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'Derek' recap: The talent show

Season 1 | Episode 6 | Aired Feb 27, 2013 (UK Channel 4)

When last we saw our pals, they were frolicking on the beach, dealing with snooty old classmates and writing dirty words on crabs. We learned a bit more about Hannah and saw some welcome sass from young Vicki. In the end, everyone had a fine day. In episode 6, the crew prepares for another fun event and meets a new young person in desperate need of some tough love.

The episode opens with our beloved foursome planning a cabaret-style talent show for the folks in the home. Derek is looking forward to doing his ventriloquism act, but Kev is the one hungry for the spotlight. Two decades earlier he wrote a script about the life and history of Duran Duran, and now, under the bright lights of the day room, he’s ready to put on the production of his dreams. Dougie incredulously grabs the “script” (four pages of a legal pad) and points out the real contributions: dirty sketches of winged genitalia and a drawing of a man blowing himself.

After Doug throws the pad back at Kev, discarding it as the scrawling of madman, they begin the casting process. Kev wants to play John, Taylor while Derek is keen on playing “Duran Duran.” Kev reminds him that’s the name of the band, not a person, and they settle on Derek playing Simon Le Bon. Derek agrees to cast the rest of the production; with Kev’s help, they go off to recruit the rest of the band.

Further on in the day, Deon (Doc Brown), an aspiring rap artist, joins the staff as the start of his court-ordered community service. Like Vicki before him, he’s hesitant about working among the elderly. Derek greets him in the usual Derek way, calls him Will Smith (which Deon corrects to “More like Tupac”), and away they go on a tour of the home.

The “Ba-Doom Ching” Humor Moment: When Deon sighs and says how the gig is going to be hell, Vicki quips, “Wait until you get to change out the bedpans.”

Derek - S1 - E6 - Kev and Deon

Vicki, being a standard teenager, admits to the camera that Deon is a good-looking fella, and while she doesn’t want anything serious, it would be nice to have a couple of black kids. Deon also meets the home’s goodwill ambassador, Kev, who settles the issue of so-called “racial differences” by stating that we all produce the same semen, hence we’re all the same people. A true “We Are the World” moment.

The Creep Kev Moment: In reference to his personal semen productivity, Kev states, “I produce a beaker-load a week, mate. Black and whites unite.”

Deon also meets Douglas in his cramped office and mentions how different the home is from his whirlwind life of stages and songs. Deon proclaims one can save the world with lyrics, an idea that Douglas takes a solid dump on. With some prompting from Derek, Deon spits a few lines, which Doug again dismisses as the same old stuff everybody else does. It’s funny how the one who’s lost sight of his own dreams is quick to squash other people’s, even though the artist in question isn’t all that great to begin with. An interesting question.

Finally Derek gets some alone time with Deon and ask him why he’s here. Deon claims it’s due to the prejudice of an oppressively racist society. Derek doesn’t quite get the rhetoric, and when he asks again, Deon confesses that “the man” followed him into a shopping center and caught him stealing sneakers. He’s full of excuses, claiming that if the police weren’t so bigoted, they wouldn’t have been following him in the first place. Derek, as he always does, peers through the bull and stays on point. He stole some sneakers, he got punished.

The “I Miss Joan” Moment: After getting Deon to admit to stealing the kicks, Derek tells him he can tell he’s a nice person. Joan always said that good people sometimes do bad things. When Deon gruffly asks who Joan is, Derek reminds us how important she was to him and begins to break down. The honest emotion pierces Deon’s armor and he gives Derek a comforting pat. Joan’s wisdom shines through even after her passing.

Derek - S1 - E6 - Deon and Vicki

After Derek tells the camera how he had offered his sneakers to Deon and how he won’t have to steal when he’s famous, our rapper friend spends a little time talking up Vicki. They bond over their mutual love of stealing shoes and a spark flies between the two. Hannah comments to the camera how he’s a nice guy who puts up a strong front. When it’s Deon’s turn, he says the home smells weird, but at least it’s not prison.

Hannah next asks Deon to spend some time chatting with the residents. He’s hesitant, but is thrust into conversation when Lilly wanders up to him and innocently calls him a “lovely colored boy.” Taken aback but not out, Deon smiles and takes it all in stride. In the next shot, we see him playing checkers with a sleeping resident. Derek, with wigs in hand, runs by and asks Deon if he would like to be a part of the cabaret. Deon awkwardly declines.

No time for casting the rest of the show, though. It’s time for Derek and Kev to get the wardrobe of Duran Duran: The Play together. The twosome do some closet raiding of the residents, snagging wigs, dresses and anything that looks “John Taylor.” They also fill out the band, recruiting two more residents to play the drummer and keyboardist. Dougie comments on the oddness of it all, but it looks like the Broad Hill version of the popular ’80s band is ready for its debut.

Derek - S1 - E6 - Doug Disbelief

The next scene is Deon’s last day at the home. He tells the camera that at first he would have preferred prison, but after spending some time at the facility, he’s impressed by the elderly. Unlike his fellow “gang bangers” playacting and pretending to be hard, some of the people he met had actually been in wars, fighting for his freedom. It’s an eye-opening culture shock, and it’s good to see someone come around to the realization of what real struggle is all about.

Nighttime falls and it’s time for the big production. Tension is in the air. Kev starts things off with a few uncomfortable jokes, then brings out Derek to do his ventriloquism act with his rabbit puppet, Poppy. Derek does his best, but as he makes no attempt to throw his voice, Kev jeers from the sidelines. As expected, nothing shakes Derek from his act, and he finishes off with a hearty round of applause.

Next up is Joe, one of the home’s residents, who starts crooning to the audience. As he does his best Perry Como, disaster strikes Kev’s production. The fella who was cast to play the drums gets caught with a case of nerves and a replacement needs to be made. Dougie, under protest, comes to the rescue and the boys take the stage.

Despite Kev’s constant complaining about the quality of the performance, everybody seems to enjoy the production. It has all the innocence of a fourth-grade play and, despite the bad lip-syncing and stiff “rock musician” movements, it’s absolutely charming. We also get a glimpse of Tom laughing in the audience, a nice sign that he’s still in picture. Derek doesn’t even know the words, and as Kev tells him the audience is laughing at them, Derek says he doesn’t care, so long as they are having a good time.

The Yet Another Lovely Derek Moment: Into the camera, Derek tells us that he likes when old people laugh because it makes him happy. Even if it’s at his expense, they don’t have much time, so it’s important they “enjoy every minute.” Very true.

As the show is closing up, Deon appears out of nowhere. He wants to do a rap for the audience, and Derek enthusiastically introduces him to the crowd. Deon’s verse borders on insulting, but it’s centered around his newfound appreciation for the elderly and all they’ve contributed. It’s extremely honest as it’s not a classic sitcom feel-good moment. In the end, Deon is still a kid from the ‘hood, and his sincere yet almost offensive rhyme fits nicely with his character.

The audience claps as the credits roll, and we’ve watched another young person change for the better thanks to the nursing home. His arc wasn’t as dramatic as Vicki’s, but it’s great to see another teen learn about real life through working with those who have lived it. His final “You’re brilliant, brah” to Derek is confirmation of the power of kindness—proof positive we should all aspire to #BeLikeDerek.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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