Family-based sitcom. Karen indulges her competitive instincts, Ben delves into the mysteries of human psychology and Jake appoints himself as a parenting expert.
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SIREN WAILS SUE: OK, everyone! Dinner in five.
That smells nice. Is it horse?
Probably. How was Jake's driving lesson?
I really think that we should pay a proper instructor to teach him.
-Because they are professionally trained to hide the terror.
Oh, come on. Hey, boys, now, I need you to clear away your homework stuff.
He doesn't seem to notice things. You know, important things. Solid things.
Because he's a teenager. They're dreamy.
Mentally, he's just not there.
At one point I yelled, "Pedestrian!" and he thought it was a criticism.
So jammy. You get to do psychology. What do I get to do?
Oxbow lake. What the hell is an oxbow lake anyway? I mean...
Mum, can I... mind if I look at the football?
No, we are all sitting down together for once.
Psychology's so interesting.
It is interesting until you have to study it, then it becomes annoying like everything else.
Yeah, but it's the study of the mind. Once you understand the mind, you can bend it to your will.
Like Derren Brown. He can make people think they're being attacked by zombies.
A very useful life skill. Ben, I need this cleared.
And...and career-wise, psychology's practical.
I will never do anything that makes me work with an oxbow lake.
But I might be a psychiatrist.
-What's the difference?
Er...a psychiatrist studies diseases of the mind,
whereas a psychologist... writes crappy self-help books.
Ben, could you lay the table, please?
So, your dad was just filling me in about your driving lesson.
-How...how do you think it went?
-I need lessons from a paid instructor.
-Someone who knows what they're doing.
-Well, I know what I'm doing.
-It's very distracting, sitting next to someone
-who's constantly slamming their foot into the floor.
-That's a reflex, a survival instinct.
-It's the same as throwing your hands in front of your face.
-Also very distracting.
And he's too vague. He says bear left, when there's loads of lefts.
-There was one available left.
-Well, I think I proved that was untrue, didn't I?
-But that left was a canal.
-You said turn left so I turned left and I stopped in plenty of time.
-You didn't stop in plenty of time.
-All right, I tell you what.
Why don't I take you out tomorrow?
Look, I just...I don't think it's a good idea to be taught by a family member.
Oh, it'll be fine.
Oh, you haven't forgotten
that you're taking her to a swimming match tomorrow, have you?
No, I haven't forgotten.
I've tried to.
You know, I think this is perfect timing, her getting on the school team.
It'll give her a chance to settle in with the other kids, it will boost her self-confidence.
-Isn't it her self-confidence that's cheesing off the other kids?
But I think a lot of that's a mask,
to hide her insecurities.
That she's been wearing for 11 years?
I've got a bad feeling about this.
When she swam for the primary school,
it was always little tournaments and she always won,
but this one is against that big new academy,
the one whose kids aren't allowed into shops.
Look, it doesn't matter how she does.
The key here is that she's finally engaged in a school activity.
-What if she doesn't win?
-Well, it'll be good for her.
-I'm not thinking of her. I'm thinking of us.
-Think what kind of week we'll have.
Oh, God. Do you remember Black March, when she lost that game of Risk?
-Can I eat watching Game Of Thrones?
We're all going to eat together like a prop... Now where's Jake gone?
-Need the toilet!
SIREN WAILS OUTSIDE I said lay the table.
-What...what are you doing?
-I've just got to print something off.
-Well, what is it?
-First 50 pages of my novel.
The one I'm working on currently, the one about the samurai who can time-travel.
Oh, right, that one.
-Cos Phil at work, his wife is an editor for a publisher, so...
-Do you think you could do this later on?
Because the printer's playing mind games and I need to get everybody sat down.
-Where's Ben? Ben!
-Back in a sec!
SHE SIGHS Karen!
Kids! It's...it's like herding cats.
Karen, are you ignoring me or are you wearing your headphones?
-I'm ignoring you!
She's in a foul mood.
She picked up a detention today for commenting on the deputy head's moustache.
