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Street Smart–Season 1 Finale

As I watching this episode, knowing it was the season and most likely series finale, based on a tweet I read from Shehadie, I was wondering whether both him and Bilgic wrote it knowing the show had an uncertain future.

This episode breaks from the mould by Joseph and Tia breaking away from each other as he has Tia go undercover to find out what Steve and the Street Smart gang are up to.

Joseph and Tia have a pretend fight in the street to lure Steve, which of course works, the way that the gang acted towards her was realistic, and gentleman-like with just a hint of schoolboy. They were nice to her after the “fight”, however the gang (with the exception of Steve) didn’t trust her or want her involved in their plan of stealing the fortune from a warehouse, that was the home of a money laundering scheme under the guise of a school uniform factory. They also give Steve a realistic ultimatum—choose between them or Tia.

Over the course of the episode, Steve and Tia’s chemistry is emphasised, with Tia clearly having more fun with him than with Joseph, and I did wonder whether she would cross over, abandoning Joseph and joining the gang, as I felt that would have provided the perfect end to this season and provide potential to a second (if there was one). Sadly this didn’t happen as Tia politely turned him down outside of the restaurant where Steve planned their date.

The gang experience their moment of failure when they get to the warehouse and see it’s been shut for quite some time, where Steve ends up admitting that his grandfather, who told him about the warehouse on his dying breath, actually died when he was a child. With this moment of failure, they actually end up not committing a crime at all.

Overall this was a solid end to the season with a long overdue focus on Tia, the possibility of her crossing over, and the gang not committing a crime and quickly getting over it. Although I was disappointed that Trans was absent again.

The season overall was done well with a variety of both the gang’s schemes and their levels of success/failure, and a balanced amount of character interaction, although it would have been good to see more of a focus on both Trans and Tia.

While the reception to Street Smart was mixed and didn’t get much support by Network Ten, it would have been great if it got picked up for another season so it would have been given the chance to grow (much like Here Come the Habibs did in their second season). Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to seeing what Shehadie and Bilgic will come up with next.

 

Stray Observations:

-According to Joseph, Tia has the gift of “not being noticed”.

-The Street Smart gang, according to Steve, is a progressive criminal organisation.

-Steve notices Tia’s new hairstyle and compliments her on it, yet Joseph doesn’t.

-Steve believes he should be on The Bachelor as he is wearing a tux (with a cap) on his “date” with Tia and knew to give her a red rose.

-Zena is capable of hiring an accordion player on short notice.

 

Best one liners:

  • “I never knew the Barina could be such a smooth ride!” (Steve to Tia)
  • “Pickles are responsible for producing you!” (Adil to Steve)

 

 

Street Smart–Season 1, Episode 7

I found that this episode was symmetrical in a lot of ways.

The gang’s scheme for this week comes from Hung to steal the money that’s deposited in shopping trolleys at the mall. Raj tries to tell them the obvious reason why this scheme wouldn’t work but keeps getting interrupted.

The gang wait for the trolley guys at the mall to go on their lunch break and successfully steal the collected trolleys and rush them to Steve’s garage. However Raj finally gets to tell them that they failed to realise that there’s no money in collected trolleys, and Steve discovers that they have been caught and are on the news.

The gang manage to take the trolleys back to the shop, but not before a dramatic chase and fight between Joseph and Steve. The gang end up making $2 when someone returning their trolley mistakes them for employees and forgets to take their coin back. However Trans takes it away from them as Steve used the electric toilet brushes she’s trying to sell, to fight off Joseph. This is shortly after, despite the gang’s intentions, Joseph is arrested as he committed a crime, but unlike the gang didn’t try to resolve it.

Meanwhile, Joseph and Steve like the same girl who lives in their street, Amber, and their mothers force them to have lunch together, where Joseph and Steve’s long running rivalry is revealed through flashbacks to their childhood, which were hilarious.

