It’s the penultimate episode of Dream School and Jamie is concerned that his experiment in social engineering isn’t producing the results he’d expected. I’ve watched every episode without knowing or caring what the objective of the series was. Reality television should entertain and horrify in equal measure. And it’s certainly succeeded there. When Rolf Harris popped in to do an art class the other week it was like something out of Viz and when Angelique squealed as she tossed off a sea urchin it felt some bizarre Japanese game show. In this strange contest of the great and the good versus the bored and the bad I’ve enjoyed watching these young ruffians wind up highly respected scholars and thespians until they’re ready to pop.
But how glorious would it have been be to see the teachers in Dream School really, properly and totally mentally losing it - like they used to do in real schools. But let’s not wish casual violence on them. These kids are bright. These kids have something to offer. These kids have something to say.
Usually something like… “I’m gonna fucking batter you”.
This week Jamie tries to reach out and win over the worst of his students and they don’t come any worse than the delightfully named Harlem. A monster by her own mother’s admission, she has a talent for delivering threats of extreme violence and keeps a shank hidden in her Marge Simpson hair do.
Angelique is also well known for her short fuse and confesses that she isn’t the “brightest bulb in the tanning bed”. I feel for her. Her dad stopped talking to her when she was ten, although you wonder if he’s still struggling to get a word in.
Georgia is seen by the others as aloof. She isn’t. She’s just pissed out of her brains.
Ricky just can’t be arsed. He’s so lazy that’s all he could be bothered to say.
Jamie decides the best approach to gets his hard mates in to give them a bit of a seeing to.
He gets in a tiny Irish dinner lady called Nora to run the cookery class. Jamie’s shit scared of her, but the kids think she’s just minging. Nora won’t stand for any of their shenanigans.
“They t’ink somebody owes them something”, she astutely observes.
She’s horrified when the kids start flinging veg all over the kitchen floor, but it could have got a lot messier. Harlem has been giving her the evils, waiting for the right time to stick her one, but she suddenly has a change of heart and decides to go for a dump instead. On the way she gets confused and decides to go and batter the headmaster.
In a rousing speech Jamie tells the kids exactly what the viewers will be thinking of them. They’re all spoilt, little bastards.
Alastair Campbell decides he wants to take the class to Downing Street to meet David Cameron. He seems particularly keen to take Harlem for some reason. It’s not difficult to see what his game is, but he pretends to be undecided. Harlem says he can either take her or not take her. Either way she’s not bothered. It’s up to him. But if he decides not to take her she’s going to fucking batter him.
Cherie Blair turns up with an ex manslaughterer called John. He looks like he’s been out all night. He’s meant to be involved in a debate about prisoners getting the vote, but he’s soon round the back rolling snouts for the kids. By the end of it Cherie looks shell-shocked and can barely talk, but she’s won some fans, particularly in Jedril - “Yeah she’s me bredrin’ - we go way back...like from last week”.
In a rousing speech Jamie tells the kids exactly what the viewers will be thinking of them. They’re all spoilt, little bastards. Not only is he a great cook, but he’s telepathic. He threatens to kick some ass by giving them homework, but let’s them decide that homework can be whatever they want it to be. As long as it’s something they’re good at. Harlem decides to batter someone.
As a further punishment they’re all taken on holiday to South Wales. They clamber aboard a bus and flick v’s out the back window. By the time they get to Wales the coach driver looks like he’s on angel dust.
The next day they’re woken before CBeebies has even started and they get taken up really big hill by a bloke called David Hempleman-Adams who has climbed everything in the world. Some of these kids can barely be arsed to climb out of bed, but they struggle on gamely despite the fresh air and pleasant scenery.
They reach the summit and there’s a strong feeling of accomplishment. It’s a tremendous effort. They’ve tried something they've never done before and they’ve all succeeded. They're presented with certificates and for once the nation feels there’s hope for our children. Any negative stereotypes are quickly forgotten. Then they go to Henrys house, get totally wankered on alco pops and talk about their “fortpolios”.
Harlem, is starting to complain because everyone is scared of her. She’s so annoyed she wants to batter someone. Jamie is annoyed because he’s suddenly realised all she wants to do is batter someone. Cambell is still pretending to be worried she’s going to batter David Cameron. Angelique is worried that she’s not as scary as Harlem so she starts throwing chairs at Campbell and calling him a shit talking gas bag.
In a rare moment of wisdom she screams, “David Cameron don’t care about us! We’re just a bunch of misfits”. And just as we’re expecting to see the visit to Downing Street the whole thing grinds to a halt and we have to wait until next week to see David Cameron getting battered by Marge Simpson.
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