Series 6 of this beloved British tv show is underway; with nearly 40 episodes of classic family antics, wonderful Wilson moments, and the Goodmans being, well, the Goodmans.
Mr Morris – Series 2, Episode 2
Mr Morris in season two is an iconic episode, as you get to meet the one and only Mr Morris (Owner of the second biggest button sewing factory in the South East, with 11 staff – and did you know he had survived three heart attacks?). Notorious for his bad driving, he crashes into the Goodman residence with new piece-of-skirt Grandma Nelly. Seething with hatred for the Rutherford sewing company, he calls anyone who he disagrees with a “slanderer” or worse, a “punk-rocker”. He is absolutely chock-full of one-liners, with his nasty and dominant ways taking over the conversations in the episode. Yet you can do nothing but laugh at his grumpy old man ways and his iconic characterization as the Goodmans try to adapt to his presence. He becomes a recurring character over the later seasons becoming a regular at the house, following Grandma wherever she goes.
The Mouse – Series 2, Episode 6
The penultimate episode of Series 2 sees the Goodman’s oddball neighbour, Jim, finally procuring his much coveted place at their table for a ‘real Jewish dinner’. Chaotic antics ensue that see Jim – in his attempts to be respectful – make a ‘Jewish hat’ out of his own shirt, swig ‘traditional Jewish drinking water’ (which is in fact just salt water he watches Johnny tricking Adam with), as well as ultimately disrupting the families re-decorating by upsetting red paint everywhere and electrocuting himself twice in order to receive the kiss of life from Jackie.
‘The Mouse’ is exemplar of the shows simplistic yet effective framework, the mundane family ritual of weekly Friday night dinner that is set against everyday problems such as mice in the house and the chaos of interior decorating that becomes far more difficult when aggravating characters – be it the likes of Jim or the belligerent Mr Morris – are thrown in to the mix. As seen throughout the episode Mark Heap’s Jim teeters between offensive and somewhat creepy to pity provoking in his idiocy, with his doting upon ‘Jaahckie’ and ignorant fascination surrounding the families religion being defects of his character that have become emblematic of the show and staple in future episodes, much like Jackie’s infamous crimble crumble. Shalom.
Lord Luck – Series 5, Episode 4
One of Friday Night Dinner‘s many strengths is in its cast’s ability to turn material that shouldn’t be funny into some of the best comedy on TV. ‘Lord Luck’ is one of the best examples of this, with Martin reunited with a ventriloquist dummy from his youth after Jonny stumbles upon it in the loft. Martin’s baffling affinity for this scary-looking doll is made even more ridiculous by his complete inability to perform ventriloquism. His incompetence is worth it, however, for a moment where he tries to console Jonny’s friend Ben, who is round the Goodman house for a pick-me-up after getting dumped by his fiancé. Martin, and Lord Luck, aren’t scared to tell the depressed Ben the truth: “she’s not coming back, mate… the thing is, life’s a buggerrrrrrrrrr!” Martin’s squeaky voice – and frank honesty – is just stupidly funny.
– Joe Williams