Comedy drama series. It's parents' evening, but Millie is desperate to prevent Mum and Dad seeing her English teacher, Miss Knope. She turns to Lauren for help.
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Oh! Who knew ink and paper could feel so heavy?
It's parents' evening.
Lauren's OK. Hers isn't until next month.
My parents must not go.
Do you want to know why?
Actually, I'm keeping this one to myself.
Which is what I should have done in the first place.
When a teacher asks you to express yourself, just say no!
Aw, what's all this?! Where's our tea?
Oh, sorry. Unless you want aubergines!
We've got a rush order.
-I'm not sure if I can make it.
That's fine. It's no big deal.
No, this is unacceptable.
You're neglecting us!
You're right. No, I will come, love.
Yeah, we're looking forward to Craig's parent evening.
Last time they said if we looked hard enough
we might find some hidden depths.
Dad, the thing about depths is if they stay hidden...
..they're still deep.
So, we're staying positive.
Besides, numbers on a piece of paper?
That kind of assessment doesn't suit everyone, right?
You can't boil me down to just numbers.
Do we boil you down to a stew? Double win.
Then we'd have dinner and no Craig.
It's the same night as Millie's, isn't it? We could go together.
I'm doing fine and that's boring to hear
and I want to save you from all of that boredom.
Which is thoughtful of me.
Well, I've used that line before.
It's so hard growing up second.
None of the other parents are going. There's a parents' strike.
That's nice, dear.
Stop, you're being embarrassing! Sister talk right now!
-You're going down, my friend.
-Oh, it's a shame I'm working that night.
-Can you change shifts?
Well, I can try. Just tell everyone to stop having babies.
My teacher really needs to talk to you.
Why does she need to talk to me? You're doing fine, aren't you?
Most of my subjects are good, but I'm failing PE.
What exactly is the problem?
It's my coordination. It's no longer coordinated.
I can help you with that. I used to be top of my year.
-13 trophies and a sash with "Winner" on the front to prove it.
-What did you win in?
-You were a sporty guy?
-What was your position?
-And defence and goalie.
-Wow! That must have been a lot of running.
Not really, it was more football of the table variety.
Table football is very cool and it's about good hand/eye coordination
and edge and the determination to totally crush your opponent.
But mostly coordination.
Well, brilliant. Problem solved.
OK, spill. Why don't you want mum at parents' evening?
There is something to spill. Something big.
Fine. Your little friends will tell me.
They don't know.
Don't worry, you know that I don't like embarrassing you.
She doesn't LIKE embarrassing me, she loves it.
Best day ever!
I am never letting you dress me up for Book Day again.
What am I even meant to be?
Isn't it obvious? Harry Pot-ter.
I've accidentally hit Send To All.
You've been bad, haven't you? Welcome to the dark side.
No, it's you that's Darth Lauren.
Why, then? Are you feeling something?
-That would be so cool.
-Well, I did burn my cheese muffins in DT, but...
So, you know at parents' evening the teachers kind of show your work?
Well, I wrote a story in English and I don't want Mum and Dad to see it.
Why not? Is it terrible? That would be so awesome.
It's not terrible, it's just about them.
You wrote a story about Mum and Dad?! Do you want to live to see 14?
-They can't see it. Ever.
-What am I going to do?
No guts, no glory.
At least with us,
one parent doesn't always have to know what the other one is doing.
Mum's coming to parents evening, too. That's great.
Yeah, but, you know...
If you both go, it could be awkward.
Never been awkward before.
For you maybe,
but I think Mum feels awkward.
She just doesn't always like to say what she's feeling.
She's never had any trouble telling ME what she's feeling.
So do you really want a whole
night of Mum telling you what she's feeling?
Well, mostly we sit there
while the teachers tell us what they're feeling.
Dad, Mum's stressed, overworked.
Is she? Oh, well, I'm...
You're not coming. Smart decision!
Was that my decision?
Dad's got parents' evening covered. You don't have to come.
Oh, no, love!
-I want to be there. I should be there.
I told him you're busy. He wants to help.
He gets distracted and he forgets to listen.
