Mike & Angelo

 

For those who remember Mike & Angelo, another great series from the writers of Spatz and T-Bag, below is a summary of an episode from 1989. I donít know the episode title, but if I find it out Iíll add it here.

 

This particular episode is fine illustration of the fact that Grant Cathro and Lee Pressman were writers who knew not just where the funny bone was (in fact, this episode has no laughter track), but where the heart was too. The dynamics within the King family (which has had to cope with both a divorce and an extraterrestrial lodger) are handled sensitively, but not at the expense of amusing dialogue and entertaining special effects.

 

 

It's a few days away from the school holidays. In the King household, Angelo (played by Tyler Butterworth) is doing something in the hallway; Rita King (played by Shelley Thompson) is vacuuming; Mike King (played by Matt Wright) is doing French homework, and asks Rita for some help. She tells him she doesn't want to be pestered for translations when they're on holiday in France, e.g. being asked what the French is for 'I wanna coconut pizza'. Then the pair go downstairs to find out what Angelo is doing, and find him in mid-air by the front door, flapping a pair of wings which Rita realises are made from her duvet. Angelo says he is preparing to fly to France; Mike explains that they'll be going by plane. Mike goes to answer the phone: it's his dad, Tony King, who is soon to be visiting while in England on a business trip. Angelo's confused about Rita and Tony's relationship, so she explains that although they're divorced and living in separate countries, they're still friends. In light of this, Angelo wants Tony to come to France with them.

 

Later: The three of them are having a good time choosing their ideal French holidays from travel brochures, though it turns out that Angelo is reading the video manual. Angelo answers the door: it's Tony (played by Jeff Harding). They're all pleased to see one another, and head into the garden for a barbecue.

 

The meal is finished. There's a lot of pudding left over, which Angelo takes to the fridge. It won't fit, so he eats a little to trim it down... and ends up clearing the plate. Mike goes up to bed, and with Angelo beginning to intrude on private time between Tony and Rita, Rita hints that Angelo should go to bed too. But it takes him a long time to say goodnight, and he keeps popping back downstairs for things: a plant, a glass of water, the video manual... As they do the dishes, Tony announces to Rita that he wants Mike to spend the summer in America with him. Rita is upset at the lack of communication and accuses Tony of being selfish for not bringing this up much earlier. Tony retorts that Rita is stubborn, and they continue to argue until Tony leaves. Angelo, who overheard, is confused: 'I thought you two were still friends.'

 

Lunchtime on the following day: Rita is on the phone to her mother, explaining that Tony has taken Mike to the zoo. Angelo appears, dressed as a stereotypical Frenchman (striped top, onions, beret, accent). He has made a 'long lunch': a baguette that stretches right across the kitchen table.

 

After lunch: Mike and Tony return. Mike is thrilled to be going to California for the summer, and takes Angelo upstairs to show it to him in the atlas. Rita looks at her ex-husband: 'Thanks, Tony. Thanks a million.'

 

Later that week: Rita finds Mike packing in his bedroom, and begins to fuss. Mike apologises for not going to France, and senses that Rita is upset. They hear noise, and go downstairs to investigate. Angelo is banging a drum in the hallway, dressed as Uncle Sam. He tells them that the 'Super Basin' is about to start, and ushers them into the living room. Angelo has turned it into an American football stadium. First he appears dressed as a hot dog and popcorn vendor; then as a team of 7 cheerleaders (who spell out ĎAngeloí); then as an American football team (the Los Angeles Raiders - Angeles sounds like his name, after all!). Why has he done all this? So Mike won't have to go to America. Mike explains that it's not America he wants to see, it's his dad, be it in the USA or the North Pole. Angelo understands, but notes, 'I do a pretty convincing North Pole.' With one breath, he turns the living room into the North Pole, with snow falling and all three of them dressed as Eskimos!

 

It's the day of the flight to Boston. Mike takes his suitcase down to the hall, where a packing case is waiting. Rita is fussing, checking Mike's packed everything. Tony is late; and where is Angelo? They realise that he's hiding in the packing case. He says he'll miss Mike over the summer, and Mike says likewise. Tony arrives - he said he'd be there at 11, but the flight isn't until 5pm. Mike has everything except his ticket, which Tony gives him. Then he hands Angelo his ticket, and Rita her ticket! Mike and Tony thought that they might like to come too. Rita tells Angelo to pack, whereupon he shuts himself in the packing case, and re-emerges dressed as a tourist: 'California, here we come!'

 

We see the aeroplane taking off, and the end credits roll.

 

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