Romesh tries to spend some quality time with his mum, including a hip hop tour of LA in a ‘Lowrider’ and a trip to the world's biggest comic book convention.
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I always wanted to go to America with you, to see the family.
(It's going to be shit.)
I am going on the trip of a lifetime.
Except I've got to take my mum.
This trip is about getting to know the part of my family who
ended up settling in North America.
Seeing what my life might have been like if my mum and dad
hadn't selected the delights of Crawley.
Oh, my God! Oh, shit!
Last time we went to Sri Lanka, I did what my mum told me to do,
but this time we're doing what I want to do.
-Do you feel like you're in control?
There's no more mad religious ceremonies.
There's no more me getting beaten up.
There's no more me falling victim to family pressure.
Would you prefer that your mother was not on this trip?
This time I'm in charge. We're doing what I want to do on this trip.
I mean, obviously I haven't actually told my mum that.
-I'm the Asian Provocateur.
-Who the hell am I, then?
Asian Provocateur's mum.
Oh, my God!
Oh, my God! GUNSHOT
What exactly are we going to do in LA?
I told you, we're going to meet my cousin. You know I want to be an actress.
You find somebody, agent or someone.
-What are you talking about, Mum?
I always wanted to be an actress. Nothing wrong with that.
What kind of movie would you like to be in?
-Like, romantic movie.
-OK. What sort of guy would you want to be cast against?
-Tom Selleck, yeah.
-Do you think that's realistic?
-Why not? He's old, I'm old.
Well, maybe the story would be he goes to India or something like that
and then some raggedy old woman selling snacks by the side of the road,
and he sort of sees something in her.
And he says, "Listen, I know you're dirty and you smell of shit,
-"and you're wearing rags, but I see something in your eyes."
And then the woman, "Oh, I see something in your eyes.
"Weren't you in Magnum?" And then they get together.
I'm happy with that.
MUSIC: California Love by 2 Pac and Dr Dre
Well, I've had a week apart from my mum with my uncle Rags in Mexico.
So now this week is all about me and mum hanging out in LA,
spending some quality time together, do you know what I mean?
She's been knocking about in this holiday home that her cousin sorted out,
but she has been on her own,
so I think she'll actually be pleased to see me.
Hello! How are you, my son?
Is this... I cannot believe this place, Mum. Look at this!
-Was it difficult without me and stuff?
-No, not at all.
My cousins were very helpful.
I mean, I had a good time without you.
No, I was telling I wanted to be an actress,
so my cousin has arranged to meet an agent for me.
-How about that?
-Are you joking?
So far, it seems that my mum has settled in almost too well.
I don't understand how,
when my mum gets family to sort stuff out, she's got an agent.
Do you know what I mean?
Get me an agent so I can get out of doing shit like this.
-Shanthi, good to meet you.
-Lovely to meet you.
Have you always had an interest in acting, then?
At school I was in dramas and...
I've seen a couple of the interview shows,
-and you've been just so popular in all of those.
And Asian Provocateur. Great programme, by the way.
Thank you, you have watched it.
I think I was sort of the main part of the show,
and then Mum was sort of an unexpected...
Do you know what I mean? I think that added...
-Oh, were you not at the very beginning of the show?
She was in the beginning, but when the show started, like,
Mum wasn't, hadn't done any...
It was my show, if you see what I mean.
'Have I been at gigs on the tour and been heckled with'
"Your mum's funnier than you"?
Basically what made it come together was that you had your mother and you.
That's really what the whole show hinges on.
-Right. Yeah. I suppose so, yeah.
'Have people tweeted me and said'
"Your mum's the best thing about the show"? Yes, they have.
You know, what type of roles do you both want to do most?
I'd sort of like to be in a superhero film.
You're not really the superhero type.
Did the BBC say
"We can do another series but your mum has to be on board"?
Yeah. That did happen.
So, getting to acting.
If you really want to do it,
I think it would make a lot of sense to come here and relocate.
-OK. Nice to hear that.
I think the two of you working together, as you have been,
I think that she brings a lot of likeability to you.
And then you bring all the stuff that you've done in your career.
So, you know, maybe I should represent both of you, then.
MUSIC: Overnight Celebrity by Twista
Well, now that my mum's got an agent and I've become her sidekick,
we're off to have dinner with the De Silvas.
