The Syndicate Series Blog: Episode One

Who wants to be a millionaire?

Everyone’s winning the lottery these days. It could be you. Sadly, it’s more likely to be the staff of your local supermarket. The ones who sell you generic cheese puffs and non-organic milk in an emergency.

The entire workforce of Right Buy U (worst shop name ever?) have won the lottery. All £18 million of it. But before we can watch this merry band splash their cash in reckless and vulgar ways, we need to get to know them four days earlier. Before the windfall.

Stu, his pregnant girlfriend Amy, and their little boy have moved back in with his mum. Stu’s younger brother Jamie lives there too. It’s as harmonious as you’d expect. Amy hates Stu’s mum, mainly due to the fact ‘she thinks she knows everything coz she’s a dinner lady’.

Indeed porridge and Louis Vuitton seem to be their main bones of contention.

Stu, along with the other cashiers at the supermarket, is facing redundancy when corporate giant Newbury’s take over the store. He’s been working there since he was 15, he’s got no cash, everyone shouts at him, and his girlfriend’s gone into early labour. Understandably, he’s more than a little fed up.

The fact his brother Jamie’s breakfast viewing of choice is to debate along with Jeremy Kyle tells you everything you need to know about Jamie. Well, that and the fact that he thinks it’s a really good idea to stage a robbery, at their place of work, using a toy gun. It later transpires he’s also pretty rubbish at maths: “£18 million between five of us? That’s like….err. Well it don’t matter, it’s just a shit load of money!”

I worry for his investment portfolio.

Stu is desperate to relocate his family unit to a newly refurbished first floor flat the estate agent found for him. Only Amy’s a bit credit card happy, and they have no savings to speak of. He’s so desperate in fact, that he goes along with his hapless brother’s robbery plan. “There’s nothing that can go wrong. I’ve thought of everything.” says Jamie, thus ensuring it can, and he hasn’t.

On the eve of their lottery win, the supermarket staff work their socks off, serving customers and filling the tills with cash. Once the others have left for the night, Jamie pulls a hoody over his Right Buy U polo shirt, and storms the shop as Stu is locking up. Clearly working on the assumption that the store’s CCTV doesn’t extend to audio, Jamie gives an unintentionally hilarious commentary throughout proceedings:

“I’m asking you where the safe is. Don’t answer. I’m gonna come at you with a gun. You back off like you think I’m going to whack you.”

The fake heist all goes according to plan until Bob, the manager, makes an unexpected return. Jamie promptly smashes him over the head with a bottle of whisky, then runs off home to count his blood money.

The dust has barely settled on the crime scene when Denise from the shop comes round to tell the criminal brothers that they’ve all won the lottery.

“We’re millionaires!” whoops Jamie, “no one can touch us now!”, in reference to the aforementioned attempted murder.

I’m probably going to beg to differ on that one.

So manager Bob spent the majority of the episode in a coma. However he did come around at the end, just in time to cast the deciding vote in favour of Stu getting his share of the lottery winnings despite not having paid into the syndicate for five weeks. What a nice man. Obviously this exacerbates Stu’s guilt about the outstanding fiver, not to mention the whole shop robbery / bottle to the head incident.

The other syndicate members don’t really feature in the opening episode. There’s Denise, who owns lots of dogs and a layabout cheating husband. And Leanne, who just wants to take her little girl to Disneyland and avoid being tracked down by her nasty ex.

These ladies are clearly more deserving of the cash, having not perpetrated any weapons based crimes, and so their backstories can wait for the difficult second episode.

Supermarket management lesson of the week
You can open the shop ten minutes early if it’s to sell a lottery ticket to an old lady, so she doesn’t miss her Help the Aged sponsored daytrip to Whitby. Especially if it’s a rollover.

Lottery winner tip of the week
If you’re not up to date on your lottery money, the other syndicate members hold a secret ballot to decide if you are entitled to your share of the cash. It’s advisable to have a new born baby in hospital to help swing the vote in this situation.

Extravagant purchase of the week
Amy’s bid to find ‘the biggest pram money can buy’ was pretty unnecessary. But celebrating with Stu in a champagne bar where people willingly slow dance to James Blunt was the highlight.

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The Syndicate is on BBC1, Tuesdays at 9pm. You can catch up on iPlayer here

Follow Kate on Twitter: @katediamond

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3 Responses to The Syndicate Series Blog: Episode One

  1. ddjjbb says:

    My big question was who voted for and who voted against Stu. Maybe we’ll find out in due course…

  2. Pingback: The Syndicate Series Blog: Episode Two « Tellysquawks

  3. Pingback: The Syndicate Series Blog: Episode Three « TV Jam

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