He sits there with his listening face on, just nodding
and occasionally saying, "Mm-hm. Mm-hm."
See? That's what he thinks.
That you don't trust him.
I don't trust him!
Exactly. He just wants to put things right.
And he was very decisive about it.
He was wearing his table-football sash.
And you know how he gets when he wears his table-football sash.
Yes. Distracted by table football.
Right. There you go.
Right. I need thoughts on my T-shirt for parents' day.
Does it say, "I don't care what you say about my kid -
-"you cannot hurt me"?
How bad have your other parents' evenings been?
Fine. Absolutely fine.
I mean, yeah, people say stuff, but, you know, it's just words.
Right. Not easy to sum me up in one word, anyway, so...
-How are the aubergines coming along, Sharon?
Good, cos we've got another order here for mushroom cushions.
It's like someone's putting together a veggie cushion stir fry.
-It's, er, rush delivery, though, so...
-Oh. Oh, Millie...
I'll tell Dad you're not coming.
Thanks. I'm sorry. I just... I really need to do this.
Yep. You guessed it! I ordered the mushroom cushions.
Parents' evening - sorted!
Come on, Fran. You can do better than that!
-I told you - it's my coordination.
-You want to listen to Tony.
I mean, he's actually pretty amazing at this.
I am, aren't I? 5-0 amazing.
Yeah, but can't you just talk to my teachers?
I'll ask my supervisor, sweetheart, but I can't promise anything.
Er, no, I'm not going to parents' evening. I thought you were.
It's OK. Don't panic.
This doesn't definitely mean they've talked.
We've had a talk.
Maybe it was a talk about the weather
and they haven't actually figured it out.
We figured out what's going on.
You think we'll embarrass you.
Or fight in front of your teachers.
Your dad's calmed down a lot.
We both want to be there as opposed to neither of us being there,
see how you're doing.
-Especially in English.
Because you're so good at it.
This is really great.
I'm just going to go and think about how great this is.
You are so busted.
They thought I was worried they'd embarrass me.
Well, that's not a worry. That's a given.
And now they're both coming!
How bad is your story?
What's your title, something like Both My Parents Are Losers?
Cos that'd be a great title. Also a true one.
It's called Meatballs.
Meatballs? What's that, a recipe?
No, and it's not bad, either.
It's just personal.
Am I in it?
Yeah. You're the meatball.
-The main part?
-No, of course not!
Why would you be in it?
You better have written something nice about me.
Now, how am I going to stop them from coming?
But you can stop them from speaking to your English teacher.
Just give me a second to pull up my tactical teacher spreadsheet.
Drop the ball!
Oh, yeah! 1-0!
Er, I'll have to stop. I've done my back in.
Not much wrong with your coordination, though.
I'm the worst! I'm terrible at PE.
You said you were failing at PE
because you want your mum to come to parents' evening.
She goes to Jake's parents' evenings because she worries about him.
So you thought,
"If I pretend to be bad at something,
"she'll have to pay attention"?
So you haven't done your maths homework
and your teacher is Mr Evans
and you know that Mr Evans has a thing for
alternative folk music, so you say,
"I forgot because I was listening to the Lumineers.
"And then spent the rest of the night teaching myself
"tiny guitar and whiny voice."
Job done. People love to talk about their hobbies.
If you spent this much time on your homework, you'd have straight As.
Homework? You're so weird.
-So who's your teacher for English, Miss Knope?
Her interests are Shakespeare - quelle surprise -
and haiku from Japan.
-A Japanese boy band.
Mum, about parents' evening.
-It turns out my English teacher won't be there.
-She's visiting Japan cos she likes haiku.
It's, erm, the Japanese One Direction.
No, a haiku is a short poem.
Yeah, one of the most famous ones goes, "An old silent pond.
"A frog jumps into the pond.
"Splash. Silence again."
That's the most famous one?
It's better in Japanese.
Let me try.
Parents evening is freaking Craig out. He wishes he was a frog.
-Oh, it's just pressure with you lot, isn't it?
And you say you don't care about what they say and you
say you don't care about the numbers,
but you do care about the numbers.