I mentioned this episode was symmetrical—it’s symmetrical in that Marie, Zena and Trans witness the gang stealing and then returning the trolleys, and the gang stopped for ice-creams both on their way to their house and back to the mall. This episode actually marks the first time that Marie, Zena and Trans witness their shenanigans.

Overall this was a well structured episode, although I felt a couple of the jokes fell flat (especially the jokes involving the Shane and the electric toilet brush, and Joseph magically appearing on the bridge during the chase).

 

Stray Observations:

-The gang do financial reports and pay taxes, despite being criminals they take their financial and social responsibilities seriously.

-Grant Denyer made a cameo as a police officer.

-Despite being a trainee parking officer, Tia’s car was impounded because she has too many unpaid parking fines for parking across her driveway.

 

Best one liners:

  • “What sort of criminal gang pays tax?” (Raj to Steve)
  • “Go ahead, make my quota!” (Joseph)
  • “I’m disappointed you didn’t impound the car yourself!” (Joseph to Tia on her car being impounded because of her unpaid parking fines)
  • “This isn’t Street Smart, this is a dumb dumb club!” (Trans to Hung)

 

 

Street Smart–Season 1, Episode 6

This episode was a unique one as actually nothing went wrong with the gang’s plan.

The episode kicked off with Trans and one of her employees giving Vincent (Robert Mammone) and Vito (JR Laveta) a pedicure. Whilst they are having their pedicure, they overhear Steve talking to Hung about his latest scheme—“the sushi train job”. The sushi train job involves them taking gold plates off a sushi train, cleaning the food off it, spray painting them blue, and putting them back on the trolley. Interestingly, this idea is a robbery rather than a get rich quick scheme, and Vincent overhears Steve call it “the great train robbery” and thinks Steve is planning a major robbery and the chaos kicks off from there.

Vincent and Vito show up at Steve’s garage and want to find out more about the “great train robbery” and Steve lets them be a part of the gang, but they have to be inducted first. This is the first episode where we see how the gang induct members—wearing robes that look like they were a rip off of The Handmaid’s Tale, a 3-legged race, playing Helping Hands, sticking a hand in slime, and hitting a pinata (with the lollies inside being the initiation feast).

After the initiation, the gang took off to do the job and Vince’s shock at finding out that the great train robbery wasn’t so great was hilarious. Vincent’s reaction was typical of a criminal and because Joseph called and asked for back-up, the police were able to arrest him and Joseph could finally ticket him.

Meanwhile, Raj says he wants out of the gang again as his Uber rating has gone down due to his car apparently smelling bad, after Vincent is arrested it’s revealed Steve kept fish heads in the boot of Raj’s car, but Raj forgives Steve when he gives him the keys to Vincent’s car, which he gave Steve earlier. Three days later, Raj arrives in Vincent’s car to pick up Vincent and Vito.

Overall this was a solid episode as the gang were doing something different, nothing went wrong at their own hand, and everything interweaved well, especially at the end of the episode.

 

Stray Observations:

-There was a lot of character development with Raj in this episode: apparently he drove through a Woolworths, he was a “Maid Guy”, he’s from Adelaide, and his last job was at a 7-Eleven.

-Joseph has no qualms about ticketing his own mother.

-Both Joseph and Steve tripped over the gutter, I wonder if it’s a family trait.

-Steve believed that Vincent was asking him whether he’s beaten a cop at games rather than actually physically beaten him. That’s so Steve.

-Vincent refers to Steve as Grant Denyer.

-Steve’s dad was mistaken by Vincent for a killer and he just casually goes with it.

-Apparently there are parking inspector magazines out there in the world and the titles are awesome! (Modern Parking Inspector, Infringement Quarterly, and Booked and Ticketed)

-When Joseph’s in a bind he asks himself “What Would Batman Do?”

