Friday, October 27, 2006

Donuts like Fannies

BBC4 showed the tv adaption of Fear of Fanny this week, and it was one of those rare shows that lived up to expectations. Julia Davis and Mark Gattis played tv-chef Fanny and her husband Johnny. The two actors were last seen paired together in the black comedy Nighty Night as Jill Tyrell and Glen Bulb, and were almost unrecognisable here. Davis was monstrously made-up in 1960s and 1970s psychedlic housewife costumes, her eyebrows drastically painted on, under a series of bright red wigs. The whole film is like wandering through a kitsch wonderland - with LSD-inspired wallpaper, (pre-conditioned) hair-styles and funky costumes and nightclubs all lovingly recreated.

A bitch who could have taught that horrible Ramsay man a thing or two, Fanny presided over her husband and a series of scared (mostly gay) flunkies. In one fabulous scene, a long-suffering flunky gets his revenge by not cooking the seafood dish properly, so it starts crawling off the table during an "at home" tv special. Fanny manages to recover, asking whether the interviewer would like to try the live ones or the dead ones. But the interviewer, who hates Fanny, gets drunk and calls her a "painted horror". Meanwhile, the flunky tells her "you're drag and you don't realise" before making a splendid queenly exit.

A lot of the storyline involved Fanny's relationship with a son she gave away when he was a child and her ever-increasing fear of being left alone. Occasionally, a human being does shine through. Her downfall comes when she has to advise a member of the public on getting a dinner party ready. Fanny's patronising, arrogant attitude is captured onscreen and the BBC decide she is surplus to requirements (if only Channel 4 had been around, Fanny would have been given an instant million pound pay rise). The final scenes show Fanny, demented in a nursing home, still attempting recipes for cameras that have long since left. Again, Channel 4 would have loved it.


Flaming Nora said...

I was expecting to enjoy this but didn't. I think it's because Craddock was so OTT in real life that watching Julia Davis do her on the telly, one was left hoping to see the real thing. I turned it off half way through. Shame really.

Old Cheeser said...

Would have really liked to have seen this but sadly I don't have BBC4. Time to get digital perhaps. I wonder if they'll repeat it on BBC1 / 2?

matty said...

If you only knew how badly I want to see this.

I cried as I read!!!!

Why O Why do I not live in the UK so I can see my fave artists at work.

I guess it will come out on DVD in a few months and I can order from AMAZON.COM UK but I am one of those who needs instant gratification!

I've been waiting what seems like forever to see Series 2 of the Catherine Tate Show --- I believe that comes out tomorrow! I won't see it arrive here at my mail box till next week sometime.


Lubin said...

Matt, you really should come to the UK. I'd be happy to put you up in the spare room for a few days.

matty said...

I'm so there one of these days -- I'll even help take care of the spiders!!!