Basically my mum's been setting up a life in LA.
But I'm happy.
I'm really happy with how well she's taken to it.
# Give you ice like Kobe right We sorta like Goldie right
# The way we mo dem right
# I could make you a celebrity overnight. #
-How are you?
-How are you?
Hi, how are you doing? Nice to meet you.
The De Silvas are great.
We sat down and the first ten minutes of that conversation
was mum and my uncle discussing who they knew that had died.
They all passed away. Everybody...
-Also, he has passed away.
They were playing funeral bingo, it felt like.
"You know Auntie Rasika? She's dead.
"You know Auntie Cathy? She's dead.
"Uncle Raj? He's dead."
-So my father's younger brother...
-Yeah. He has passed away.
-Yeah. Oh, right.
I was half expecting my uncle to go, "House!"
-Thanks for arranging the agent, Mum did it.
Ryan has told me that I might have to move to LA.
-I said, "Oh, that will be fun."
She walked out of there thinking she's Hollywood's biggest bloody gift, know what I mean?
Now she's talking about moving to LA, off of one meeting.
If you have a plan to stay, then you are welcome to stay with us.
Thank you, thank you. I will do that.
They seem very nice.
What I didn't like was three girls that worked there coming over
and starting to pull everyone up.
-Come on, it'll be fun.
-No, I've got like a bad leg.
Everyone started dancing. You know, I don't like dancing.
And then this guy got up and immediately
made a beeline towards Mum and they started dancing together.
MUSIC: You Never Can Tell by Chuck Berry
Started pulling all this shit.
And then my mum was doing it back. All that.
What would have been annoying is if they'd played some dancehall
and my mum started grinding up on the guy.
"Ride up on me!" You know, I would have found that weird.
Do you know what a low rider is?
I do. I've seen those bumpy cars,
on the DVDs, on the rap videos. Is that the one?
Yeah, that's the one.
So what I was thinking is, the home of low riders is LA.
You speak to the De Silvas, sort out a low rider,
we go on a little hip-hop tour of LA.
No. No, I don't like it.
I want to go for shopping in Beverly Hills.
Like what the Pretty Woman did.
When she was a prostitute? The prostitute?
-Why are you bringing that word, prostitute?
-That's what she was.
I don't want to act like her, I want to do shopping like her.
I want to experience that.
-Jesus Christ, no!
MUSIC: Who Am I (What's My Name) By Snoop Dogg
-Oh, my God!
-How cool is that?
It turns out that my mum has actually pulled it out of the bag
and has agreed to spend the day in a low rider.
-Did you see that? Yeah!
-That's amazing, man.
'I'm very excited about today.'
It's finally... We're getting something I'm genuinely properly into, do you know what I mean?
-Ah, ah, ah - around these parts, Mom gets to sit in the front.
'You know, we're in LA,'
I'm thinking they're going to take me round the sites
that are synonymous with hip-hop videos and stuff.
Just hit the key points.
This is where Tupac first got his hair cut or something.
MUSIC: How We Do by The Game
You got to say, "Mom, hit that switch", or else we ain't hitting no switches.
Hit the switch?
-They said you wanted a hip-hop tour.
-What about your mom?
-I don't know. If you...
-You can drop me for shopping.
We're not doing shopping, Mum. They're doing a hip-hop tour, yeah.
Come on, buddy, you got to be a little more respectful to your mom.
-Stop and let her walk around right here.
-Yeah. Are you coming, Rom?
You go and have fun, Mum. I'm going to chill out here.
You should go.
MUSIC: Oh, Pretty Woman by Roy Orbison
Let's go. Come with me.
I just want to have a look at one of the shops.
We're not in a low rider now, though, are we?
# Pretty woman walking down the street
# Pretty woman the kind I like to meet...#
It was exciting at first to get into a low rider. I was properly buzzing.
For the first 10-15 minutes bouncing, you think "This is great".
And then you pull up at a shop, and you wait for your mum.
And you think, "Well, you know, I'm still going to get into a low rider."
-You get back into the low rider,
you pull up at another shop and you wait for your mum.
-Shall we go there?
-Is this now a shopping trip.
And then what happens is you forget you're in a low rider and
you start to focus on the fact that you're shopping with your mum.
