Coming into a substantial amount of money is good for sorting the wheat from the chaff: specifically, discovering what your nearest and dearest really think of you.
Of course, it helps if your nearest and dearest have exceptionally bad timing and a soft spot for cruises.
This week is Denise’s episode. She’s the – ahem- ‘beautiful on the inside’ one, so naturally her response to a lottery win is to have enormous amounts of plastic surgery.
But there’s more to this than meets the eye, as it turns out her husband has just left her. He wanted to start again. He said he was 48 and had nothing to show for it, that she deserved someone who was attracted to her. And he did it moments before finding out she’d won the lottery. Ouch.
Sucks to be him.
Denise is lovely. She takes in stray dogs, cares for her elderly mum, and (sorry, feminists) wants to get her no good husband back. Together with Leanne she embarks on a teeth whitening, eye lasering, entire rail of clothes buying shopping spree.
She even gets to do a Pretty Woman carrier bag shake at some snooty sales assistant while grinning ‘I like being rich’. Money really does buy you all the best lines. I like Denise being rich, too. Shame, since later in the episode she gives away £1 million to the dogs home.
Extended lunch breaks aside, the millionaire staff of Right Buy U are all still pulling on their aprons and turning up to work (though, by the end of the episode, three out of the five have quit).
‘Business as usual. It’s what Bob’d want’, stalwart Stu tells the police, who hang around every single day, investigating the fake shop robbery the brothers staged hours before their win. There’s a theme developing here. If you’re going to make a life changing decision, or do something you may live to regret/could land you in prison, check your lottery numbers first.
Leeds must be otherwise entirely crime free, since DCI Newall seems to have devoted 100% of his time to this case. Well, this case and watching The Wire DVDs while posing in the mirror.
Heartbroken Denise throws an 80th birthday party for her dear old mum who, thanks to the big pot of cash, has been treated to a vibrating bed and a stair lift, and will never again have to choose between ‘a bed bath and a prick and ding meal’ administered by overstretched NHS staff.
At the party Dave, Denise’s errant husband, makes an attempt to get her back. Only it turns out he’s been shacked up with her mum’s (male) carer, so that’s the end of that.
Well almost, because 15 years of marriage deserves a very, heartfelt, very tear stained, very lengthy dissection with the residents of the dogs home barking along in the background. It’s a bit bleak, this lottery winning business- more Corrie than Cribs, really.
Tears and recriminations finally over, all that remains is for him to threaten to take half of her money. Luckily, Denise has been well prepped, and leaves him with probably the line of the series: ‘Section 25 of the Matrimonial Act 1973 means that you’ll get bugger all.’
That’s why you should always keep your friends close, and your lottery solicitor closer.
The others take a back seat in this episode: Jamie loafs around dressed like he thinks a celebrity might; Leanne gets a blow dry and a secret note (contents unknown) from the evil mystery man of her former life.
Stu and Amy drop a quarter of his winnings on a fancy house with a swimming pool in the kitchen. And Bob is still recuperating in hospital, now with added potential brain tumour.
Though it looks like his missus has bought him a new dressing gown at least.
Supermarket management lesson of the week
‘Check the dates on the yoghurts, and move nearest sell bys to front’. God, it really is mind-numbing. No wonder they’re all jacking it in.
Lottery winner tip of the week
If you suspect your numbers have come up, find your ticket immediately. It’ll be in a crumpled mess in the bottom of your coat pocket, stuck to an old bag of dog poo. That’s a metaphor for something, but you’ll be too busy dreaming of Jacuzzi step-in-baths to notice.
Extravagant purchase of the week
Jamie bought a sports car. I don’t know much about cars. It was red. Probably more expensive than my Nissan. And Denise was guilted into buying the church a new roof. Rock and roll!
The Syndicate is on BBC1, Tuesdays at 9pm. You can catch up on iPlayer here