That's not true, Craig.
The words, the numbers, they don't matter. You are not a number.
I'm not a number.
But if you were, you'd be a zero.
-You're going to do great, Craig!
Big night tonight! You all set?
Yeah. Dad's meeting us there.
Thanks for helping.
That's just what big sisters do.
No, they don't. Wait!
You're planning something.
You're being too nice.
I'm often nice for no reason.
Name one time.
I let Mum and Dad bring you home when you were born.
No, you're after something.
You still want to know what my story says about you!
No, I've moved on. I don't care what you say about me.
You care what everyone says about you!
Millie! Hurry up!
Mike and Craig are waiting.
You're just going to have to take my word for it.
I'm not planning anything.
I hate taking your word for it!
Right. Where to look first?
Oh, you do the cooking.
I thought you had to work.
Well, I changed my shift and Jake's at Zach's, so parents' evening.
Weak tea and cheap biscuits, here we come.
I told her it wasn't going very well -
me helping you with your coordination.
I wasn't at one with the small plastic men.
Yeah, well, I'm not at one with schools.
Every time I get in one,
I'm reminded of being a teenage misfit, like everyone's judging me.
-Don't worry, Mum. No-one's judging you.
So that's what you're wearing?
-Well done, Millie.
-Thanks, Dad. I'll go tell Lauren.
Told you that we could do parents' evening together without fighting.
-I'm sorry, but you so do not make a mean paella.
Well, that was not proper Flamenco.
Well, it made Mrs Sanchez smile.
That was a grimace!
Do you want a quick cuppa?
Aye, why not?
Parents' evening was great!
There was a tense moment when Dad decided to show everyone
his steel drum skills, and I saw Miss Knope, but she didn't see me.
Craig was getting a grilling.
He and Michael have stopped for chips.
Millie, I, erm... I read your story.
I told you that was private.
Yeah, I know, but it's dynamite, really.
Please tell me I'm trapped in a nightmare
and that is not Miss Knope at our door!
Don't be silly.
That is her! That's Dopey Knopey!
I am trapped in a nightmare!
What am I going to do?
Just stay here. I can get rid of her.
What if Mike and Craig come back?
If you see them coming, just yell, "Chips."
It's fine. It's just one of my mates.
Teacher at the door
Like a frog in your handbag Causes much surprise.
Oh, a haiku! Very impressive, Lauren.
-Actually, I was hoping for a quick word with your mum.
She's at the zoo.
-Yes, to see all the nocturnal animals.
-Never seen nocturnal penguins.
-Cos they only come out at night. They live in the dark.
Anyway, I'll tell her you stopped by.
Anyway, on second thoughts, would you like to come in and wait?
-Oh, thank you.
-Would you like to see my room?
Just this way.
-Is this your room?
I love my doom dance.
You came second in a human beatboxing competition.
-Yes, I did, yup.
-Do a bit for me!
# Break it down! Maraca solo! #
Will you just excuse me for one second?
Stall Mum, I'll get Mike and Craig out of the way,
and then we can get Miss Knope out of here.
-You're never going to believe who's in there.
Everything OK in here? Great. Well, it's probably time Dad left.
-Who was at the door?
Friend who is a boy.
-I want to meet him.
Sorry, Miss Knope, I don't know what Lauren was thinking.
Come this way. There we go.
No! You can't see him.
Why not? What's wrong with him?
I need to see what's wrong with him.
If he's got a piercing, I'm calling the police.
Oh, in you go...
I'm afraid Michael didn't...
She needs her privacy.
-To do what?
-Just to talk.
It's important that you trust her.
Oh, Millie, you are so naive.
She's not in there.
Mum! I can explain.
Ah, they're in there, eh? Right, out of the way.
Where are they?
-She's here to take back all the good stuff she said about me.
I wouldn't do that, Craig.
You've worked really hard this term
Not that anyone'd know it, you crafty boy.
Nice one, Knopey.
I wanted to see Millie's mum.
Why didn't you say so?
Let me just get her for you now.
-Has she gone?
Knopey's in there.
She wants a word with your mum.
