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I was just talking to someone about how good at acting the pair of them are, moving seamlessly from comedy to drama. Yesterday's episode was brilliant, although my friend said she felt the twist was too similar to Tom & Gerri. I disagree, and this episode was far better anyway.

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I'm in two minds about BCDR. On the one hand, it was arguably a tour de force in terms of performance, and a powerful demonstration of how to apply dramatic light and shade, and deserves all the praise it gets in those departments. I have two no doubt unsurprising problems:

 

Spoiler

First, the twist was not only predictable, but predictable within the context of the series itself. It's one thing if we've seen it before; there are only so many plots. It's another thing when we've seen it several times before in a show that's only just starting its third series. It was the world's safest bet that either one of them wasn't real, or one of them was plotting revenge. If you were picking an episode to showcase IN9 to a new viewer, you might well pick this one, and with good cause. But in context, I think it's problematic and I found it disappointing.

 

Second, that stretch of time between the daughter giving him the envelope and the reveal of the £25 was a grievous waste of time, at the worst possible time. Because what else could be in there? Maybe they'll surprise us - but, no. There's no information in there for the audience; I'd have much preferred it if Shearsmith had opened the envelope but they'd not shown us the contents, just his reaction and then into the song. It'd still be obvious, but I think the unspoken obvious would have worked much better at this crucial point, because we're not watching Dramarama - give us some space to engage.

 

Obviously I feel mean criticising it, because it was so clearly heartfelt and affectionate, and pitch perfect. The performances trumped the broad plot, which in the wrong hands could have ended up a mawkish O. Henry pastiche and definitely avoided that fate, but when the credits rolled - immediately, not after sitting around thinking about it - I was more unsatisfied than satisfied, and I feel it was a case of the polish serving to accentuate the flaws.

 

I guess what's happening here could be considered as refinement, which is a good thing - but you can't help the way you feel, can you? Well, I expect there are pills I could take.

 

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@Rowan Morrison

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I guess I'm lucky in that no matter how many of these things I see I don't see the twist coming. But this one especially caught me unaware and I just think that's testament to the performances, I was so absorbed I didn't think about it.

 

I also think the twist works on many levels. When it became clear that something was wrong during the ten bottles sketch, like really wrong, the penny dropped for me. Not that Drake had died, but that Shelby had given up everything he loved to try and help his friend. It just became so heart breaking from that point, and shone a new light on everything we'd just watched. 

 

I think it's one of the best things they've ever done.

 

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28 minutes ago, Stanley said:

@Rowan Morrison

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I guess I'm lucky in that no matter how many of these things I see I don't see the twist coming. But this one especially caught me unaware and I just think that's testament to the performances, I was so absorbed I didn't think about it.

 

I also think the twist works on many levels. When it became clear that something was wrong during the ten bottles sketch, like really wrong, the penny dropped for me. Not that Drake had died, but that Shelby had given up everything he loved to try and help his friend. It just became so heart breaking from that point, and shone a new light on everything we'd just watched. 

 

I think it's one of the best things they've ever done.

 

Spoiler

Yeah, I wouldn't really disagree with any of that, and the bottles routine was an excellent and nuanced touch. It probably is one of the best things they've done. I guess the problem I have is that, as I said, it's a refinement rather than a revelation. I'm not entirely sure why that should be a problem - I guess it's like a band who master their technique over the years, and never stop playing from the heart, but don't change the chords.

 

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No reactions to "the Memento one"?

 

I think it needs another watch for everything to properly click but I thought it was very good. The only bit that didn't really work was the live dictaphone editing but I can let that slide as a bit of League of Gentlemen type silliness.

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I thought it was a good episode, but watching it I was so sure that the final (first?!) 10 minutes that finally showed what was going on was going to be some incredibly clever/horrible/sad super-twist. I thought what was revealed was fine, but this episode was a victim of how high my own expectations for this show have risen. 

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A very intriguing episode, building up the layers by going backwards. Must have been a nightmare to write and keep track of things. The end result felt very surreal, especially because of

Spoiler

the old man thinking he is Andrew Lloyd Webber. 

 

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