Saturday, 17 September 2011

Say Little Hen

'Say Little Hen' was the second episode of 'The Good Life', originally broadcast in 1975.

It's one week into Tom and Barbara Good's radical experiment in self sufficiency and things are beginning to take shape. It's too early for crops, of course, but they have a goat for milk and, in the boarded up greenhouse, a brood of hens and a 'queer' cockerel. When Barbara asks neighbour Margo for the left over Shepherd's Pie she is about to throw away, Margo assumes Barbara is so hungry she is reduced to begging for scraps when, in actual fact, she simply wants the waste for the chickens.

When, later on, the Ledbetters follow an unsuccessful 'intervention' (getting Tom's ex boss to offer him his old job back) with a rather patronising request that the Good's had better stay to dinner as they must be starving, Tom angrily ripostes by saying that they have a sumptuous dinner of their own planned and must decline. They haven't, of course, but eager to prove to Margo that their lifestyle is working, Tom goes to shoot a chicken for dinner.


'Here's looking at you, chick' 

Clucking Hell

Point blank

The hitman and 'um...err'

Despite the close range and his earlier boasts of being the all Surbiton air pistol champion at the age of eleven, he misses, although the shock encourages the hen to lay its first egg. The Good's celebrate with evening dress, a sumptuous protein based banquet and, no doubt, lots of sex, the dirty bastards. 

The taste of fear

There's an interesting vignette where Margo and Jerry sit on their patio in a garish deckchair and a recliner as they watch their neighbours go about their (to them) incomprehensible business. Jerry says that he feels sorry for Tom, as he has obviously had some sort of breakdown. Margo, ever sympathetic, says that's his choice and his business, but the Goods are heading for 'degradation, misery and squalor' then, hitting her main concern squarely on the head - 'and we have to live next door to it!'. In surburbia, Not In My Back Yard obviously includes your neighbours gardens as well.

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