The Ex-PM, Episode 2

Andrew Dugdale: I blame the ABC.

The Ex-PM is a fun show, but not particularly easy to write about every week. I didn’t take notes as I was watching this time, which I did on iview because I was out last night. Between work and some things I need to study for next week, I haven’t had a lot of time to watch or write about television, which is a shame, but I also don’t want to wear myself out. This week on The Ex-PM, Andrew Dugdale played with the idea of being a handyman, went and spoke at his grandson’s school for Grandparents’ Day, and complained that ex-Prime Ministers don’t get the same amount of respect as ex-Presidents of the United States.

It seems that the Dugdale family are incapable of fixing things, and/or keeping windows unbroken. The episode begins with Andrew on the phone to George W Bush, talking about his Presidential Library, at the same time as fixing a window on the shed/cubby house/whatever that building is. He thinks he’s done a pretty good job, and the next thing you know, he swings his ladder around and breaks another window. Catherine hires a glazier to fix this window, which he does before he wants to play with the grandson’s new remote control plane (which Andrew used as a bribe to be able to speak at the primary school). THEN Miles, who is converting the grandson’s plane that he stole into a drone, decides to have some sort of remote control plane race and break the window again.

The most fascinating thing about this entire show is that Andrew is trying to get on with his life while trying to distract Ellen enough so that she doesn’t realise he’s avoiding the subject altogether. It’s not working, because Ellen is quite smart, but eventually she gets to sit with him on the roof and help to repair the chimney that is no longer in use because fireplaces cause global warming. Perhaps the best joke of the episode came when Andrew went to buy his grandson the plane, and the shop owner told him how he voted for him in every election, and he started his small business with Andrew’s package. Ellen isn’t inside at this stage, so Andrew hustles her in, and the next thing he knows, the shop owner is talking about how he regrets spending all his super on opening a small business, which led to his divorce. He’s having a closing down sale next week.

There were some funny moments in The Ex-PM, but it’s still somewhat scattered. It’s amusing when Sonny goes up to Andrew to let him know that Miles and the glazier have (re)broken both the window and the chimneys, but so far this show is mainly jokes that don’t have much impact. We all know that Shaun Micallef can do better, so I hope the show does as well.

Other thoughts:

  • The book that Andrew’s grandson was reading at school was Edward the Emu, which is a great Australian picture book, and was one of my favourites growing up.
  • I thought the Ayn Rand primary school thing was funny, but I don’t think conservative Australians read as much Ayn Rand as they do in America.
  • Francis Leech has a metal plate in his head. He was injured when he worked for Alexander Downer, and now he has migraines and blurred vision, so he just drives Andrew around all the time.
  • I did like how Andrew wanted to create his PM’s library, and Miles brought down the box Ellen had been given to throw her off the scent of the Condoleeza Rice scandal. It was the “Andrew Dugdale Toy Library”. Miles is by far the most useless of Andrew’s staff.

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