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> Setting the scene, and so it begins
Chapman Baxter
post Jul 31 2005, 05:20 PM
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Beginnings has to achieve a surprising amount in a short space of time: it introduces all the main characters (though you'd miss Twist and Mike if you blinked at the wrong time); Tim and Daisy go from never having met to moving in together; and it provides hints of Marsha's back-story and her relationship with Brian. It manages to do all this and is very funny at the same time.

Here are a few thoughts I had while watching the episode again.

Despite Tim's eloquent 'riding some other donkey' speech, Sarah wins this argument, as the 'Do you love her?' 'No, I love you' exchange makes plain. Sarah is in control of this relationship now, and for the rest of the series, until Tim makes his decision in the last episode.

I must admit I total missed the 2001 reference until it was pointed out on the commentary. Somtimes I think Edgar is too subtle for his own good.

Speaking of Edgar, it looks like Simon came quite close to corpsing on the 'pickle' line. Has anyone spotted other evidence of corpsing during the series?
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Wife Of Rolex
post Jul 31 2005, 05:48 PM
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This is supposed to start today, isn't it? No-one's posted anything yet but I'm ready to put in my observations of the first episode so I hope no-one minds if I kick things off. As I tend to be incredibly geeky with things like this I'm likely to be the 'Eugene' of the thread. Pre-emptive apologies. tongue.gif

(This is gonna be long - such is my way - so you might want to grab a coffee)

Episode 1.1 - "Beginnings"

Great start as we look at Tim from above as the dumpee and looking up at Daisy as the dumper. Totally sets up their situations both simultaneously and seperately. And a great double pay off shot when it's revealed who they're really speaking to - Tim with his about to be ex-girlfriend Sarah and Daisy to one of her squater mates. Even before they meet, we see how Tim and Daisy's lives are paralleled.

They then meet for the first time in the cafe, totally by random but totally by circumstance, and almost immediately have a rapport. We also establish early on that Tim has a tendancy to be nosy and a little impatient ("What you looking for?", "Skip to the end.") and Daisy is open to mis-interpret situations and not really follow things through ("Sorry, I thought you were a drug dealer!", "Rather than confront..."). This shows their opposing characteristics as Tim is quick to notice Daisy is looking for somewhere to live and confronted Sarah about their relationship, while Daisy hanged back until Tim started talking and is clearly prepared to put up with a situation longer than necessary. What brings them together, though, is their circumstances.

The montage of their friendship developing over 14 in under a minute is just perfect, capped off brilliantly with the crying sequence which harks back to the opening scene where their lives come crashing together in syncronicity. This is further expressed by the camera angles as we see them through the entire cafe sequence on equal terms with each other, with each shot on the same level.

While getting to know each other they both attempt to impress by exagerating their jobs' and friends' status. Tim says his best friend Mike is a weapons expert while Daisy says her friend Twist is in fashion. As an audience we see neither is quite true. This trying to impress could be interpreted as early signs of being attracted to one another. However, Tim is still getting over Sarah and Daisy has a boyfriend so it's immediately pushed to the back of their minds. Again, they're completely seen together in mid-shot; keeping their equal status to each other visually represented.

When we see them arrive at the house for the first time, we yet again see Tim and Daisy level on screen. But when Marsha opens the door we're suddenly now looking down on them as they nervously announce themselves. This is to show us how small they feel together in the situation. At the same time we are looking up at Marsha as she is a) who Tim and Daisy are trying to impress and b) has the higher status in terms of the story. By looking up at her we understand that she's an important character.

Daisy almost blows their cover from the start by randomly telling Marsha about Tim's miniture drumkit. Another example of her tendancy to mis-read situations. Tim then nearly blows it when Marsha suggests the spare room would be good for a child. He exhasps, "What are you talking about?" before checking himself and saying how perfect it is. This brillantly balances out Daisy's earlier gaff. This then is cemented by their shared terror of the twins.

Throughout the interview Tim and Daisy are shown together at their recognised level, where we are with them and willing them to succeed. Marsha is shown at a slightly up angle, retaining her status as the most important person in the room.

Daisy says goodbye to her squater mates only now we see her at an upturned angle as everyone else in the room is under her character status. She says she'll contact them about "...bills and stuff..." but quickly pulls out of that responsability, something we already know as a Daisy trait, by noting the lack of telephone. But no-one's listening anyway as, once again, she mis-reads her surroundings.

