Suburban Shootout

suburban shootout (1/3)
22.00–23.05

Beginning on Five this evening is the second series of the award-winning, home-grown comedy. Tonight’s episode sees Joyce struggling to cope with street life while her former leader is in prison.

Suburban Shootout charts the bitter rivalry between two gangs of vigilante housewives in the seemingly idyllic town of Little Stempington. The first gang is led by Camilla Diamond (Anna Chancellor, ‘Spooks’, ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’) and is driven by greed; the second is steered by Barbara Du Prez (Felicity Montagu, ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’, ‘I’m Alan Partridge’) and works for the benefit of the community.

Picking up where the first series left off, the opening episode finds Barbara languishing in jail after being framed by Camilla. The leadership of her gang has passed to Joyce Hazeldine (Amelia Bullmore, ‘I’m Alan Partridge’), whose softly-softly approach is causing her to lose control of the town. Meanwhile, Camilla hits upon a plan to make her new casino a success by exploiting a team of asylum-seeking ballet dancers.

With Barbara banged up at Her Majesty’s pleasure, her crew have turned to Joyce for direction. Unfortunately, Joyce’s timid leadership is drawing criticism from gang members Pam (Lucy Robinson, ‘Cold Feet’) and Margaret (Cathryn Bradshaw, ‘Blackpool’). “For God’s sake, grow some balls!” Pam tells Joyce. “Little Stempington is slipping back into chaos!” Joyce insists that she wants to avoid bloodshed and plans a face-to-face meeting with crime boss Camilla. However, Camilla proves unwilling to negotiate, and their rendezvous ends with one housewife trying to push the other into a toilet.

Unhappy with Joyce’s captaincy, Pam petitions Camilla to join her gang. Camilla and her cohorts Hilary (Rachael Blake, ‘Home and Away’, ‘Lantana’) and Lillian (Emma Kennedy, ‘Notes on a Scandal’, ‘The Smoking Room’) test Pam’s commitment by forcing her to play Russian roulette at a picnic. “This is such an exciting interview technique, isn’t it?” Camilla remarks. Pam is allowed into the gang and soon learns about Camilla’s newest scheme: a secret mobile casino housed in a truck. But Camilla has doubts about Pam’s loyalty, so she plans another initiation ceremony at a tattoo parlour to test her.

Meanwhile, Camilla is forced to come up with a cunning plan when her new casino fails to generate much interest. It so happens that a troupe of male Belarussian ballet dancers is performing in Little Stempington – and the dancers choose the night of their show to demand political asylum. Camilla instantly sees an opportunity to exploit the handsome, athletic asylum seekers. “I’ve just thought of a sexy way to get the punters banging on the door of our mobile casino,” she says. Camilla convinces Joyce’s husband, clueless police chief Jeremy (Ralph Ineson, ‘The Office’) to house the Belarussians in a garden centre. Then, under cover of darkness, she marches them out to serve as hunky waiters in her casino. The bemused Belarussians are an instant hit with the gambling lady folk of Little Stempington – but when they hear of the scheme, Barbara and Joyce are determined to put a stop to it.

Also in this week’s episode, Jeremy entertains police officers from around the world who are in Little Stempington to discover why the crime rate is so low. However, a bent cop from Miami suspects that he has the answer when he suggests the town might be under the sway of organised crime. Jeremy quickly dismisses the idea: “I think we’d know if a gang of criminal vigilantes was operating under our noses,” he says – but the Miami cop soon discovers Camilla’s gang and wastes no time in making her a surprising proposition…

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