Green Wing, Channel 4

by | Jan 4, 2007 | All, Reviews

Series two

Channel 4, Friday 31 March 2006

Did we like it?

It is both admirable and funny for straying from the well-grazed pastures of joke-based comedy into the verdant jungles of the utterly bizarre.

What was good about it?

• The way in which the menagerie of grotesques are all given ample time to, essentially, show off on screen.

• Our favourite from the first series Dr Alan Statham announced his return by performing acrobatics on his bike in the hospital car park (although this was part of the comatose Mac’s surreal dream). Back in the real world, the spurned consultant tried to wreak revenge on the harridan who scorned him – Joanna Clore – by sending her a ‘present’ of a box brimming with festering flies. Unfortunately for him, the box was difficult to open and the tape he had sent to act as a running commentary on her presumed misery her office being infected with the flies ran on a little ahead of her opening the box. Forewarned of his dastardliness, she left the lid loosely on top of the box and got Kim to throw it in to Alan’s office.

• As Mac lay in a coma, he had some bizarre dreams such as the whole Green Wing team ascending from the hospital to a spaceship. For no apparent reason, Sue was dressed as a ham sandwich.

• Mac and Guy wrestling a la Women In Love before a roaring fire in their underpants while an embarrassed room of diners looks on.

• Sue’s plotting to keep the lovelorn Caroline from Mac’s bedside that included the installation of a blood test-type queue as he was receiving more than a hundred visitors a day. And she also ‘married’ him, and then wanked him off for his sperm before trying to inseminate herself on her own desk.

• The wonderfully waspish Guy Secretan being reduced to observational duties and annoying the on duty anaesthetist.

• Dr Alan Statham pettily drawing on Mac’s face and then playing him at table tennis. And then Mac’s fantasy of himself and Statham as the brothers in Sparks.

• Caroline lustily licking Mac clean of Statham’s facial graffiti.

• The sequence where the HR staff pretended to clamber over or duck beneath an imaginary wire. Joanna refused to believe in the wire, and was painfully snagged.

• The parody of musical Gods, Sparks

What was bad about it?

• The running joke of the bickering between Dr Statham and Dr Boyce was rather predictable. Anticipating some jape, Statham started ranting while Boyce moped about. It was obvious even then that Boyce was going to embarrass Statham by claiming someone close to him had died (he did, it was his “daddy”) and once Statham had expressed enough contrition the whole thing would be revealed to be a joke (it was, “daddy” was the name of Boyce’s pet daddy long legs).

• The plotlines seemed to be a direct continuation of the previous series, and with no new characters yet, this may be a feature of the run.

Green Wing, Channel 4, Friday 7 April 2006

Highlights

• Dr Statham trying to make Joanna jealous by pretending he was having sex with a woman in a bush (“Rather chuffed – said it was some of the best sex she’d ever had”), “accidentally” ringing her during pretend sex (“I’m sorry you were party to my enormous orgasm”) and then pretending he was shagging a woman in a taxi which he got to follow Joanna through a shopping precinct (“It’s a super bit of sex I’m having.”)

• Joanna struggling to stay off ciggies despite being covered in nicotine patches (“You circular bastards”)

• Sue being mad as ever – jogging in the canteen, bringing out a bright lamp during Guy’s disciplinary hearing, playing wedding music when Mac was in her office and dressing as a squirrel

• Boyce winding up Statham by telling him he’s feathery. “I am objectively, empirically non-feathery,” Statham insisted.

• Martin nodding off while snogging Karen (aka, according to Guy, Miss Curly Wurly, I’m No Liz Hurley)

• Guy commenting on Mac’s surgical skills: “They won’t be able to eat asparagus if you cut that bit off.”

