This Scottish cop drama is not afraid to try a few risky manoeuvres. Or even
risque manoeuvres. The opening scenes of tonight's episode, A Fistful of Chips,
are distinctly soft-porn, as two women steam up the lens in a spa.
Though not explicit, the shots are deliberately erotic, lingering on rivulets
of sweat and moans of pleasure. But don't get too excited, because one of
Taggart's strengths is its ability to surprise, often by effecting a dramatic
change in mood.
The first such change arrives tonight in the form of a corpse from the
heavens. Hallelujah, it's raining men! Or women, more accurately. And here's
something else: the cadaver's husband hardly flinches when he learns of his
partner's demise. Identifying her body at the morgue, he is colder and more
motionless than she.
Next we meet a lorry driver who fancies himself as a bit of a cowboy. Driving
a van full of computer chips (hence the episode's cowboy-and-western-inspired
title), he wants to organise an inside job.
As the body count rises, a diverting tale of espionage and brutality unfolds.
Home and Away
For regular viewers, tonight's instalment of this Palm Beach/Summer Bay
stayer will be keenly anticipated. Most notably, two weddings are looming. This
is no surprise, given weddings are such a soapie staple: whether they're
fairytale (Kylie and Jason on Neighbours) or nightmare (Liza Minnelli and David
Gest in real life). Even so, plotting two concurrently is ambitious.
Eager to do the Brady Bunch thing, Rhys (Michael Beckley ) and Beth (Clarissa
House ) hit upon the idea of a surprise ceremony. So they round up their clans
on a boat skippered by Alf (``Flamin' galahs! Someone's tied me shoelaces in a
reef knot!") and embark, ostensibly, on a picnic. But, after puttering into
Broken Bay a name that can't bode well for their future together they arrive
at an idyllic strand to exchange vows.
Unfortunately, Kirsty (Christie Hayes ) is missing. Forced to choose between
her family and her beau (Sam Atwell ), she's opting to elope.
Meanwhile, just like Kirsty and her dad, Brodie (Susie Rugg ) and Hayley
(Rebecca Cartwright ) are feuding in their case, it's about Alex. Naturally, it
ends in tears, as does the episode itself, which comes to a sudden stop with a
nasty accident another soapie staple.
Granted, in soap opera, the plot must move quickly: wedding must follow
tantrum must follow death, etc. The problem is, simply piling one melodrama on
top of another will not of itself make for good TV. The characters need to be
explored, too. Otherwise the result will be superficial.
Tonight, the plot is pacy, but unengaging. What's more, the scenery is pretty
but the performances and dialogue are patchy. And the music is painful.
For diehard fans only.
Two Guys and a Girl
Last week, guest star Fred Willard provided a sparkling highlight to an
already solid episode. Tonight, no such luck.
In And a tattoo, Berg and Sharon are eager to prise details from Pete about
his new girlfriend, but Pete is resolutely reluctant. As he explains, every time
he introduces a date to his two flatmates, they uncover a flaw which he
subsequently finds impossible to ignore.
So this time he will keep his new flame to himself, in the hope she will not
be prematurely extinguished.
The complication comes when Berg realises he has already made the
acquaintance of Pete's new squeeze and rather intimately.
Episode three of this 12-part BBC drama set in Brixton is as fast and
involving as a good game of indoor soccer. In the opening minutes, you'll
witness arguments in the boudoir, assault on the sportsfield and the accidental
miscue of a love song dedication pursuant to a naughty bit of extramarital