Oh, right, so the deputy head is ultra-sensitive about his moustache?
-I don't know why Karen does this stuff.
-I do. It's because of you two.
You need to challenge her behaviour, confront her more.
-I'm being serious.
I know. That's what's so funny.
You need to control her. She needs boundaries.
Well, I think you're being a bit hard on us. Isn't he?
Course he is. We brought you up. We didn't do a bad job there, did we?
Yeah. But then you just seemed to lose the hang of it.
-You cut her way too much slack.
-She treats this place like a hotel.
-Oh, well, that's just rubbish.
KAREN: Mum! I'll have dinner in my room!
is an untypical coincidence that is just...
You will come down here and have your dinner with everybody else,
like a...proper person!
-What are those?
-It's part of my costume for Spartacus.
Mr Farthinglow says I can take 'em home to try and get used to them.
He says I have to try and get myself into the mindset of a rebel slave
taking on the might of imperial Rome.
This is a musical, isn't it?
Ben, I won't say it again. No gladiator nets at the dinner table.
-You're so strict.
Hallelujah! We're all here, all assembled. At last we can...
Where are you going?
-I need a shower.
-We're all about to eat.
-Put a plate over it. I might grab it later.
-No, you'll eat it now or it's going down the toilet.
All right, all right.
A family should always eat together.
Yep, the Borgias always ate together.
No, your mum's right. We should eat together.
Salt and pepper, Ben.
Karen, what was that weird thing you were doing in the bathroom earlier?
Oh, yeah, that was my victory dance for tomorrow at swimming.
Yeah, I, um...make a K so I spread my arms out like this.
-Yeah, K for...kin' irritating.
-That doesn't look like a K.
-Yeah, it does, K like...
-You look like a...a deformed S.
-No, doesn't K have to be like...
-your arms should be longer, because...
-Sit down and eat!
Enough. Everybody, let's just eat.
Cos I was reading this piece, yesterday, about how families never eat together any more,
because family life has become so fragmented and antisocial.
"Really? How interesting, Sue."
Did you know that Spartacus hid from the Romans in the volcano of Vesuvius?
Hiding in an active volcano?
Well, that's either extremely clever or fantastically stupid.
Just imagine what it'd be like to be in Pompeii when Vesuvius exploded.
Imagine being mummified in... in an embarrassing position.
Cos you would have thought that at least one person would be on the toilet.
Well, if a volcano's exploding, I imagine most of the town would be on the toilet.
Did you know what the loudest bang ever recorded was?
You shutting the front door, I imagine.
-Well, this really makes a pleasant change, doesn't it?
Us all sitting down together, having a lovely sociable meal.
Apart from Karen.
-I'll get her.
PHONE RINGS No, no, no, you stay...
Where are you going?
-Going to get Karen.
-Could you...could you please...
-Yeah, sorry. The signal's rubbish here.
-No, I'm sending you another lot.
Bon appetit, everybody(!)
Mm, this is delicious, Mother.
Oh, it's my absolute pleasure to cook for you.
Perhaps you'd like us to cook you a meal tomorrow.
Really? Yes, that would be...
lovely, very lovely, and maybe somebody could do the washing up afterwards.
DISTANT SIREN BLARES
SHE CLEARS HER THROAT
-OK, let's call it a draw, shall we?
The "I'm more tired than you" competition.
HE YAWNS Oh, shut up.
Do you think Jake's right? Do you think we have lost the plot as parents?
He's at that self-righteous phase.
When I was his age,
I was absolutely convinced that my parents were totally wrong about everything.
Mind you, they were, really.
I mean, all the normal parenting techniques have never worked on Karen.
Not the blackmail.
She worked out it was all just a bluff at the age of three.
She gave us a contract at five.
Typed. I remember.
The thing that worries me is the way she is with other kids.
I keep waiting for the penny to drop.
You know, if you want to make friends, you have to be friendly.
Maybe Jake's right. Maybe we need to tackle her more head-on.
-Tackle her more head-on?