• Statham drawing breasts on an X-ray and then burying his face in the film

• Mac and Guy listing the qualities they look for in a woman: bendy, unpredictable, shaved, must appreciate The Kinks, slightly anorexic, thoughtful eyes, five per cent lesbian, in touch with her masculine side, mustn’t be smelly in the cellar, compassionate

• Caroline’s desperation around Mac, including singing You Really Got Me by the Kinks in his presence

Green Wing, Channel 4, Friday 14 April 2006

Highlights

• Sue White’s madness including stirring her tea for ages and ages, flicking the wet spoon in Martin’s face, spitting out the tea for ages and ages after hearing the shock news of the Joanna-Guy (mum-son) sex video, dancing on her desk singing Hallelujah, wearing her grandmother’s prominent false teeth and making Joanne wear her grandmother’s prominent false teeth

• Angela gagging on her toothbrush but reassuring Caroline: “I give a surprisingly effective blowjob.”

• The gratuitous animal cruelty, with Joanna stamping on and kicking a cat and Guy running down a swan while jet-skiing to work.

• Caroline pretending to be her twin sister. “I’m Baroline.”

• Alan Statham tells the doctor about his celibacy: “My cup rather runneth over. The juices have nowhere to dissipate.”

• Alan Statham pretending that one of Joanne’s office staff was spanking him

* Boyce and Statham’s “you take it back” bickering

• Martin being taped to the toilet wall by Guy who’d threatened that he’d ring “all the gays”.

Green Wing, Channel 4, Friday 21 April 2006

Highlights

• Statham’s reaction to being allocated a parking space miles from the hospital. He bashed into a skip and a Metro in order to squeeze in (“It’s just the mirror. Just for vanity,” he consoled himself as a wing mirror fell off). He tried to get Mac to give him his unused space (Mac refused: “I’m thinking of growing carrots on it” before he created a little beach). Eventually, Mac and Boyce found him a more convenient space – by parking his car into his office.

• Guy’s reaction when Martin buys make-up for Karen. “It’s like putting icing on a dog turd.”

• Guy’s one requirement for his new flat. “Must have plasma TV.”

• Guy pretending to be working class when the skinhead with him on a community service painting job says he’s a member of Class War.

• Sue setting light to her desk to keep Statham at bay (resulting in a fantastic chain reaction fire throughout the hospital when Statham’s sleeve caught alight – only extinguished when he leapt into a birthing pool beside a woman whose child was emerging.)

• Mac and Caroline forcing the dull anaesthetist to wear a horse mask.

• Joanne’s eyesight problems. She tried to read documents through a glass ashtray, put liquid paper in her eyes instead of drops; and snapped her glasses when they revealed how old her body looked.

• Sue wearing a beret and painting on a twirly moustache when she goes to the art class where Martin is the life model. She gets a surprise. “Wee willy winky’s not so winky,” she shrieks in delight. Her subsequent painting reveals that Martin has a massive knob.

• Guy claiming that his knob is like a fire extinguisher in comparison to Martin’s miniature cactus.

• Guy – “I’ve never met a woman who didn’t look 100 per cent better with my bollocks resting on her chin.”

• Sally Phillips joining the cast as Mac’s annoying ex Holly, whose arrival makes Caroline desolate

• Guy reveals what mate Mungo (“you jizz fountain”) told him. “Mungo’s prosthetic cock snapped off in some bint and he was too embarrassed to tell her so she went home with it. She’s still got it up her.”

Green Wing, Channel 4, Friday 28 April 2006

Highlights

• Sue’s mad bits: wearing curlers; making Holly compete in a staring contest before she’ll get a security pass; making a sculpture of Mac’s head and then snogging it; covering herself in clay and getting Joanna to sort out the lopsided breasts

• Lucien’s seduction of Harriet – and Joanne’s efforts to scupper their date by giving Harriet masses of work, as well as instructions to clean the windows and paint a cupboard. They eventually got it on during a picnic in the office – with Harriet getting a little too excited – “Ooh, I nearly weed!”

• Harriet explains the ironing board amid the junk in her car – “I sometimes do ironing in the back of the car when the traffic’s slow.”