This is fucking brilliant.
# Oh, pretty woman. #
-What did you get?
-I got some blouses.
Because you were in a bad mood I didn't want to spend much time there.
-Can we go and see some hip-hop stuff?
-Love to. Love to.
What do you mean "Love to"? We've been going shopping the whole bloody day.
Now your time. OK, I won't ask for shopping.
This whole day was supposed to be my time, woman.
Come on, then. Don't be so rude to me.
You remember what Gus said to you? "You should respect your mother."
-Everybody's exhausted of the shopping.
-Yeah, too much shopping.
It's only a small bag of shopping.
To complete your hip-hop tour, I got a special surprise for you.
-You wanted the hip-hop experience, right?
I got somebody that's ready to battle you.
-You ready to do this?
-I don't think I can really battle anybody, man.
You going to let your mom down? Your mom is here!
-You going to let your mom down?
-You can do it, Rom. Come on.
I'm not going to be good at this.
Hey. This is hip-hop.
Did you think it was a little odd that he'd do rap battles in a launderette?
No, I didn't think it was odd it was in a launderette.
Yeah, course I fucking thought it was odd.
And I'm going to give you 60 seconds. It's on you. Fire when you ready, man.
Do you see it taking off in the UK?
I don't know, if you've got 16 bars and a jacket that needs steam cleaning,
then, yes, I think it would really take off.
-He about to get smoked like a bag of hazebee.
I don't see how y'all think he's funny just cos that eye is lazy.
When I look at you it makes me want to quote a Precious line,
and I bet every car you get into you activate the low tyre pressure sign.
I bet in front of them clothes you look like a fucking mudslide.
Was that a earthquake?
No, rang the door and the cha-cha slide.
OTHERS JEER AND LAUGH
I see you got a nip-tuck
and don't say shit about my sexuality cos I heard
your white bitch got a dick tuck.
'He absolutely destroyed me.
'He talked about how disgusting I look with my shirt off.'
He said some stuff about my lazy eye.
He said my wife was a white bitch with a dick tuck.
He also said the thing about when you get into a car how
the tyre pressure always says low.
I think he delivered exactly how you did there, by the way, that was incredible.
I don't know why you didn't step in and spit a few bars.
POSH ACCENT: "He also said actually when you get into a car the pressure becomes low
"because you are so heavy you reduce the pressure in the tyres."
HE RAPS: I'm coming to the US as a UK resident
to the country that's dumb enough to think Trump could be president.
I'm going to grab you, defeat you and then I'll let you go.
And then you'll want to jump Trump's wall just to be let into Mexico.
I've got an English accent so you can hear what I mean.
I'm going to leave your head spinning
like cycle three on one of those washing machines.
OTHERS JEER AND LAUGH
-There you go! There you go! There you go!
You got ten more seconds, it's on you.
HE RAPS: How dare you embarrass me by coming up and trying to battle me?
Get in my face with extra experience and try to rattle me.
You understand, bruv, you're going to end up getting hurt
but after the battle I'll let you clean some of my shirts.
So, how would you sum up your hip-hop day,
low riding and rapping?
You sort of said low riding and rapping...
..as if that was what we did for most of the day, which is not the case.
What we did was, we did shopping,
and then we spent five minutes in a dry-cleaner's.
What is your favourite Eddie Murphy film?
-Beverly Hills Cop?
-Yes, yes, yes.
I thought because we're in LA I'd quite like to actually
be like a Beverly Hills Cop for a bit.
Like check out how the cops operate. Roll up on some people.
-Put a banana in somebody's tailpipe. You know the banana...?
-Banana in the tailpipe?
"Look, man, I ain't falling for no banana in my tailpipe!"
-You know that?
-Yes, I remember that.
EDDIE MURPHY LAUGH I want to do that.
That would be nice. Really, I'm excited.
Just play good cop/bad cop, you and me, interrogating somebody.
-Imagine you're bad cop now, I'm good cop.
-We've got a suspect.
And I say, "Look, man, we're just trying to help you,
"can you just tell us, give us some information and then we can make your life easier."
Then what would you do?
"If you don't cooperate with us I'll put a banana in your arsehole."
No, sorry! Sorry, sorry!
