Recap Insiders

Yesterday I recapped Episode 7590 of Neighbours. I’m worried that’s left me looking a little frivolous so today I’m recapping Australia’s longest-running documentary, Insiders. It’s about Barrie, who invites his friends over every Sunday but none of them get along.

The main plot centres on the will-they-won’t-they tension between Gerard Henderson and David Marr. Gerard and David seem like complete opposites, and yet, sometimes that can be so right, like with Jesus and Mary Magdalene.

Anyway, in this episode, as per usual, Barrie has invited three people over because that’s how many chairs he has. This time it’s David Marr, Gerard Henderson and Laura Tingle.

The start of the episode shows a tantalising glimpse of the couch where David and Gerard sit beside each other with their arms folded. Barrie ignores them, and wanders off, which may be the only sensible action when two people are in a huff with each other. I feel sorry for Laura Tingle who’s left on her own with Gerard and David like a third-wheeling gooseberry.

Barrie stands by himself in the middle of the lounge room and performs a soliloquy about a budget. Then he puts on a video showing lots of men in suits saying ‘good debt’, ‘bad debt’ over and over again for two minutes. To make this bearable there is a catchy song about fresh eyes playing in the background.

Back in the lounge room Barrie is talking to himself about a really funny video his friend Huw Parkinson made. Barrie is obsessed with Huw Parkinson, and is always going on about how funny his videos are, which is sad because Huw never comes over and I suspect they’re just Facebook friends.

Barrie then remembers he’s got visitors and tries to make conversation by asking if they’ve read anything interesting in the Sunday papers. He doesn’t sit down, probably because he wants to leave as quickly as possible if someone more interesting turns up.

Barrie talks to Laura Tingle first. She looks at a piece of paper and says something quite sensible, I think, I’m not sure because it’s hard to follow when you’re typing.

Barrie then asks David if he has any thoughts about something, and it turns out that he does. Gerard gets a turn next, because Barrie once read a magazine article about how you should include all your visitors in the conversation even if you don’t like them much. This gives David and Gerard a chance to disagree on something, which brings a little sizzle. Actually, Laura Tingle doesn’t agree with Gerard either. In the end they all agree that everyone is allowed to disagree.

No-one touches the lovely coffee on the coffee table. Barrie must be hurt by his visitors’ rude behaviour because he wanders off to take a Skype call from his friend in Adelaide, who he calls the Shadow Minister for Energy for fun.

Barrie is gone for ages. They don’t show us what Laura Tingle, David and Gerard are doing at this point, but I suspect they’re absolutely killing the Sunday crossword.

Rudely, the Shadow Minister for Energy doesn’t ask Barrie any questions about himself and eventually Barrie gets jack of it and wraps up the call.

He then plays the funny video his friend Huw Parkinson made. There are no cats, but it’s okay if you know what Star Wars is, which I don’t. Barrie pisses himself laughing. It would nice if Huw could occasionally like some of Barrie’s tweets that he’s not mentioned in.

Barrie wanders back over to his friends for a chat, and this time he sits down. It all goes terribly well until David prefaces a comment by turning to Gerard and saying, ‘I don’t want to be disrespectful to you…’ I hold my breath but he’s not actually disrespectful and Gerard doesn’t get offended.

Barrie is frightened of awkward pauses, so he keeps showing his visitors YouTube videos and then asking what they reckon of them. This strategy works, and everyone has lots to say.

David and Gerard have a fight about about fracking. Now we’re getting somewhere. David is gesticulating and Gerard is hunching. Barrie changes the topic back to the budget. Sometimes I wonder what Barrie’s agenda is, and whether he’s the right captain for this love ship.

Soon though Gerard is accusing David of being inconsistent and David says that Gerard never listens. David says Gerard has friends, and Gerard denies it. Gerard admits to going to a party once and Laura Tingle pisses herself laughing.

Barrie changes the topic back to the budget.

Later, they chat about airports. Miraculously, no-one tells a story about the time they nearly got upgraded to Business Class. Gerard tells a story so funny that he chuckles. Later, David makes a joke and then explains it to Gerard, which is kind of him.

Then they have a disagreement about refugees and I start to doubt whether David and Gerard have shared values. Maybe they shouldn’t get together because shared values are really important in a relationship.

Barrie changes the topic again and David and Gerard force themselves to share another laugh. Barrie clearly wants them all to leave, probably because he needs to get the laundry on before going out for brunch.

Barrie goes to put on a load of woollens, leaving his guests with ‘Talking Pictures’ otherwise known as ‘another video’. Screen time is out of control at Barrie’s house. By the time the video is over Barrie is done with the wool wash but his visitors are still plonked on the couch not taking the hint. Barrie gives the ultimate it’s time to leave signal, asking them pointedly for their ‘final observations’.

So, at the end of this episode I’m more firmly than ever in the ‘No, they won’t’ camp when it comes to David and Gerard but top marks Insiders for keeping us guessing.

PS Insiders seems significantly less diverse than Neighbours.

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