• Martin’s offer to help out a prostitute with an arm injury. “Have you ever wanked off a man?” she asked. “I meant I could you your sling,” he replied. Somehow, he became her pimp Marty D, adopting pimpy walking and pimpy talking.

• The hopscotch in the office

• Caroline claiming to be a pig liberator

• Joanne walking out of her acupuncture session with needles in her face

• Guy providing breakfast in bed for Caroline (“there’s a little gloop of jizz somewhere in there”)

• Alan Statham’s election campaign: kissing women, harassing men and shouting into a megaphone

Green Wing, Channel 4, Friday 5 May 2006

Highlights

• Dr Statham bragging about winning the caption competition on the consultant radiologists’ website Consult That with his entry “Ex-Ray Charles” to go with a picture of the late Ray Charles. “How many online caption competitions have you won this week?” he asks Joanna when she fails to be impressed. Joanna mutters: “One caption competition and he thinks he’s Oscar bloody Wilde.”

• Caroline and Guy are snuggled under a duvet, standing up, in the kitchen – “If you were a real man, you’d have stripped down that boiler and located the problem.”

• Caroline smacking Guy’s hard-on with a saucepan

• Mac and Holly discussing Dr Foster (the one who went to Gloucester)

• Kim brings Turkish penpal Murrat to work. He thinks she’s Liz Hurley. He thinks Karen is Brian May from Queen.

• Martin meets the private eye who he’s hired to find his father. “I’ve got a name and a job,” the detective confided. “So have I,” chirped Martin. “He runs a newsagent in Muswell Hill.” “I knew he’d be successful,” said a happy Martin. “His name’s Donald Twat.”

• Sue’s installation of a car horn buzzer on her desk and an LED display on which scrolls the words “F**K OFF”

• Guy singing “You’ve got a ginger child that floated out of your penis” to Mac, to the tune of Bright Eyes.

• Caroline falling for therapist Jake but having their farewell snog interrupted when Guy throws a penknife into Jake’s head.

• Statham beating to death, with a stuffed heron, the green dwarf hired by Joanna to scare him

• Statham dressing as a mountie after being told by Joanna to come in disguise when they disposed of the dwarf’s body

Lowights

• Horrible Holly winning Mac from Caroline by playing the young son card

Green Wing, Channel 4, Friday 12 March 2006

Highlights

• Dr Statham’s madness caused by having a dwarf-killing on his conscience. He muttered to himself in the car park (only slightly wackier than his usual behaviour), got paranoid when Boyce said: “It’s off to work we go”, blurted out “I didn’t kill him”, had a panic attack, collapsed, got kitted out in his ping pong outfit, had a coffee enema with scalding hot coffee and licked his way round Joanna’s mouth.

• Joanna waking up in bed with a teenage boy (in Harry Potter underpants), just a day after he became legal, ignored by his mother when she delivered his morning cuppa

• Sue’s mad moments: buying a boot stretcher (“I’m having a baby and I want to make sure it will fit through the door”), using a ventriloquists’ dummy to talk to Martin (who replied by using a stapler), snogging the dummy, using a whistle to get people’s attention before announcing “It’s not his baby but mine is”, eating fresh umbilical cords and cutting through the table in the Indian restaurant before emerging to tell all she’s pregnant

• Caroline’s head clashing with Jake’s Guy-inflicted headwound when she tried to kiss it better

• Harriet brings her son to the hospital: “I’ll ask about watching an amputation but I doubt they’ll let you cut anything.”

• Guy declaring his love for Caroline while she’s in a toilet cubicle – forcing her to hold it all in until he left.

• Jake and Lyndon claiming they’re gay to deflect Joanna’s attentions– and then being forced to kiss in order to prove it to her.

• The comeuppance of horrible Holly

Green Wing, Channel 4, Friday 19 May 2006

Highlights

• The Mac-Caroline-Guy love triangle (and Martin’s pathetic attempts to make it a square)

• Sue trying to resist the restraining order taken out by Mac. “I could sniff your intoxicating trouser fragrance.”

