This tape opens with the end of an episode of Horizon about the Exxon Valdez oil spill. I’m assuming that this was a replacement for the programme listed in the Radio Times, as Genome says this should be Medicine 2000, which was actually broadcast the following week (and listed as such).
There’s a trailer for Oranges are Not the Only Fruit.
Then, as the first in the American Tales season, we have The Sure Thing.
Oh look, a few days after Top Gun, there’s Anthony Edwards again, as John Cusack’s High School best friend. I hope he’s OK.
John Cusack plays John Cusack, a cheeky, fast-talking student who’s gone to university in New England, and is frustrated at his lack of success with the ladies. Frankly, he’s a bit of an arsehole.
Daphne Zuniga is a fellow student in his English class, who’s super organised, but who (according to her teacher) needs to live life more.
Yes, he’s a force of nature, she’s uptight and cold. It’s an age old story, always told by men.
Edwards, studying in California, tells Cusack that a beautiful girl he knows thinks he looks cute, and if he travels to California for Christmas, it’s ‘a sure thing’. Yes, this rather creepy premise is the trigger for the whole story.
He can’t afford to fly across the country, so he has to car share, and wouldn’t you know it, sharing the same car is Zuniga.
Their drivers are Tim Robbins and Lisa Jane Persky, who like singing show tunes as they drive.
But after Zuniga decides to show some spontaneity by flashing her breasts at a passing car, and Robbins is cited by a traffic cop (“Don’t forget ‘driving with a load not properly tied down'” suggests Cusack helpfully), Robbins drops them at the side of the road, and it all goes a bit Planes Trains and Automobiles.
I shouldn’t be too down on this, as there’s still some great comedy here. Trapped in a downpour, they seek shelter in a shack which turns out not to have a roof, then they find a caravan, but it’s locked. “It’s important that this place should have an airtight security system.”
As he tries to jimmy the lock, Zuniga rediscovers the credit card her father had given her.
“I have a credit card.”
“No, credit cards work on a completely different kind of lock.”
“Oh wait. Dad said I should only use it in an emergency.”
“Well maybe one’ll come up.”
They do finally make it to Los Angeles. Zuniga meets her boyfriend, a law student who is as dull as we expect. When she insists on going to a party, he says one of my favourite lines. “Look at these people. They probably think they’re having a good time.”
Anthony Edwards really does have the poster of the tennis player scratching her bum on his wall.
But it all works out in the end, and Cusack and Zuniga get together.
BBC Genome: BBC Two – 8th January 1990 – 21:00
After this, recording switches to an episode of Hit and Run featuring a brief appearance from Dawn French.
Ruby interviews a strange gravedigger.
There’s also a sequence at Glastonbury, back when it appears to be mostly about new age hippies rather than corporate hospitality.
BBC Genome: BBC Two – 9th January 1990 – 21:00
After this, there’s an advert for the Radio Times, about Trevor Eve’s new show A Sense of Guilt.
Then the recording ends, and underneath there’s a short bit of Newsnight about an ambulance driver’s dispute, and that recording stops too.
Underneath is an orchestra playing some music I don’t recognise. It’s from Channel 4, and it sounds very modern.
Then Channel 4 closes down, with the Channel 4 clock.
The tape ends here.
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