TV Sets And The City

By london_mecca Last edited 169 months ago
TV Sets And The City

Nighty Night

"You see I'm very talented Don. I can open my mouth really wide and then close it really tight"

Apologies to people who haven't got non terrestrial TV or access to Freeview, but you are missing a gem in the blackest of black comedies Julia Davis' superb Nighty Night.

The plot centres around a 20 something (she wishes) woman who pretends that her husband is dead, then sets her sights on the man who lives across the road with his wheelchair bound Multiple Sclerosis suffering wife and proceeds to infiltrate their lives.

The Beeb describe it as a West Country version of Fatal Attraction. So if you can picture Glenn Close, a few years younger with a Yeovil accent. Angus Deayton playing Michael Douglas and a whole cast of very unglamorous people replacing the other Hollywood stars you'll get a good idea of what they mean.

Last week's funeral scene saw the lead character Jill riding through the church like a very glamourous blonde Queen Victoria, decked out in widows black. After this amazing entrance she leaps off the horse and whips off her skirt and uses it to do a surreal bullfighting dance with the pathetic assistant of their beauty salon. In the meantime, her "dead" husband has just come out of a hospice and wanders around a graveyard to find his headstone adorned with a soft focus picture of his grieving wife. His birthdate and death date are followed by the a subtle advert for Jill's business "Beauty by Jill" with her phone number beneath.

Fatal Attraction was all pretty much sexual tension. We also see a huge amount of sexual tension in the Nighty Night. But it's sexual tension combined with death, disability and general awfulness. You might get Jill trying to get Angus Deayton to examine her breasts for lumps. Or Jill selling Deayton's wife a "Celebrating Celibacy. Heal Yourself Through Refrainment' video. Or Jill giving her new target a blow job in return for him paying for her husband's funeral. Her bargaining powers take the following tone: "My mouth feels like it's got broken glass in it, I'm so worried, I'm going to have to stop"........"what's that you will pay for a disco at the funeral"........"Oh my mouth suddenly feels better"

Nighty Night won a Banff Award (yes, I've no idea what one of those is, but I'm sure it was well deserved) and Davis won a Royal Television Society Award for her performance.

So you've got three chances to see the last episode - it's on the 6th, 7th and 8th December on BBC3 and I'm sure the whole series will be repeated very, very soon.

Last Updated 03 December 2004