Tim then collects his stuff from Sarah's. Like Daisy, we see him from an upturned angle as he has character priority over Sarah. Sarah reprises Daisy's line about 'bills and stuff' to reliterate the parallels in their lives. Sarah's upset at Tim's mention of Daisy, however we're looking at her from a slight down angle so are not compelled to sympathise. This is because as the audience, we by now know Tim's been hurt and that she's the cause of it and so look we down on Sarah as a character.

The pre-requisite naked shop manniquin. Nuff said.

Daisy investigates Tim's room. We look in on Daisy's level as we are equally intrigued by what's in the box. But after she gets her surprise and Tim comes to the door we soon see them back on their familar camera angles as there's a re-establishment of their characters' equal unfamilarity to each other. However, they're brought back together again by a common theme with their Scooby-Doo remenisences and the Shaggy and Velma visual gag. Brilliant.

Tim enthuses about his comic creation, The Bear, to Daisy. This is like a replaying of the conversation in the cafe when they first met, only with the roles reversed. This time Tim is talking away while Daisy is only half interested. Daisy's line, "Oh, that reminds me. I was talking to Marsha about the rubbish..." is her karmic response to Tim's impatient 'Skip to the end'.

Brian makes a glorious entrance. Not a word uttered but he's immediately interesting. However, we see Brian on a level angle, suggesting umbiguity. We neither know if he's a good or bad character at this point. And that's as it should be. Again, we keep level with Tim as we're sharing his bemusement of Brian.

Love how Tim's eyes turn and look at Brian's shoulder before looking up at his face, reliterating to us his unfamilarity with this new character.

Daisy tells a bizarre anecdote from her life, and while Tim seems strangely half actually interested this time, Brian takes up the reins as the dis-interested party. However, when Brian says he's an artist both Tim and Daisy are suddenly enthused. Despite both being artists, neither Tim or Brian seem to recognise each other as such. Even Daisy seems to dismiss Tim as an artist. But before that's explored they're interupted by the sound of Amber running out of the house and Marsha knocking on Tim and Daisy's door. Brian is quick to say that they shouldn't ask her to talk about it. This lets us know that Brian and Marsha already have an established relationship as he knows what to warn Tim and Daisy of. It also gives Brian a further air of mystery.

Tim once again almost blows their cover by yelping "Sarah!" when the phone rings. But again one gaff from one of them is balanced out by the other as Daisy has to fob off her boyfriend, Richard, on the phone in front of Marsha and Brian. While Daisy quickly says 'Sarah' is Tim's nickname for her - a real person but fake nickname - she also says that it was 'Bosshog' on the phone - a real nickname but a fake person. It's another moment of Tim and Daisy crashing individually but pulling it back together as their lives and minds interwine and repeat.

They prove this further by together making a mistake with the "5 years, 8 months, 3 days!" lie twice over. Not only do they forget to add 2 days - picked up by Marsha, they also have to claim they had sex before they even kissed - noticed by Brian. However, Marsha's too pissed - a character trait we're given to take note of - to realise the latter and wishes them a happy anniversary, while Brian is quick to realise they don't want Marsha to know any more. By virtue of him not wanting to do Marsha any favours he doesn't question them further in front of her. We're growing to like Brian from this very act.

After Marsha leaves we get a reprise of Tim's nosy nature as he tries to ask Brian what, if anything, is going on between him and Marsha, but Brian stops him and leaves as quickly as possible. Maybe he figures the less they know about each other the less information will be cracked by Marsha? huh.gif We're left wanting to know more like Tim and Daisy as we come back to just the two of them and see the camera level with us, the audience, and them. And the pay off for the rapport they've had from the start is Tim reading Daisy's mind. Classic!

However, we're left with their still lingering unfamilarity, leaving us wondering how their relationship will develop as right to the end they're still shown on a level mid-shot. Though, Tim negates this by nabbing the FHM issue with Gillian Anderson on the cover to wank with. This not only tells us he's fine about letting himself go while a near stranger is in the next room but it's an early sign that he maybe starting to enjoy his freedom from Sarah after all.


Wife Of Rolex
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feckless_dykey_p...
post Jul 31 2005, 05:55 PM
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Wow Wife Of Rolex!

Impressive! I like your idea of the camera angles giving priority to the important characters compared to the minor ones.

