Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Pig's Lib

'Pig's Lib' is a transitional episode of 'The Good Life', one where not a massive amount happens but we get to know the characters a little better. In this case, we find out that Margo has a conscience, and that good old Tom Good's big head and big mouth can get him into unneccessary trouble. What do we learn about Barbara? What we already know: she's a sweetheart, and looks great in big glasses. 

The Goods take delivery of a couple of piglets, rather obviously called Pinky & Perky. As with everything Tom does, there is a sound, practical reason behind it - a homegrown supply of pork - which is tempered by Barbara's kinder, softer approach, i.e. the pigs will be pets up until they get put on the plate. Tom particularly likes the challenge of rearing pigs, and is excited by all of the technical issues it will entail which, as ever, he approaches with masses of enthusiasm and an overinflated opinion of his own ability. 

Margo, of course, is appalled ('when will you realise, Tom, you live in Surbiton, not Zaire?') and brings in Mr. Carter, a local man with a reputation for solving problems. To her dismay, however, he is hugely impressed by the Good's lifestyle and can't see a particular issue. Puffed up with praise, Tom starts showing off and, over confident in the arrangements he has made for the porkers, vows that if the pigs ever get into Margo's garden he will get rid of them immediately.

Barbara is testing the efficacy of Tom's wellington boot repair. 

The following day the pigs are gone, courtesy of a tunnel that Tom had not anticipated they could dig. They are found rootling in Margo's gazebo, signalling their departure as per Tom's rash promise.

Tom tries to shield the runaways.

Margo, in her favourite position.

The banishment of Pinky and Perky is an emotional affair, so Tom and Barbara try and get over it by testing their batch of pea pod wine, an incendiary brew ('it's hurting the backs of my eyes') which they immediately ply Margo with when she comes around to try and make peace. 

Strong stuff.

After a couple of glasses, Tom and Barbara let Margo know the implications of her stance against the pigs: everything is tightly budgeted, so the only way not to make a loss on their purchase was to sell them to the abattoir, so Margo has signed their death warrant with her interfering. Horrified and a bit drunk, she sends Tom to retrieve Pinky and Perky before it's too late, then her and Barbara get sloshed and play Pontoon to distract them from thinking about whether Tom will get there in time.  

At last, Tom returns, pigs in tow. Margo is relieved; Barbara is delighted: a happy ending - until, left alone with the livestock, Tom whispers 'if you ever let on you're not Pinky and Perky I'll have you for breakfast'. He was too late, and the original pigs ended up as chops. Tom has already taken on the unsentimental stance of the livestock farmer, i.e. a pig is a pig - but he knows better than to tell Barbara that.  

Porcine Imposters.

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