Things are really building momentum in the penultimate episode of Angry Boys this week. There’s so much happening, it’s one of the most eventful episodes of the series. There’s no preamble before the episode like we usually have with the twins. We’re headed straight into this one. No messing around.
This episode sees a lot of significant changes for all our main characters, Nathan’s hearing seems to have deteriorated so badly he can’t hear anything, which is upsetting, but his family seem to cope with it, even Daniel in his aloof teenage way. It’s been interesting to see how their relationship has progressed over the series.
Because brothers like this are not emotional towards each other, it’s difficult to judge how they’re feeling about the forthcoming changes. You can see from Nathan’s awkward glances he’s nervous about his new school, and Daniel’s angry outbursts are usually instigated by the fear of losing his brother. But they mask it all well with fights. It’s all building up to the party next week, and then we’ll see how everyone’s really feeling.
S.Mouse! also makes huge progress in this episode. He suffers from an incredibly cringey first performance of his new album, “The Real Me”, to an empty club full of haters, but then actually manages to write a decent song that, although still isn’t poetry, is heartfelt and catchy. He’s also branching out in style, where he doesn’t rap, but sings.
This song turns out to be the theme tune to the series, which is a pretty pleasant surprise. But the greatest thing is his dad is really proud of him, which I didn’t think would happen, considering their tempestuous relationship.
I had a lot of preconceptions about this particular character, and whereas I could see how other characters like Gran were developing, I never thought S.Mouse! would. It highlights how Lilley has had an outline for these characters all along, and one by one you can see them all fall in line. S.Mouse! may have been the gimmick to start with, the clichéd stereotype, but even this one has more to give than meets the eye.
Tim has a breakthrough moment this week. It’s one of those moments when you want to punch your fist in the air and say, “Right on!” He fires his god awful mother, Jen, as his manager and tells her he wants to move back to America. After seeing S.Mouse! turn around and show some slight integrity, there was a moment when I thought Jen was going to redeem herself, as her son told her he loved her, but no. She’s vile and repulsive to the bitter end. That’s okay, though, because it’s Tim we really like and we want to see Jen get her comeuppance. After Tim hires Bruce as his new manager to start again in America, it seems that’s what is going to happen. Fingers crossed for next week.
After Gran’s incident last week, her hearing has proved bad news for her future at the prison, but it comes as no surprise, considering her condition, and she accepts the news gracefully. Maybe I’m just far too emotional for my own good, but the boys sending her off with a little party and a brand new guinea pig, after the sad passing of Kerri-Anne, really brought a tear to my eye.
This is a woman who believes in these boys and inspires them to be better. Her relationship with Talib has been a staple of the series, and to see how she’s been the only one to give him any time, when others would just have given up, is really touching. It’s an unbelievably sweet moment to hear the hard as nails boys say, “Love you, Gran,” without a hint of mocking. And when Gran poignantly adds, “I’ll remember this forever,” it’s more than a tad heart-breaking.
I’ve read a lot recently about how the ratings have dropped for this show, and I’ve gauged people’s general reaction to the series as it has progressed. I can understand some of the frustration towards it, but it’s progressed into much more than a standard comedy.
Yes, I personally find some of it ridiculous and hilarious (in this episode I nearly spat out my drink as Jen screamed “Get it off me!” in reaction to a hug), but if you’re in it looking purely for jokes, then you’ll find yourself switching off.
Angry Boys has built a community of people that are all somehow intertwined, and even the shallowest of characters have turned out to have a lot of depth to them as the series has gone on. I’m sticking to my guns on this one. Angry Boys has been a triumph for Lilley. Once you realise this is on a different scale to his previous work, you’ll appreciate it has much more to offer than cheap gags. And there’s only one more left!
Read our review of episode 10 here.