Fairy Tales: Season 1, Episode 1

Rapunzel (10 Jan. 2008)

TV Episode  |   |  Comedy, Drama
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 89 users  
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Jimmy Stojkovic, a failing tennis player is convinced by his ambitious father to pose as a woman in order to enter a women's tennis tournament. Problems arise however when Jimmy (now known ... See full summary »

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Title: Rapunzel (10 Jan 2008)

Rapunzel (10 Jan 2008) on IMDb 7.5/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Lee Ingleby ...
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Shaun Williamson ...
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Frankie McCafferty ...
Broadcaster
Susan Aderin ...
Helga
Vincent Higgins ...
Sylvanian Journalist
Maggie Hayes ...
French Journalist
...
American Journalist
Peter Ballance ...
PR Representative
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Storyline

Jimmy Stojkovic, a failing tennis player is convinced by his ambitious father to pose as a woman in order to enter a women's tennis tournament. Problems arise however when Jimmy (now known as Martina) falls for beautiful young competitor Billy Jane Brooke, dubbed "Rapunzel" by the media because of her flowing locks. Written by Anonymous

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Comedy | Drama

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10 January 2008 (UK)  »

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User Reviews

 
Lots of Laughs and a Little Cringing
13 January 2008 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

A lot of people appeared to miss the point of this programme completely. No, it wasn't highbrow. No, it wasn't trying to be clever. No, it wasn't a satirical statement. It was good old-fashioned entertainment. Get off your high horse and join us down here.

So, for those who haven't seen it, it was a modern re-telling of the fairytale Rapunzel, although to say it was "loosely based" on the original would be over-stating it a little. It was set, inexplicably, in the world of competitive tennis and centred around useless-but-amiable Jimmy Stojkovic (played with almost palpable glee by the excellent Lee Ingleby), the source of constant embarrassment for his father (Shaun Williamson, or "BarryfromEastEnders" as he shall forever be known). Jimmy's father wants to be a great tennis coach and "a great coach needs champions otherwise he is just... a pushy father", so he concocts a rather bizarre stunt in order to convince Jimmy to dress in drag and enter the British Open as a girl.

Also in the Ladies' Singles is the long-haired Billie-Jean, nicknamed Rapunzel by her overbearing, overprotective, Miss Havishamesque mother. Naturally, Jimmy falls for Rapunzel, but of course can't reveal that he's Prince Charming rather than Princess Charming, as that would get him kicked out of the tournament and put his father in mortal danger. Or so he thinks...

Cue lots of laughs and a little cringing as Jimmy ("Martina" when his wig's on) and Rapunzel become closer and closer, and fend off unwelcome attention from a creepy pundit with a slightly unsettling interest in young girls (or what he thinks is a young girl) and an arrogant male tennis player with a patio-broom moustache who was Jimmy's bitter rival back home in the old Eastern Bloc.

The supporting cast, without exception, are brilliant, right down to the Eastern-European tennis commentator who can't stand Jimmy because he has "the most pathetic moustache I have ever seen" (Jimmy's indignant and frustrated reply: "It looks thin because it is BLOND!"), and Tony Way, who is fast establishing himself as one of Britain's comedic treasures, as Jimmy's brother who helps to transform Jimmy into Martina. He's come a long way since he played the mint-sharing paperboy in 'Spaced', and gets a lot of the best one-liners in 'Rapunzel'.

So, does Jimmy get the girl? Well, I ticked the 'Spoilers' box but I hardly think this counts: of course he does. A few years ago film- and programme-makers seemed to decide that we viewers can't cope with Brothers Grimm-style fairy tales and prefer instead the Disney variety, and they're not always wrong.

When it's made with as much warmth as this example was, when the actors throw themselves into their roles with such enthusiasm and when the jokes are as funny as these were; yeah, it works.

If you come to this expecting Chekhov, prepare to feel patronised. If you come to it expecting an hour of decent entertainment, good-natured stereotypes and plot holes you could drive a tractor through, prepare to leave with a giant smile on your face.


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