MUSIC: Sound Of Da Police by KRS-One
My mum has sorted out through her cousin something pretty cool.
We are spending the day with a private investigator in LA.
I just think it's cool to be a detective, to check out shit.
You go on stakeout.
If you need me to sit in a park inconspicuously
waiting for someone to turn up, I'll do that for you, mate.
No problem at all.
Did that on many dates when I was a teenager.
# That's the sound of da police. #
Well, I understand you have some curiosity about detectives
-and what they do and that.
When people express an interest, we start taking them out on cases and work with them.
-We have to work actual real cases.
-Is that something that you're interested in?
-Yeah, definitely, right?
So, the case that we are working today right now,
we have a marijuana collective, that's legal here in California if
you have the proper licensing, and their harvest is missing
about 20,000 worth of product, about 12-15 lbs
I'm going to show you a picture of the target that we're looking at.
'When he showed us the photos of the target -
'we're try to find someone that's selling marijuana,
'I mean, that guy is selling marijuana.'
To me, that is sufficient evidence.
If I was a judge and I go, "What proof do you have?"
"Have a look at that, mate."
He's embezzled property from his employer.
He has contacted his employer's customers to sell them that property.
So we might use you for that today.
-Perfect. To make the buy?
I will be there with you, walking you step-by-step.
But you got to follow my directions.
Don't jump out and try and be a hero.
So, how's your detective experience going?
I'm actually loving it so far.
-Mum, come with me.
So, the plan is to buy some marijuana from the guy who's
allegedly nicked it.
That would be sufficient evidence for them to sort of get him, bang to rights.
You're on your own. Go do it.
I'll be across the street taking pictures, OK?
You'd hope that this guy, Brian,
has actually been properly verified and we're not just scoring for him.
Rom, are you sure you're happy going undercover?
-I just think, just try and be confident.
-You're making me nervous now.
Right, well, good luck, man. How much are you buying?
-I don't know. Half a pound. No, I don't know.
No, I don't think so. No.
Maybe I've got a generic face or something, I don't know.
This whole thing was an absolute nightmare.
Three pounds, something like that.
I did a big cock-up cos I asked him for a cash price.
Is there any chance of any movement? If we pay you cash...
Obviously when you're dealing with illegal marijuana deals,
you'd very rarely use credit cards.
-OK, great. Thanks very much.
-(What the fuck was that?
I think you did pretty well.
This case is an actual case.
But what you just experienced was a re-enactment.
Jim, the guy you just met, is one of my detectives.
So your mum knew it was all fake the whole way along.
-She knew it was fake the whole way along?
She set it up with the De Silvas as a training exercise.
What a load of shit. What a load of shit!
-All right, well, thanks very much.
-Thank you so much.
-It was a pleasure.
-Thank you so much.
-Thank you. I wish you all the best.
The whole day's been a waste of time.
We didn't actually do a real drugs' bust.
The only thing I can take away from it is it's over.
And I've got an envelope full of marijuana.
It's not real marijuana.
(This is a fucking joke.)
So, Mum, last day in LA.
Fun day together.
I have arranged - are you ready? Palm Springs...
It's amazing. Sci-fi, superheroes, comic books, all sorts of shit.
But I have arranged to see this... My cousin.
We'll see them later on, after Comic Con.
I'm just telling you an amazing thing.
Comic Con is for you, not for me. But you arranged, for you to enjoy.
Mum, I've arranged it for both of us. I've sorted out costumes and everything.
-Like, Comic Con costumes.
How do you know my size for you to select the costume?
I just said fairly big.
That's so rude, Romesh!
And I said, "A little bit of extra room in the caboose."
Well, we're on our way to Comic Con, Palm Springs. Going to be wicked.
It's just that it's the finale of the show,
and it seems a bit of a diversion for you?
I don't think it is a diversion for me.
This week is all about me spending time with my mum,
and that is exactly what I'm doing, I'm spending time with my mum.
We're going to meet some fans, do some role-plays.
It's going to be quality.
You know, what was the close to last series?
We walked up a hill.
It was your idea to go up the hill to make it up to your mum.
-This is unbelievable, right?
It's Darth Vader playing the trumpet.
-It's not going well.
-What did you expect?
Well, I thought this would be a bit more spectacular than it is.
