Sunday, July 29, 2007

Rave: This isn't a namby pamby mumbo jumbo blog (7 Periods With Mr. Gormsby)

One night last year The Partner and I happened to be in on a Friday night, and we happened to have the TV on Channel 1 when one of the funniest thing I have ever seen in my life came on TV, completely unexpectedly. We were hooked from that moment on.

7 Periods With Mr. Gormsby is a saga in 7 episodes about a highly dysfunctional, low-income boys school with weak leadership, a lot of pretend new-ageyness, and (even more frightening) some teachers who believe the new age crap. The relief teacher for the naughty class has just fled back to India after the local troublemaker drew a cartoon of her fellating a cow; enter Mr. Gormsby, an ex-army ex-India-brigade schoolteacher who is famous for using the cane on a student teacher, and whose ideas haven't changed since the 1940s. He has no tolerance for any of this "Maori mumbo jumbo mummy didn't breastfeed me until I was six personal instrospection nonsense".

In a political environment where political correctness has long since trumped real correctness, the screenplay for Gormsby was a breath of fresh air -- nothing is sacred, and yet unlike South Park, everything is nonetheless treated with respect. Gormsby's character is offset by the good-natured but trouble-making Hohepa, and despite their backgrounds the two somehow see eye to eye. Gormsby doesn't go over so well with the rest of the staff, though, but the rest of the staff can't even get their act together with each other.

There are two series of the show, and it is well worth getting both, because this is one storyline that can cope with the extra seven episodes.

My favourite of all the scenes, though, is the human relationships spelling test. Think: "Abortion. Abortion. This classroom is an abortion. Buggery. Buggery. Since Pissant has been principal, this school has gone to buggery".

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