Wednesday, 5 January 2011


This year, to ensure I update this blog at least once a week, I will be providing a blow-by-blow account of the accidentally hilarious and occasionally very well acted River City, a soap overlooked by most people because it’s set in Glasgow and only on telly once a week.

This week, Stuart Baggs-like entrepreneur/spoilt child-man Fraser decides to build a factory next to Gabriel’s shop. When this fails to impress his rival, he shrieks in irritation, “AND we’re going to tartan week!” Strangely enough, this doesn’t have the desired effect. About five minutes later he loses the land anyway. To a church-run play park! Supported by his ain dad!

Meanwhile, an awkward line of exposition in the shop confirms my worst fears – Rosin moved back up North when I wasn’t looking. Gutted. But never mind, because in the wake of mum Scarlett’s cancer, Wee Boab has stepped up to the mark with some wide eyed, gurning acting to try and keep our minds off it. AND he gets to add some comical not-quite-homophobia to the mix, because Robbie the big gay hairdresser is moving in with him and Deek.

Big Boab is distracting himself from Scarlett’s condition by scaring the crap out of Iona with declarations of eternal love worthy of a teenage blog. On the first date. That goes about as well as you might expect. Fortunately, Scarlett is on hand with sage advice.

“That’s the hing aboot chances,” she tells him. “Sometimes you git mair than wan.”

“D’ye hink?” he asks, somewhat insensitively given her medical condition.

“Well here’s hopin’,” was the wry reply.

16 minutes in to the episode, Fraser decides that the only way to get the land for his factory is to dump a load of untraceable industrial waste on it. The church won’t be able to afford to clean it up, and he will step in to take it off their hands at a reduced rate. No, he did not try any other options first, and yes, for those interested, industrial waste looks like runny lemon curd. For some inexplicable reason, business partner Deek believes the stuff isn’t dangerous and helps out, acquiring a SUSPICIOUS BURN along the way which he can’t tell anyone about. Presumably he hasn’t had enough to angst about lately.

Next day, Gabriel sees Deek’s SUSPICIOUS BURN, as well as Fraser suspiciously advising him to man up about the agonizing pain rather than see a doctor. Gabriel wastes no time in making Deek reveal the oozing wound in front of half the pub. Why didn’t he just roll up the other sleeve to reveal the unburnt arm? Come on people, this isn’t some kind of farce.

Anyway, Fraser does the evil thing and pretends to be as shocked as everyone else, as if the good people of Sheildinch will believe a scrawny house elf could carry out such a diabolical plan unaided. But Murray (Fraser’s dad) is suspicious and does some investigatory journalism to uncover the terrible truth. Just in time for a rainy ending, where Fraser loses the land once more, as well as his business partner and relationship with his family. One hopes that girlfriend Amber will have the good sense to dump him too.


  1. That stuff 'll rot your brain! x

  2. NO! I NEED IT!

    Actually, parts of it are surprisingly good. The cancer storyline is being very well done. Also, the main reason for doing this is when I came back to Edinburgh after Christmas and sat watching the Hogmanay one (was on my own in the flat with nobody to stop me, oh the power!) and they deliberately made everyone happy. Or at least they were all putting on a brave face and being together, as people do at New Year, and there were no babies stolen and nobody died cold and alone, and I felt strangely uplifted by it.

  3. A soap making everyone happy at New Year? Bloody hell! That never happens!

    Fair enough, I actively avoid watching it when the parents do, though I admit hearing the Glasgow accent & banter that comes out of dad throughout is pretty funny. Can't imagine him talking like that but I'm pretty sure he did at some point in his youth.