-Yeah, try and control her.
-Try and control her?
-Could you stop doing that, please?
And we're not that bad as parents, are we?
If the three of them make it to adulthood and none of them are in prison,
our work is done.
I mean, we're not...bad bad.
Jake's exaggerating, isn't he?
We're more sort of middling rather than bad.
Jake's wrong about bad, isn't he?
Oh, and we have a competition winner.
What the hell are you talking about?
Computer cannot communicate with printer?
It's there! It's... it's less than a foot away!
Did you get a chance to print off my novel?
No, this printer's playing up.
Why don't you e-mail it to Phil and get him to print it out?
No, his printer's playing up.
Maybe all the printers are ganging up on us.
Maybe it's a robot conspiracy to tip us all over into madness.
It's just that Phil's wife said that the budget deadline for new commissions...
I will print out your time-travelling samurai, OK?
It's just at the moment I'm trying to get this registration form done
for the course the firm are sending me on,
which is tomorrow, so I think that's slightly more pressing.
Mind you, if Phil gets the novel to his wife, and she likes it,
and it gets published, and it does well, we could all be millionaires.
Oh, yeah, I was forgetting.
Oh, bloody hell! Look at the time. Karen!
You're going to miss your bus!
Dad, come and check this out. It's a thing that psychologists use.
It's called the inkblot test.
Is that the one where they work out someone's innermost feelings
by spilling ink all over the table?
-You spilt ink all over the table.
Oh, yeah. Er...I was wondering about that.
Um...anyway, all you have to do is, you have to see if you can find any shapes.
-Yeah, just...what can you see?
-I see Mum.
-Hm. That's interesting.
Because Freud thought that every man wanted to kill their father
and sleep with their mother.
Yeah, well, Freud never met my mother. This is...
So, you can see your mum in this?
I said Mum. Your mum, my wife.
Look, I can see her face. She's screaming.
She's screaming, "What prat spilled ink all over the table?"
-CAR ALARM BLARES
-If you want to win the race,
what you've got to do is visualisation!
You know, when you visually see yourself winning the race visually!
Well, I'll just wait until this afternoon and then I will see myself win this race.
Well, yes, but today isn't all about the winning, is it?
It's about the taking part, isn't it?
It's about being part of a team.
Team player. On a team.
I was looking up loads of that psychology stuff last night.
Some of it's brilliant.
Have you heard about that bloke RD Laing?
Is he the one who thought that people's mental health could be improved
if they smeared their faeces all over the wall?
-I'm gonna find out more about him.
-That is one of the most frightening things I've ever heard.
It's called camaraderie, everyone pulling together.
There's no "I" in "team".
All for one and one for...
Let's just go.
Dad? Can you look after my stuff?
Only I don't trust the other girls. Some of them have got an agenda.
Especially that one, ever since I tweeted about her.
-You tweeted about her?
She gets offended very easily.
Very sensitive. Most of the girls in my class are.
Listen, Karen, you're going to keep finding yourself in confrontations
until you learn not to be so confrontational.
You're 11 now.
You've got to learn a bit of self-control.
Well, I can't help being upfront. It's who I am. I've got to be me.
This isn't...Made In Chelsea. This is the real world.
You can't just go round telling everyone what you think of them.
You and your real world! Where are my goggles?
Oh, and, by the way, if you win this heat, I really wouldn't do your K dance.
-It's my signature move!
-Yeah, but it will just antagonise your fellow competitors.
It'll really get up their noses and it will...
Affect their performance. Exactly. I know what I'm doing, Dad.
COMPUTER GAME EXPLOSION 'Now you must brave new dangers,
'if you are to reach the citadel of...'
-COMPUTER GAME EXPLOSION
-Oh! Cyber-crabs! I hate them!
Why can't you just...print?
-Why are you...
-Any chance of a bit more noise?
-Take that up to your room, then.
I don't have Internet connection up there.
No! Vampire lobsters!
He's been playing that for over an hour now.
Oh, in the name of God, just...just print.
