Mr Black–Pilot

The job of a pilot is to establish the show’s premise and characters. I feel that this pilot did half the job.

This shows premise or rather its titular character was summarised in one sentence: “Mr. Black moves in with his daughter Angela and her boyfriend Fin to receive extra care. Mr. Black joyfully sets about psychologically dismantling Fin in an effort to get him away from his daughter.” I feel that this summed up the premise and the titular character perfectly.

The episode kicks off with Mr Black attacking Fin’s car with his cane after Fin honks his horn at him, as he is making a phone call. The episode then goes on to show Fin arriving at home and finding out from his girlfriend, Angela, that her father has a debilitating back condition, and that he will be staying with them until he finds the extra care he needs. Fin sympathises with Angela and sees it as an opportunity to finally meet her father, but his tune changes when he realises Angela’s father is the same man who attacked his car.

Mr Black, whose name is revealed to be Peter, appears to not remember Fin and their run in. Although they seem to quickly bond over punctuation or rather its incorrect use, due to their respective occupations as a sports writer and an advertisement writer, this is quickly shut down by Peter’s bad behaviour towards Fin.

Peter’s animosity towards Fin escalates when he walks in on him going to the toilet in the middle of the night, witnessing him sitting down to pee. After he makings fun of him again, he asks Fin to come and see him in his room. It is from here that the running gag of Peter asking Fin random questions is established.

The episode then moves on to show Peter swimming at the pool with a GoPro camera on his head, where unsurprisingly it’s revealed that he is using the camera to perve on women in a pool aerobics class. Fin spots this pretty much straight away but does nothing. Peter is having the time of his life until his muscles give out on him and he falls to the bottom of the pool. Although Fin seems to notice, he doesn’t get him out of the pool until the aerobics instructor notices that Peter hasn’t come up either. Fin goes in, gets Peter out and revives him with CPR and true to character, Peter dismisses Fin’s heroic actions.

Peter dismissing the fact that Fin saved his life is the last straw for Fin. He packs his bags and stays a hotel in the city. This pleases Peter, who ends up watching home footage with Angela on his computer. His happiness is short lived shortly after the home footage ends and the footage of the pool incident begins playing on his laptop. This leads to Peter apologising to Fin at his hotel Love Actually-style.

Peter and Fin return to the house, where Peter admits he only wants Angela to find the right man and he believes Fin is the right man. However moments later, he tricks Fin into falling off of his scooter as he remembered that Fin honked at him.

What I appreciated about the pilot and the characters of Fin and Peter, is the fact that no-one would know “who to go for” as Fin and Peter alternate as the unlikeable character throughout the episode. It was also hard to tell whether Peter was sincere at the end of the episode or not to Fin, so I’m looking forward to seeing this dynamic played out in future episodes. I also appreciated that the focus was on the three main characters and not overwhelming the audience with the introduction of too many characters. However, despite the decent writing, I felt that the pilot fell flat due to its slow pacing. However I feel the show has a lot of potential and I’m looking forward to reviewing the rest of the season.

 

Stray Observations:

-Peter was the Sports Editor at The Post.

-Peter’s approach to attacking Fin’s car resembled a golf swing.

-Angela tells Fin that Peter was on the phone to his specialist when he attacked Fin’s car.

-Fin and Angela have been dating for eight months and have been living together for three of them.

-Angela’s middle name is Geraldine.

-Peter’s questions revolve around many topics, including but not limited to: anal sex, drug use, the Indian city Mumbai, salt, Greek mythology, Paul McCartney’s middle name, whether Fin loves Angela, whether Fin drives a 2005 Mini Cooper Convertible, crows and Bob Dylan songs.

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “Is the English cricket team South African?” (Peter to Angela to answer her question of whether he wants a beer)
  • “A lot of guys do it.” “Guys might, men don’t.” (Fin-Peter on men sitting down to pee)
  • “Take a seat, you’d be use to it.” (Peter to Fin)
  • “It stops me from doing certain things but it doesn’t stop me from punching an arsehole in the neck.” (Peter to Fin on his condition)
  • “I’ll be passing on my recommendations to Angela.” (Peter to Fin)

 

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