54. Junior sins

Tapehead no 54

Tapehead’s worried – about the Yoof of Today. Grange Hill this week has all the usual – the sulky teenagers, groovy art teachers and hesitant acting techniques.

The producer’s synopsis for this week’s action must have looked something like this: half term, school sports, parents’ evening, a pornographic video, some adultery (in the coach station), some hanky-panky (in the playground) a racy piece in a feather boa and some bourbon creams. Bourbon Creams !! Ouch !

Grange Hill these days has more Babes whose books Tapehead would like to carry than Baywatch – Liz the school’s Sixth Form sports star, Siobhan, the foxy Irish secretary, girls like Poppy, or Robyn, who has the thinnest legs on television – a tough choice, if only Poppy wasn’t only eight.

As if all this were not enough, Grange Hill also fits in a discussion on “why do they call women the weaker sex ?” (a question to which Tapehead has got absolutely Nothing To Say) and a swift debate on What Is Art ?

Here, the groovy art teacher cuts to the quick by taking one of the pupils’ packet of crisps, emptying it into the bin and explaining, “It was packet of crisps. Now it’s art.”

Examples of modern teenage repartee: “If you had another brain cell, it would die of loneliness.”

Most touching moment: when Dennis, the scruffy one, days to Lucy, “I want you to have his,” just before she gets the results of her test. (Did I mention Lucy is having an AIDS test ?) “It’s my lucky pebble. I don’t tell people about it.”

Things are not much better in America (Modern Times) if the messages on Private Eye Mike Emiliano’s answerphone are anything to go by. 

“If the founding fathers knew what was going on in this country today, they’d be spinning in their grave.”

Mike’s specialty is organising “love decoys” to test the fidelity of his clients’ loved ones.

By God, Mike loves his work.

“If she’s in there (a nightclub),” he explains to his client, in the carpark, “doing it with some guy, I’ll get you right in there so you can see it at first-hand because then I think it would do some kind of good.”

Another of his clients is Alexis, who married the wrong man and strongly suspects her lover is a rat. “And if he is a rat, we’re gonna have to get one of those traps and just squish that man.”

Most of the decoys are dancers in sex-clubs who Mike, after an exhaustive selection process (“what’s the wildest, craziest thing you’ve done, sexually ?”) rigorously briefs before they go out undercover in a “restaurant-bar-type setting.”

He selects blonde goddess Dina cos he admires her attributes (“very verbal”), and sure enough, Alexis’s lover of eight years, Scott, soon zooms in on the decoy (on camera), smoothly schmoozing her with the chat-up line, “Do you believe in fate ?” (Are you writing this 

down ?)

Scott fails the Fidelity Test in the most speculator way – he chats up the decoy, tells her all about having sex on a mirror with another woman and announces his intention to dump Alexis.

Based on Mike’s survey, Dina is not surprised.

“84 out of 90 men were willing to go into a car and have their penises sucked by some strange woman.”

To which Tapehead can only ask: Who is this woman ? And why can’t she be stopped ? And what’s her number ? 

Speaking of which, who is going to take Tapehead’s favorite petulant schoolgirl, Charlotte, in hand ? In Revelations last week, her father, the Bonking, Blaspheming Bishop sought Divine Intervention and smacked her on (to no avail) after she “expelled herself”.

After Lennie and Mark last week, speculation is mounting as to who will have whom next ? The Bonking Bishop and Rachel ? The Bonking Bishop and the Nanny ? The Nanny and Jessica ? Jessica and Gabriel ? Gabriel and Jimmy ? Jimmy and Lennie ? Lennie and Charlotte? Charlotte and the Nanny ? – a long shot, especially after last week’s exchange.

Nanny: “Charlotte, what are you doing ?”

Charlotte: “Sod off.” 


Grange Hill: Tue, 5.10pm-5.35pm and Fri 5.50pm-5.35pm, BBC1

Modern Times: Wed, 9pm-9.50pm, BBC2

Revelations: Thu, 10.40pm-11.10pm, ITV