He should be doing his school work.
Oh, so you're on Ben patrol now?
I'm just saying, that's all. Over an hour.
BEN GROANS Ben!
Can you stop playing with that now...
COMPUTER GAME EXPLOSION ..and start doing your homework?
A child has just done what I asked.
Oh. More psychology?
You see, I told Mr Jacobs I wanted to take psychology in the sixth form,
and he said that it's a bullshitter's subject,
because the only reason people opt into doing it
is they think the exams are going to be really easy.
Er...well, he wears a bow tie so he's not qualified to talk about anything.
-Can you crack your knuckles?
OK, let's try "Help".
And "Help" is no help, because the computer has gone off line.
Ibrahim says that girls really like boys who can make their knuckles crack.
-Yeah, that is a well-known aphrodisiac, the sound of grinding bones(!)
-Why are you getting angry?
-I'm angry because I've just started a new job
and they're not going to take me very seriously
if I can't even print out a simple registration document.
Maybe you THINK that's why you're getting angry.
-Freud reckons that when you get angry with something,
you're really getting angry with something else, something subconscious.
So, you're getting angry with the printer because it represents Dad or Jake or...
-Why can't you be the printer?
-I just chose you for an example.
Why can't you choose yourself as an example?
Cos you don't choose yourself as an example.
This switch was off at the wall. Who the hell did that?
Oh, yeah, that was me. Sorry.
You're definitely the printer now.
You watched me struggle with that!
I was turning it off and on again to try and make it work.
I could kill you.
But is this really about me?
Yes. Yes, yes, this is definitely about you.
Well, Freud said that women were always more angry because they didn't have a penis.
You're joking, aren't you?
-You could be statistically more angry...
That's absolute bollocks.
I'm angry because you turned the printer off at the wall.
-A lot of this aggression might stem...
-..from your childhood.
-Oh, hi, Dad.
What aggression? I'm not aggressive.
What's all that noise?
-That's just Mum threatening to kill Ben.
-How's Karen getting on?
-Well, she won a heat.
Although she was nearly disqualified at the start.
-What, for a false start?
-No, for sledging.
Yeah, I couldn't quite hear what she was saying
but the gesture didn't look very nice.
Well, you'll have to have a word with her.
-She's your responsibility.
OK, spare me the lecture. Can you put your mum on?
-It has nothing to do...
-I'm not saying you...
-Mum, it's Dad.
SHE CLEARS HER THROAT Hiya.
Did you print out those novel pages yet?
'No, not quite yet.' The printer's been off at the wall and the computer's got...
Oh, it's back.
OK. How's Karen getting on? Is she interacting with the other kids?
Yes. She won a heat but there are some very fast girls in this final.
God knows what she'll do if she doesn't win.
Probably go on a gun spree.
OK, now, I'm in a file called Pete's Novels.
Er...I don't want to print out the wrong thing. So, is it called Amber Reflections?
-No, that's the one about the psychic dwarf in the court of the Medicis.
That's the Etruscan general who befriends a blind wolf.
It's called Bushido.
-I think. Or did I change that?
-Oh, yes, got it.
Good luck with Karen!
PRINTER WHIRRS ..we have liftoff! Yes!
The humans have won.
Excuse me, sir. Sir? Do you mind not filming?
You're not serious? I'm just filming my daughter.
Yes, but there are other children in the race,
and without consulting their parents, it's...
Oh, come on. No parent is going to object.
Well, um...that one did.
-Oh, for God's sake! I'm just...
-It's the law of the land, mate.
No, it's not, Rumpole.
It has no basis in law.
There is nothing to stop me filming my daughter at a swimming gala.
I'm getting better. Almost got next door's cat.
He can make himself really big. Imagine if we could do that.
-You already have. You're gigantic.
-MIMICS ROBOT: Puny human!
Can you please stop doing this? OK, put me down.
-Thank you. Does this still fit you?
-Fit me a month ago.
-I'll take that as a no.
-Give it to Jake as a hand-me-down.
