to mend a road, but Della has a glint in her eye. Roads? Where she’s going, she don’t need roads.
Aired on Monday 6 April 2015 on Channel 4.
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