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'Derek' recap: Derek goes to the zoo

Season 2 | Episode 4 | May 14, 2014 (UK Channel 4)

When the pilot for Derek aired back in 2013, our first glimpse of the kindly caretaker featured Derek, in front of the computer, grooving to Hamster on a Piano. Ever since that opening moment, one thing is clear: Derek loves animals. Mirroring Rick Gervais’ animal rights work in the real world, Derek’s respect and affection for our furry friends is a series sticking point. In episode 4, Derek gets the thrill of his life: a trip to the zoo with an extra-special bonus.

We open with the residents painting a still life of a basket of fruit in an art class. Derek has added his own adorable contribution to the image: a cartoon cat. After the instructor compliments him for adding his own artistic flair, Derek explains he drew it because he wishes there was one here. Utterly charmed, the instructor moves on to Kev, who has ignored the fruit all together and is painting an orgy scene in the style of a fifth grader’s notebook drawing. The instructor hangs in there while we wonder why they even gave him a brush in the first place.

Hannah explains they’re always holding classes for the residents. But nothing is sacred around Kev, who, while Vicki is teaching a yoga class, spends the hour looking up the resident’s dresses. It would be horrifying if it weren’t Kev. It’s just who he is.

Derek - S2 - E4 - Kev Upskirt

As Hannah and Vicki clean up after the class, Hannah comments on how Joe, the resident who claimed his hair magically grew back a few episodes ago, won’t do the session. After Hannah assumes it’s because of his wig, Vicki asks if she can offer to clean it up a bit. Do some coloring, pin it, etc. Hannah tells her no because Joe is convinced nobody can tell. More of that later in the show!

The “Even Offscreen, Geoff Is an Ass” Moment: Upset at having no results on his online dating profile, Derek tells Hannah about all the mean and misleading stuff Geoff has been telling him. From Derek’s “awful” profile picture to a lie about pigeons exploding if you give them Alka-Seltzer, Geoff continues to be cruel even when not onscreen.

Back in the day room, Tom is clearly overprotective of Hannah’s pregnancy. From mandating her drink choices to picking out strollers to making sure she doesn’t carry anything heavy, Tom’s well-meaning is driving Hannah nuts. She simply wants to do for herself like she’s always done; her pregnancy has become a group affair.

To prep himself for the zoo trip, Derek watches yet another adorable animal video, this one surrounding baby bunnies. I could watch an entire episode of Derek bopping to autotuned animal songs. I think we all could. Hannah tells us about a special surprise for Derek: He’s going to be zookeeper for a day and get up close and personal with the animals!

Derek - S2 - E4 - Derek Hamster

Before they leave, a daughter brings her mother, Pat, to the home to take a look around. After explaining she’s deaf and has a hard time lipreading, Derek runs over and introduces himself with sign language. Yet another facet of Derek’s awesomeness. Derek then introduces her to the group, who in turn sign back. Turns out most of the people in the home know a bit of sign language, and Pat feels immediately at home.

It’s zoo time! Derek is like a kid in a candy store. He feeds the penguins, one of which has a Dougie haircut, burrows with the aardvarks and has himself a fine time. Kev makes his usual comparisons about animal sex and his trysts with Janice. According to Derek, it’s his best day ever.

The Hilarious Derek Moment: While in the monkey house, Derek makes a comparison between a bearded monkey and Arthur’s epic ‘stache. It’s a great moment of visual comedy.

Derek - S2 - E4 - Derek Arthur Monkey

Meanwhile, back in the home, Geoff is alone with the residents. He comments how it’s boring and there’s nothing to do, going so far as to say Hannah doesn’t care about the job because she got knocked up. According to Geoff, her desire for a baby is selfish. We cut to Hannah and Tom telling us about why they really want one, and while it’s clear it’s for the right reasons, they sound nervous.

Geoff then decides to head off. His 40 hours is up, so he’s perfectly fine with leaving the home unattended. As he goes to leave, one of the residents asks him to put a stamp on a birthday card and drop it in the mailbox. Geoff, disgusted with having his precious time taken up, asks for postage money, takes her last $5 and slinks off. The old lady is clearly upset by his rudeness, especially when he returns and refuses to give her change because he had to go “out of his way.”

After hanging with anteaters, mustached monkeys and giant tortoises, we cut back to Geoff plotting an awful scheme. He asks the camera if he should pull off Joe’s wig. Clearly being a jerk for air time, he walks over and, after making an awful joke about “cleaning all the rugs,” makes his move. Before he can embarrass Joe, Jack, the old man who was featured a few episodes ago with his fishing son, stands up and gets in Geoff’s face. Doug is immediately put off as it’s clear Jack will hit him if he tries it. It’s awesome to see Geoff slink away.

Derek - S2 - E4 - Geoff Shamed

Back at the zoo, Kev and Derek have a chat about Janice. It turns out, despite her being known around town as the “Constant Gobbler,” they have decided to get back together. Apparently her list of physical and mental issues makes her dynamite in the sack. Halfway funny, halfway sad, it’s another example of Kev’s miserable life.

As Hannah and Vicki hang by an exhibit, Vicki sees a young zoo worker walk up. She’s immediately smitten and starts a breathy conversation with the fella, who introduces himself as Andy. Not only is he a hard worker and a nice guy, but he’s an actor as well! He’s a simple bloke, the sort of person the old lady in episode 3 suggested she go after. The two exchange numbers and Vicki, after a moment of teenage excitement, asks him to call as soon as humanly possible.

Later, the zoo crew returns to the home bearing gifts. Derek hands out hilarious animal hats and everybody is in a fine mood. As Vicki impatiently waits by her phone for Andy to call, Hannah heads off the bathroom. A moment passes before Hannah runs back into the room. She quietly asks Vicki for a tampon. Something terrible has happened. Hannah asks Vicki to tell Tom to come to the hospital, and as Vicki explains to Derek what she thinks has happened, we learn the truth. It appears Hannah has lost the baby.

Derek - S2 - E4 - Vicki and Derek

The Unexpectedly Touching Kev Moment: Before Tom runs off to the hospital, Kev walks over and gives him a reassuring pat on the back. It’s a simple gesture from an unlikely source.

Tom, Hannah and Derek share their feelings with the camera. Tom makes no bones about being devastated, but Hannah maintains a brave front. It just wasn’t meant to be. Derek has a simpler outlook on it. All he wanted to do was hold the baby. Hugging is the greatest thing ever, according to Derek. It makes you feel safe, like you were when you were young.

Back in the day room, Kev comments on a crazy week and goes back to his yoga-watching position. As Hannah looks on, we see Tom give her the slightest of winks. In a moment of emotional unity, the pair shows us they’re not going to give up. We see strength in the face of emotional trauma. We’re reminded that when the world drops down and tries to crush us, all we need is the binding strength of those we love to pull through. A three-second moment makes an utterly heartbreaking event easier to swallow. An episode of euphoric highs and devastating lows, episode 4 of Derek is easily the best of the series thus far. Until episode 5, #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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