I had a nice cup of tea while reading that smile.gif

This post has been edited by feckless_dykey_prostitute: Jul 31 2005, 05:55 PM
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Wife Of Rolex
post Jul 31 2005, 06:00 PM
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Cheers! smile.gif It was one of the few things I remember from doing media studies, how camera angles reflect the characters' status in the scene. That and ********* College is shit! I left after just 2 months. wacko.gif

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Jessopjessopjess...
post Jul 31 2005, 08:51 PM
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QUOTE (Wife Of Rolex @ Jul 31 2005, 05:48 PM)
(This is gonna be long - such is my way - so you might want to grab a coffee)
*


*skips to the end*

tongue.gif
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Wife Of Rolex
post Jul 31 2005, 09:25 PM
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Now, y'see, I knew someone would say that. tongue.gif


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thirtyhelens
post Aug 1 2005, 06:38 PM
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QUOTE (Chapman Baxter @ Jul 31 2005, 09:20 AM)
I must admit I total missed the 2001 reference until it was pointed out on the commentary. 
*


I didn't pick up on to the ROTJ dialogue until it was pointed out in the commentary. Oh, the shame...

Damn, it's hard to think of any near-giggles that made final cut, C.B. Likely because all the outtakes on the discs keep popping into my head. happy.gif (Certainly nothing as bad as on Big Train where Peggsy is yukking it up behind his surgical mask in plain view for the entire sketch. Niiiiiice.)

Agreed, 1.1 succeeds at an extraordinary amount of exposition and wisely observes limits; enough gets done in that first episode, we really don't need to be introduced to Mike and Twist other than their respective, brief appearances. All in good time...
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KingoftheFunkingZombies
post Aug 1 2005, 07:50 PM
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All the "leveling-out" of Tim and Daisy's lives is great. The camera angles showing character status is something new to me too.

I never really looked at it that way before, but now when it's time to watch the next episode, I'll try and read more into it biggrin.gif

Thanx Wife Of Rolex tongue.gif
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Wife Of Rolex
post Aug 2 2005, 03:26 AM
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QUOTE (Chapman Baxter @ Jul 31 2005, 05:20 PM)
Speaking of Edgar, it looks like Simon came quite close to corpsing on the 'pickle' line.  Has anyone spotted other evidence of corpsing during the series?


You can tell by his eyes. If he's in character he's fully focused, but if he's laughing he's fallen out of character and his eyes get a glazed look about them. biggrin.gif

F_D_P & KOTFZ - I'm just glad I'm not the only one who finds it interesting! tongue.gif


Wife Of Rolex

This post has been edited by Wife Of Rolex: Aug 2 2005, 03:27 AM
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maian
post Aug 2 2005, 02:55 PM
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As a first episode I've always found it interesting how much of a rollercoaster of emotions it is for the characters, compared to typical sitcoms.

It starts with the two main characters both being in a very definite slump, Tim more so than Daisy but both at a loose end with almost nothing good going for them as far as they are concerned (one has been dumped, another is being kicked out of a squat) and this is perfectly shown in the synchronised crying sequence when they are at their very lowest ebb of the episode.

However, they briefly become happy when they find the house in the paper and learn all about each other, the music in the scene is particularly upbeat and off-kilter, which does match their situation of not knowing each other but moving in together anyway and being certain that this is the right thing to do.

This sense of happines quickly dissipates when they go to the house for the interview and become incredibly anxious (nervous laughter, shaking, impatience, all shown off to great effect) first in the viewing of the house where they are constantly off-balance and unsure of themselves and are completely shocked by the twins in the cupboard, and in the interview they are so worried about keeping up their pretence that they almost blow their cover. However, this is relieved when they get the house and they again feel happy and light. However, this is not total; Tim is still in love with Sarah and Daisy is insecure in her own flat (walking to the cardboard box after hearing a noise that may, or may not, have been created by her own mind) and their sense of being scared is shown by the Velma and Shaggy reference and the scary music played throughout the scene, ending with the Scooby Doo style musical cue.

The mood lightens again with the Bear-comic discussion as they discuss Tim's creation and try to get used to each other. The tension returns when Brian gets in but gets even worse when Marsha arrives since there are now '3 threads' of tension in place. Tim and Daisy are scared that Marsha will discover that they lied, they are unsure of Brian, and the sexual tension between Marsha and Brian (although it is a bit one-way) is palpable, broken shortly by the phone call from Richard but cranked right up when Marsha says ''That's what you said two days ago'', it seems as if they will be discovered. This is quickly lost when Marsha fails to discover their deceit and she and Brian leave and the relief felt by Tima and Daisy as well as the audience is palpable. There is a little bit of sexual tension at the end between Tim and Daisy but this is completely lost when, as Simon says on the commentary, they 'end with a wank joke'.

The whole thing is very disorientating to the audience as it would be very disorientating to Tim and Daisy but this serves to make the audience care more for the characters emotionally because we have experienced something of what they have. So much is crammed into the episode that we can't help but want to know more about these characters.

A lot longer than I thought it would be, but I just couldn't stop writing.
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