• Sue waving gladiolis (“I’m feeling a little Morrissey today) before giving birth to a lion cub and singing Circle Of Life from The Lion King

• Alan – “I’ve had it up to here with dwarves”, pointing at his waist.

• Karen tries to console Harriet – “Have a chocolate cock. They’re quite cheery.”

• Alan drinking Joanna’s urine and screwing her through a hole in the cupboard where she’s hiding – before the pair of them don disguises (including Hitler costumes) and make a run from it from the police in a campervan.

• The poignant ending. Awwwww.

Green Wing, Channel 4, Thursday 4 January 2007

Did we like it?

Some shows end when they’ve fulfilled a useful life (eg Bad Girls, Footballers’ Wives, Frasier); some are cut down before wrinkles appear (eg This Life, The Office, Fawlty Towers). But Green Wing seems to have ended in its adolescence – and that’s a terrible shame.

What was good about it?

• Joanna Clore and Alan Statham Go Mad In A Campervan. It was always a joy when they were on the screen, careering from one calamity to another with Joanna in hippychick garb and Statham in tight khaki shorts – under assumed names Cherry and Merle. Penniless, they were forced to cram food, from cakes to ketchup, in their mouths in a supermarket, making a smart exit with faces bulging when a security guard showed an interest. Statham later proved to be useless at swingball, found a gay admirer and had some hassle with farm animals.

• Joanne and Alan’s growing death toll. They managed to carry out three more killings (in addition to the earlier dwarf murder) – a mechanic was run over, a shopkeeper was suffocated (“Oh my crikey! I’ve sat on her to death”) – they tried to hide her body by pouring breakfast cereals all over the corpse – and a policeman with a nut allergy was killed by having a peanut butter sandwich smeared in his face after demanding the campervan’s registration number (“Front or back?” asked Statham).

• The love triangle between Mac, Caroline and Guy. Guy went to great lengths to stop Caroline’s old feelings for Mac resurfacing – even putting a hand over her mouth and twisting her face away when Mac came close for a peck – as he planned their wedding in a castle (“not a bouncy one, a bricky one). There was also an angry game of Mr and Mrs in the operating theatre before Guy saw sense and let Caroline marry the dying Mac.

• Angela’s funeral where Sue White (with an umbrella aloft) and Boyce sing All Things Bright And Beautiful as if they’re X Factor contestants; Guy got horny (“I’ve got a boner the size of that coffin.”); and Martin expressed his thoughts and feelings in the form of a mime (wearing a black leotard)

• The Office Girls Go Mad In An… Office, trashing the place before developing a crazed Lord Of The Flies mentality

• Mac breaking the news of his death to Guy. His response: “What are you dying of? Gingeritis? A small cock? Acne?”

• Martin getting confused by the oblique way Mac broke the news to him. “I thought Elysian Fields was in Dorset.”

• Jeremy Sheffield’s cameo role as Sue White’s new lover.

What was bad about it?

• There wasn’t quite enough variety in the plot. Apart from the love triangle and the campervan calamaties, all we got was the revolt of the office girls. We’d have liked a couple more stories to have been thrown into the mix.

• Sue White wasn’t bonkers enough for us. Okay, so she wore a squirrel costume, covered her VDU in Post-it notes, fellated a gun and wore the same dress as bride Caroline, but that was tame for TV’s best ever human resources manager.

• The ending was a little too serene. We’d have liked a madcap, slapstick climax instead (NB the alternative ending on the DVD is better, featuring the wonderful line: “Don’t throw my winkle to the gulls”)

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles

04/01/2007

Editor of the website and host of the podcast. A general TV obsessive. I've been running the site since 2008 and you can usually find me in front of the TV. My Favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad with Cracker coming a close second. I feel so passionately that television can change the world and I'm doing my little bit by running this site. You're Welcome!

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