 

Best one liners:

  • “There’s no D in Bentley” (Tia to Joseph as he’s writing the ticket for Vincent’s car)
  • “There’s only one tool more perfect and that’s me!” (Joseph to Tia)
  • “It was a nine hour labour in a two hour zone, she deserved everything she got.” (Joseph to Tia on ticketing a woman whilst she was giving birth)
  • “I’ve got three kids under five, I hate pinatas!” (Vincent)
  • “Snitches get stitches” (Vincent)
  • “Synchronise watches and/or iPhones…or Androids” (Steve to the gang)
  • “It’s a big code, it’s a Word document, I keep adding to it.” (Steve to Vincent on the gang’s varying code)
  • “Brevity is the soul of wit” (Vito to Vincent)

 

 

Street Smart–Season 1, Episode 5

This episode was an interesting one as there were many interactions that haven’t happened before.

The gang’s idea for this week is to take the money from the kid’s rides at the mall rather than the vending machines, by sneaking in through a dumpster ala Trojan Horse style and disguising themselves as cleaners. The logic behind their idea is that parents put hundreds of dollars into these rides, more money then the vending machines would get. The idea and the method is not entirely ridiculous but as usual, not all that realistic.

While Steve and the gang are coming up with the plan, Joseph is spying on them with his mini drone. This marks the first time that Joseph is fully aware of their plans and comes up with a similar solution to catch them in the act by disguising himself as garbage and hiding in the dumpster. This marks the first time that Joseph actually catches Steve in the act and it in turn leads to the inevitable moment of failure—Joseph’s sneeze startles Steve which leads to him accidentally locking the bin lid shut.

While the gang and Tia are waiting for Steve and Joseph respectively in the parking lot, Tia realises something’s up and goes over to the gang, which also marks the first time that they are interacting with each other. Tia comes up with a logical plan to get Steve and Joseph out of their mess (pardon the pun), which Raj acknowledges is logical, which is interesting considering he declared at the beginning of the episode that he wanted out of the gang. Within seconds, the gang, Tia and the mall’s security guard rescue Joseph and Steve.

Meanwhile, Joseph’s mum, Marie, and Steve’s mum, Zena, interact together on-screen for the first time. They are trying to set up their respective son with a local girl, Jasmine. Their competitive interactions were funny and it made me wonder if Joseph and Steve watched them interact growing up and modelled after them. The ending moments of the episode where Jasmine and her mother reject both of them when they are covered in garbage was hilarious.

Overall this was a solid episode with all of the characters actually interacting with each other rather than before or after the act, however I was disappointed with Trans being absent again.

 

Stray Observations:

-At the beginning of the episode, Raj mentions he wants out but still assists with Steve’s latest plan and never actually leaves.

-Steve brings up the skeleton key but doesn’t actually use it.

-Once again the gang shows they have a moral compass as Steve refuses to steal money from the guide dog donation box that he mistakes for a kid’s ride.

Best one liners:

  • “I’m sick of being part of a gang with little success” (Raj to the gang when he declares he wants out)
  • “A licence to print coins.” (Steve to the gang on the skeleton key)
  • “Wash whatever hair you have left.” (Zena to Steve about looking his best for Jasmine)
  • “If you want to hide in rubbish, you have to become the rubbish.” (Joseph to Tia on his garbage camouflage)
  • “The beauty of that plan is the simplicity of it!” (Raj on Tia’s logical plan to rescue Steve and Joseph)
  • “While some people come out of the closet, some people come out of the dumpster.” (Raj on finding Steve and Joseph hugging in the dumpster)
  • “I use to suffer from terrible xenophobia.” (Steve on his fear of spiders)

 

 

Street Smart–Season 1, Episode 4

In my last review, I pointed out that Trans didn’t appear and I was worried that she was going to be written out. With this episode, I happily ate my words as not only did she reappear but she was at the centre of the episode.

Steve’s idea for this week was a pop up nightclub in Trans’ pork roll bar and nail salon, as she is going to be away at the International Banh Mi Masters Conference. Hearing that she was going to be away at a conference made me briefly worry that she wasn’t going to appear, but luckily my worries were put to rest quickly.