OK, Jake, once you've finished that, I'll take you out for that driving lesson.
-I still think I need a proper driving instructor.
-No, don't be daft. It all costs money.
Be fine. You'll see. You'll have your licence by summer.
Well, I don't want to take my test too early.
-I don't want to be the first one in my lot driving, do I?
I'll end up ferrying everyone about everywhere.
It's no fun being a glorified taxi driver.
No. No, it's not.
Anyway, we'd better get out soon before the traffic starts to build up.
-Oh, come on, it'll be fine.
My dad taught me how to drive, and then my uncle.
Why did your dad stop teaching you?
No, that's what I've just said. There is no basis in law...
We don't know who you are or whether you've even got a daughter.
That is my daughter in lane 3 there.
Well, if you have got a daughter in lane 3 there, why don't you film her at home?
We don't have a lane 3 at home.
-I think there are laws against this.
-There are no laws against this.
-I'm very uncomfortable and I think...
-I'm perfectly entitled...
-Some of the other parents round here...
-..to film my daughter...
-Could the supervisor come to pool side, please?
-There's no rule against it.
So, basically, you're saying what happened in your driving lesson was Grandad's fault?
Yeah, I had to brake. I had no choice.
If he'd been wearing his seat belt and he'd had his dentures in properly,
he would have been fine.
It was just, you know, an unfortunate accident.
No such thing as accidents. That's what psychologists reckon.
-Is that right(?)
What they mean is, it's like, remember when I was little
and I had that accident in Hastings?
-What, when you fell off the pier?
-That must have happened for a reason.
And the reason was, you were doing cartwheels on the handrail.
Maybe, deep down, I wanted to fall into the ocean.
Maybe it was all about some, you know, emotion I was suppressing.
When have you ever suppressed an emotion?
-It's common knowledge that...
-All I'm doing on this camera phone...
-..that paedophiles hang out...
-I resent the suggestion that I am in some way a paedophile.
-Well, you must be a paedophile.
-I am not a paedophile!
Gentlemen! Perhaps we could move this, er...discussion into my office.
Listen, mate, you don't have to look like a paedophile to be a paedophile.
-I've been CRB-checked.
Did Jimmy Savile look like a paedophile?
-Well, yes. Yes, he did, actually.
-He looked about as pervy
-as it is possible for a human being to look.
Yeah, but nobody knew he was a paedophile.
Yes, they did, loads of people. Hundreds of 'em!
Look, can everybody stop mentioning Jimmy Savile?
I get this every bloody day.
I think you'll find it's a well-known fact that people have to be vigilant!
Look, never mind what they said in your Daily Mail.
-Excuse me, gentlemen. Could we just...
-Sorry. Um...can we please...
-I'm a teacher.
-Ha-ha! They're the worst, ain't they?
-Next to priests.
-If we could exercise some self-control.
-Nobody even knows who this bloke is.
-HE CLEARS HIS THROAT
-My name is Peter Brockman,
and I am not, I repeat, not, a paedophile!
Although I am a gay Gypsy asylum seeker.
Is he taking the piss?
My office now, or I call the police.
Tell you something, mate...
All I'm trying to do is film my daughter swimming.
That's all I'm doing. It's perfectly fine.
I'm doing what everybody here is thinking, I'm actually doing.
Is that your dad?
It's my daughter's lane.
-I'm watching her swimming.
-Right, come on. Let's go to the office.
-Let's sort this out in the office.
It's printed it all out in symbols. What the hell has it done that for?
It's like...it's like sodding Japanese!
It's just full of...asterisks and exclamation marks.
You should have kept an eye on it as it was going through.
Does your advice centre never close?
I'm going to have to start again now.
Your dad's stupid novel has used up all the paper. It...
Hang on. There's no... there's no paper left!
There was a whole box of paper here this...yesterday!
Where the hell has it gone?
Ah, yeah. I might be able to help you with this.
I did print out some stuff on Spartacus and psychologists and knuckle-cracking.
