29 December 2009
At Home With The Snails
There have been sitcoms about dysfunctional families before, but this has to beat them all. Over the four episodes of the first series we meet Alex Fisher, a boy obsessed with snails, his father George and mother Beverly. Beverly spends much of her time in the conservatory making 'nice things'. George, on the other hand, spends much of his time wiring up mikes and video cameras to observe his son. Alex's sister, Rose, meanwhile is entirely socially inept, selling 'chocolate excretions' in her sweet shop, but nowhere near as odd as Alex.
I mentioned that George was observing his son, apparently trying to write a book covering his slow descent into madness. And there's plenty to observe. Through nightmarish childhood gardening rituals, Alex has developed an unhealthy interest in snails. We progress from merely keeping them to allowing them to graze freely over his naked body, with cuttlefish nestled in various locations, cutting them in half and eating them raw with a visiting Frenchwoman, insisting on only sliding everywhere whilst wearing deely boppers and a backpack, not to mention spending hours rootling around the rubbish dump in search of Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, so called because he decorates the walls with his slime.
At Home With The Snails was written by Gerard Foster and broadcast in 2001 with a second series in 2002. It stars Geoffrey Palmer, Angela Thorne, Gerard Foster, Miranda Hart and Debra Stephenson. The music, and if anyone could tell me what it is I'd be delighted, is fantastic. [Edit: Waltzinblack by The Stranglers; thank you anonymous commenter!]