Monday, April 30, 2007

Episode 1: A Degree In Death

The students are revolting... and it's not just because they've got long hair and loon pants and smell of incense and mushrooms. The on-campus protest at Central University ends spectacularly when the Dean's car - and probably a fair slice of the opening episode's thousand-dollar budget - is blown sky high.

Funky Squad car explosion

Police suspicion rests on the protesting kids... Or is it a rival academic with his eye on the top job? Time to call in...

Funky Squad
Funky Squad.

In this episode we find out Cassie has a science degree, and she identifies chemicals stolen from the university laboratory as ingredients of a car bomb.

Funky Squad - Cassie

But why sodium chloride - better known as salt - would be kept under lock and key in the first place is anyone's guess.

We find out Stix went to Uni, where in true student style he flunked many classes and eventually dropped out.

Funky Squad - Stix

He obviously sees something in this bird, since he hits onto her in every episode, using such lines as I got the motor, you got the body, what say I check out your chassis tonight? And yet in the course of seven episodes, never once does she smack him down for using such lousy pick up lines. So much for womens' lib.

The undercover Squaddies hit Central University, in real life shot on location at Monash Uni's Clayton campus.

Funky Squad on campus

Funky Squad car bomb
Poncho stops Stix becoming the second person to rest in pieces.

Funky Squad car bomb
And retrieves the firecracker from under the car...

Funky Squad Grant

While Grant talks hip with the college swami.

Now, here's a genuine piece of trivia for you - despite being on the ABC, Funky Squad featured actual real ads. Actual real twenty-year-old ads for actual, real, long-since-defunct products, that is. There are a few spoof ads to come later in the series, but in this episode we are encouraged to sample RC Cola (that the ad features the well proportioned rear end of a young swimsuit-clad woman may or may not be a co-incidence. Say it alound if you haven't got it yet), Lime Fresh soap "With streaks of lime, so fresh it tingles!" and "VYI" who sold spectacles. Or sunglasses. Or something.

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Poncho's obviously learnt a thing or two from Harpo about how to describe women. So, Poncho doesn't talk, because - as we discover rather frequently - he got shot in the tongue. Let's not pause to wonder what expert marksman did that without so much as dislodging his stuck-on moustache and deviate instead into the weird sideways world inhabited by people with names like Blair Steele and Joey Alvarez. Apparently the fictitious Harry Zdalka Jr, a refugee from Nevaherdovitistan, didn't speak English well - again, let's not pause to ask how he got the role, then - so the bullet story was concocted as a way to get him to keep his mouth shut.

Funky Squad Poncho and Grant

Quotes of note

Cheif: No doubt you've heard there was an incident yesterday at Central University
Grant: Yeah.. Somebody celebrated Fourth of July under a flash set of wheels.

Swami: Violence is a hungry beast, but it feeds only on itself.

Mulvaney, a square cop who insists on going undercover to a student revolutionary meeting, and gets sussed. That he turned up in a police car probably didn't help: No, I'm not a cop! I'm a hippie like you! Make peace, not war! Ooh! Ouch! No!...

Ace the Revolutionary: It's always nice to see a new face around here... Especially one as pretty as yours.
Cassie: I'm not just a pretty face.. I've got a mind, too... And I want to learn all about your ideas.

Ace: You want to get high? Call me Kite Man... I'll be back before you can say Mary-Jane.

And I'll be back next time with Episode 2: The Art Of Murder.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Also, the later scenes are shot at Melbourne Uni...You might notice the Baillieu library and the chemistry building.

Oh, and I'm reasonably sure the roof scene is showing the Redmond Barry building in the background - Also known as "the one with the haunted lifts". Seriously - Even if you're heading for the 12th floor, take the stairs.