So, you're telling me that you've used up a whole box of paper,
printing out material about...
There was more on knuckle-cracking than I expected.
I need to print out this registration form. The course is tomorrow,
Why is this happening to me?
Maybe, deep down, you want it to happen to you.
I'd run if I were you.
SIREN BLARES So.
Karen recorded her personal best.
-Is she pleased?
-Not really. She came third.
-Do you want a drink?
-I've already got one, thanks.
-Have you taken Jake out for his drive?
We'll pay for an instructor, with dual controls.
-How long were you out there with him?
-It seemed like days.
Especially when we got on to the dual carriageway.
You took him on a dual carriageway?
Not intentionally. He...he just suddenly turned left for no earthly reason.
-I told you he'll never pass his test.
-Oh, I don't know.
His emergency stops are quite good.
-Oh, did you get to print my novel off?
-Yeah, it's on the side.
-How was rehearsal?
-Yeah, it was good.
Mr Farthinglow really liked my psychological interpretation of Spartacus.
You know, how he's only rebelling against Rome
cos he really wants Rome's approval.
I can't give this to Phil's wife to read. Look at it.
-She'll go blind.
-Well, I'm sorry.
But that was the only paper left, OK?
This hasn't even got to the bit where the samurai teams up with Gandhi.
-Where's the rest of it?
-The printer broke.
-Yeah, it was an accident.
-There are no accidents.
-It had it coming.
Does no-one in this family have any self-control?
-So, Karen came third?
-I'm afraid so.
Look, I think all we can do is...is keep positive and give her as much emotional...
Oh, hello, sweetheart. Hey.
Well done on today. Personal best.
It..it's quite an achievement to...to...
-What are you doing? Honestly!
I was just trying to lighten things up.
Yeah, but people aren't always in the mood to be ensnared in a net.
Sweetheart, sit down.
PB, that's, er...something to be proud of.
-Did they give you a medal?
-She left it behind.
In a bin.
Well, I suppose even champions lose sometimes,
but the mark of a true champion is whether you can accept defeat gracefully.
-Did you accept the defeat gracefully?
Apart from demanding a drugs test.
That girl had shoulders like a gorilla.
-And dropping out of the relay team.
-And you let her get away with that?
I can't physically force someone to swim, can I?
BEN: Well, I saw Bradley Wiggins doing an interview
and he says that you actually learn more from defeat.
Well, that's very true. You work out why you didn't win...
-I know why I didn't win.
It's because of this family.
-You all wrecked my confidence.
Well, I...I think that's...
Him with his visualising, and you with your long talks that I can never follow,
and Dad was banging on about self-control
and then telling everyone that he's a Gypsy gay asylum seeker.
That was irony.
Not everyone got it.
It's no wonder that I lost.
Maybe you wanted to lose.
I lost because I come from a family of losers.
Well, thanks for that. I'm going to go and watch Pointless.
This is exactly what I mean.
She needs someone to lay down some boundaries, spell out some realities.
-Be our guest.
-Well, someone has to.
Well, then you're clearly the man for the job, being such a parenting expert.
All right, then. I will!
Listen, Karen. You need to have a long, hard look at yourself,
because this life doesn't owe you a living, you know?
And it's not a one-way street,
er...because it goes two ways, not one,
and it doesn't revolve around you like you're some kind of roundabout.
Like he understands about roundabouts!
Huh! Ah, African countries beginning with a B.
-Look, you're not actually...
-You need to...
No-one'll get Burkina Faso.
How long should we leave him in there with her?
Till his spirit breaks.
Actually, does it still exist?
What I'm really saying is,
you have to be prepared to...
meet people halfway,
and not make the world come to you all the way.
This is drivel.
Now, that is exactly what I mean, Karen. That is...
Aah! Stop it! Mum! Dad!
Karen indulges her competitive instincts, Ben delves into the mysteries of human psychology and Jake appoints himself as a parenting expert. Meanwhile, Mum falls victim to a dysfunctional printer and Dad is hounded by a vigilant Daily Mail reader.