This episode provides more of an insight into Trans as a business woman—she is a Banh Mi master and her pork rolls have won four trophies, and her secret ingredient is pickled carrot. Like the gang, she has her own inevitable moment of failure when she unpacks her supplies in the conference venue’s kitchen and realises she has forgotten her pickled carrot and has to drive back to the bar/salon to get it.

While Trans is away at her conference, the gang quickly set up, hire a bouncer and open the “My Wife is Going to Kill Me” pop-up nightclub. As usual, the gang enjoy brief success, managing to keep Joseph out for as long as they can before he manages to get in dressed as a woman, before the inevitable moment of failure which isn’t technically a failure but still leads to the downfall of the nightclub—Trans returning.

For me the highlight of the episode was Trans’ return to the salon—she quietly sneaks in, scratches her nails across a chalkboard to get everyone’s attention, and calmly tells everyone they’re in big trouble and asks her signature question “you understand?” in an angry but calm voice, which makes her even scarier than usual. The fact that she scares the bikie gang members and gets them to help with cleaning her salon makes it even funnier.

The scenes with Joseph and Tia—patrolling on their day off and trying to get into the nightclub—were amusing but not strong, their characters’ chemistry needs a little refinement,

Overall this was a solid episode, especially with the gang’s realistic-ish business idea and Trans’ character development.

 

 

Stray Observations:

-The Street Smart gang has a constitution.

-When Joseph tackled the owner of the car he was ticketing, I couldn’t help but wonder whether real-life parking officers have ever fantasised about doing this.

-The gang somehow got their car back from the criminal who stole it in the pilot.

-Joseph does a victory dance when he manages to ticket drivers before they get back to their car.

-Steve made a lot of Trump references, I wonder if Steve really was pro-Trump or just liked the “Make America Great Again” catch phrase.

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “Trans is going to a conference tomorrow and she needs me at home tonight…to yell at.” (Hung)
  • “AUS! AUS!” (Shane to Steve chanting AUS in the same manner that Americans chant “USA!”)
  • “I promise to make Street Smart great again!” (Steve to the gang)
  • “Tia! Law breakers don’t sleep!” (Joseph on why they are patrolling again after patrolling on their day off)

 

Street Smart–Season 1, Episode 3

This week’s episode was unique as Steve’s idea didn’t come to him straight away and was pretty much handed to him on a silver platter or rather a rare black and gold bowl.

The episode kicked off with the gang having a garage sale to try and make money, interestingly it was a legitimate way to make some money but alas it wasn’t the riches they were expecting. A few days later, Steve watches the news with his parents to find that a bowl sold for four dollars was apparently rare, is worth $1 million and is about to be sold at an auction. This provides Steve with his “light bulb” moment to retrieve the bowl from the auction house, sell it and make the profit for himself.

Steve’s “light bulb” moment is to retrieve the bowl Mission Impossible style. Of course the idea and the goal is unrealistic but surprisingly he pulls it off, albeit with a little wire hiccup. However the inevitable moment of failure arrived with Joseph’s mother pointing out the bowl wasn’t hers, so of course the gang have to take it back to the auction house without getting caught. Hung’s idea to hide the bowl in boxes of food from Trans’ business was genius, and again they pulled it off.

Overall I enjoyed the fact that while the gang’s idea and goal were unrealistic as usual, they actually briefly pulled it off and when they realised their mistake they actually managed to make things right without getting caught. While they didn’t get rich quick and their idea and goal were unrealistic, their techniques seem to be improving or at least they did in this episode, not to mention the gang, despite their intentions, aren’t completely lacking a moral compass.