It's just a load of people selling comic books.
I knew there would be a lot of that,
but I thought there'd be a bit more of, like, you know what I mean?
Stuff laid on and stuff, like, cool shit happening.
Mum, shall we have a look around?
You are enjoying, I'm just stuck here with you.
So you can see it's going well.
She was hating it. Properly hating it.
The only thing she showed any interest in
was a drawing of Tom Selleck.
-You can get me that.
What the hell are you going to do with that?
'That's literally the only thing she showed any interest in.'
At the moment, I'm staring down the barrel of a very bad last day.
-I was thinking because today's been a bit crap...
We need to find a way of saving the day and making it good.
-So this is my plan.
-Your ultimate dream, be a movie star.
-My ultimate dream, be a superhero.
You, me, De Silvas, make a trailer for a film...
-You and me starring as superheroes.
-That's fine. That's fine.
So it's the trailer for something that doesn't exist?
No, it's not, actually. It's a trailer for something that does exist -
now all I need to do is secure the financing to make a feature film. What do you think?
And also, I've been thinking about this whole agent, moving to LA thing.
I don't want you to move to LA. I'll miss you.
-I'll miss you too.
-And then the kids will miss you.
So I just want you to stay in Crawley.
I'll take you shopping as much as you want.
Who's going to direct it?
Well, I mean, I don't know. Do we know a director around here?
Why don't you direct it. You're a director, aren't you?
"Do we know what we're going to do? We're going to make a trailer,
"you need a camera and a sound man and a director.
"I wonder where we're going to find those?"
We're making a fucking TV show, mate. What do you think?
What is it with you blocking everything? Just use these pricks.
-Do you want the Tom Selleck picture?
-Yes, please. Yes, please.
Do you not think it's a bit weird for a woman of your age to have a Tom Selleck picture?
No, doesn't matter. He is not young.
No, but I'm saying hanging a picture up on the wall is weird, isn't it?
-I'm not going to put it on the wall, I'll put it under my pillow.
So, our last day here in L...
-'There was a man...'
This is the shittest thing I've ever done.
'..and his mum.'
When you're doing the poo-poos, I will stay outside.
Don't say "poo-poos", Mum.
'Their mission was to assemble the Ranganathans...'
-I'm not having anything up my arse, mate.
-It'll be fine.
Shit, shit, shit.
'But when they discovered their hidden powers...
'..they became the heroes they were destined to become.'
-Who are you?
-I'm the Asian Provocateur.
And I'm his mum.
-You look horrible in that costume.
-Did you enjoy the trip?
-I did. I did. It's lovely.
What was your favourite part of it?
Being with you and going around seeing places. It's beautiful.
-Is there anything about the trip you would have changed?
You never danced with me. All this time.
You had so many opportunities. Dance with me.
'I've spent six weeks with my mum, pretty much,' and, you know, the
fact that we're still talking is a real credit to the relationship.
SONG: I Love You So Much It Hurts by Ray Charles
# I love you so much it hurts me...#
This is actually really weird, isn't it?
Having said that, I would never, ever, ever do it again.
Where should we go next year?
In his final week Romesh really wants to spend quality time with his mother Shanthi. Last week, whilst he was in Mexico, she had been spending time with her long lost relatives the De Silva family in LA. It turns out, to Romesh’s surprise and annoyance,that Shanthi has got on very well without him in their time apart. So much so that she is on the road to fulfilling her life-long dream of being a movie star with plans to meet with a local Agent. The next day appears to be more to Romesh’s liking - a hip hop tour of LA in a ‘Lowrider’ - but it is soon derailed when the lowrider group are more interested in what his mum wants to do and it becomes a glorified shopping trip. Finally, there is one last surprise for Romesh who had been brought up watching Beverly Hills Cop - a day experiencing life as a private detective. Romesh and Shanthi seem to be thrown in at the deep end as they are asked to go undercover on a bust. For the last day, Shanthi wants to spend time with the De Silvas but Romesh has set up a day to go to the biggest comic book convention in the world ‘Comicon.’ Romesh is looking down the barrel of a disastrous last day as his mother is totally bored and fed up and even he cannot pretend it is totally enjoyable, At the last minute he comes up with an bizarre idea to save the climax of their trip - make their own Superhero movie trailer…