Hello, Millie. Now, what's going on?
What are you going to tell Mum?
I missed you at parents' evening.
I wanted to ask you and your mum
if I could enter your Meatballs essay for a prize.
They don't know.
You mean you've not read it to them?
I told them you were in Japan,
but now you're here.
-Well, you're definitely not a teenage boy with piercings, so...
Where are you hiding him?
I thought you were in Japan.
I wish she was.
Well, I'm always going on about it,
I think Millie got the wrong end of the stick.
I came to talk to you about Millie.
Well, I saw you at parents' evening...
-What did you want to talk to us about?
I just wanted you to know that Millie has a lot of potential.
And she shouldn't be scared.
Writers are at their best when they are brave and true to themselves.
Right, I'd better be going.
Oh, thank you for coming.
And sorry about the confusion.
I'm still confused, I think.
-What Dopey Knopey didn't say
was Millie's written a brilliant story...
-..which you both should read.
-I'll go. Just wait here.
where is her boyfriend, exactly?
Millie. Please come out.
Things can't get any worse.
Things can always get worse.
Tonight's a good example.
OK, just hear me out.
I thought you'd written some lame story,
but you didn't.
And I think that deep down, sort of...
..you want Mum and Dad to hear it.
..why would you write it?
LOCK CLICKS OPEN
Let me get this straight.
You're doing great in science, great in maths, great in French,
and what was the other one?
Oh, yeah, great in PE.
-I may have lied about my coordination.
Do you hate schools?
Course not. I just...
never wanted MY parents to come to parents' evening.
"Amber has so much potential, if only she'd try."
-They were right, of course, but...
I am so glad I went.
Now, I am picking out a film that is in no way educational.
No documentaries, then?
Not unless it features a trashy love story or exploding zombies.
SHE LAUGHS GHOULISHLY
I did write a story, and it IS about you.
-But I was worried about you seeing it.
-But you're not now?
Will you read it to us?
I am still worried, yeah...
..but I'll read it to you.
It's called Meatballs.
I thought it was an ordinary day.
Better than ordinary,
because mum was cooking my favourite tea.
Spaghetti and meatballs.
It's not my favourite any more.
After tea, they had to tell us something.
I don't remember who spoke first,
or the exact words used.
I just remember the little things.
The way Mum kept touching her wedding ring,
like she was getting ready to take it off.
The look on Lauren's face.
And the way my chest felt weird.
I wondered whether Dad had started packing yet.
The next morning,
I woke up first.
I lay on my back and I listened to the sounds of the house.
I heard Mum get up and go into the bathroom.
I could hear Dad pulling his suitcase from on top of the wardrobe.
But it was the thing that I couldn't hear that was good.
I couldn't hear any arguing.
-Pretty good, isn't it?
-It's very good.
-It's really good.
Is that what Miss Knope came about?
She wants to enter it for a prize.
Don't know if it's that good.
-Guess who's a total genius?
My son. I couldn't wait for you to guess.
Miss Knope says he's come along three sub levels in a year.
So, it looks like your hidden depths aren't so hidden.
They're not hidden, but they're still deep.
So that's you off the hook,
and so am I.
That just leaves Lauren...
She's still got parents' evening to come.
Mum... About that.
I hear they're planning a parent strike.
So I needn't have worried,
and it felt quite good to write about what was on my mind.
And you want to know what the weirdest thing is?
I fancy meatballs for tea.
Oh, what's all this?
Where's our tea?
Oh, sorry. Unless you want aubergines?
We got a rush order.
It's parents' evening, but Millie is desperate to prevent Mum and Dad seeing her English teacher, Miss Knope. She turns to Lauren for help, and her scheming sister soon finds out the reason: Millie has written a story about the night Mum and Dad split up, and Miss Knope wants to enter it into a competition. Millie is horrified at the thought of it being shared - especially with Mum and Dad. With Lauren's help, the meeting is avoided - but Miss Knope wants to know why her star pupil was a no-show... Fran is having the same problem in reverse: how can she persuade a reluctant Amber to go to parents' evening? Tony comes to the rescue.