Meanwhile Joseph thinks he has been chosen by ASIO, only to find he won an essay competition for children. While his essay subject was fascinating, his first clue should have been when he arrived and saw young Lucy. I enjoyed the scenes with Joseph, Lucy and “Agent Smith”, they reminded me of school where the smartest and most arrogant kid always knows the answers and likes to show off, which everyone would find annoying. These scenes broke up the episode well and provided an opportunity for the A story and this B story to merge when ASIO were asked to help with the investigation of the stolen bowl.

Overall I enjoyed this episode especially with the changes of how Steve’s idea was given to him, the gang not pulling off their goal but also not getting caught, and Joseph never actually interacting with the gang. What was also noticeable was the brief appearance of Tia and the complete absence and lack of mention of Trans. I’m hoping she was busy in this episode and she’s not being written out and I’m also hoping that Tia is going to be utilised more in future episodes.

 

Stray Observations:

-Apparently ASIO found Joseph’s essay both illuminating and disturbing.

-Apparently Steve’s face is just like a neanderthal’s.

-Steve’s way of splitting the prospective profits of selling the bowl were surprisingly fair–50% to his parents because it’s their bowl, 25% for himself because it was his idea and the other 25% for his gang as they are helping him.

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “Washing cash” “machine or hand?” (Steve-Shane when talking about laundering money)
  • “I’m your superior I choose the music!” (Joseph on the phone to Tia)
  • “Take that wrinkles!” (Joseph when ironing his shirt)
  • “My mum won’t let me do paleo” (Steve)
  • “This isn’t Mission Impossible it’s mission imbecile!” (Raj)
  • “Is it ‘bring a kid and her strange friend to work day’ at ASIO?” (Detective Debney to “Agent Smith”)

 

Street Smart–Season 1, Episode 2

This week’s episode pretty much followed the formula it established last week—-Steve instantly comes up with an idea that’s bound to fail, he and his Street Smart gang get to work fast, the failure happens and they’re back at square one. This week’s idea—-youth cream.

I felt that the youth cream idea was a more realistic goal and a less ridiculous idea than last week’s idea to steal from the police. I personally enjoyed seeing that they were briefly successful and things looked up, however I knew the failure moment would come, and I enjoyed the subtle reveal of it through Joseph and Trans getting itchy in their sleep. While the failure was obvious, the youth cream recipe turned out to be a recipe for haemorrhoid cream, it was also realistic. Although Steve’s parents were heavily stereotypical, they were also funny and I liked that they experienced more business success than Steve himself did.

Meanwhile, Joseph is up to his usual tricks by completing an obstacle course in his front yard, complete with inflatable tyres, in an effort to be ready for the police force. I found his “Operation Wheelie Bin” idea hilarious, although I didn’t totally buy that Shane didn’t see him as he was emptying some of the youth cream into the bin, but since Shane isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer, I’ll give it a pass.

Overall I felt this episode was an improvement to last week’s as the gang’s idea was more realistic and more characters were introduced.

 

Stray Observations:

-Joseph’s last name is revealed as Abboud.

-This episode marks the first appearance of Steve’s parents.

-Steve’s mother keeps a bowl of pumpkin seeds in one of her desk drawers.

-Merrick Watts made a cameo as a drug officer.

-The gang has a code of conduct.

-The gag with Steve’s mother clipping Steve’s father’s toenails in bed appearing to Steve that they were having sex is a cliche, but Steve’s reactions and facial expressions made it funny.

Pun for this week–Tight R’s (the name of the youth cream)

Best one liners:

  • “I’ve got ethnic back!” (Joseph to Tia)
  • “The beauty industry is made up, it preys on the insecurity of vain, shallow people who have too much money to spend.” (Raj to the gang, summing up the beauty industry)
  • “What do you think this is Breaking Bad?” (Steve to Shane when he sees him in his underwear around the lab equipment)
  • “I’m Asian, we don’t need to look younger!” (Trans to Hung about her refusal to use the youth cream herself)
  • “Sure NCIS!” (The drug officer to Joseph when the latter requests to be there when Steve’s busted)