Have you seen the programme Wild at Heart? It’s about an English vet, Danny, played by Stephen Tomkinson who sets up a practice-cum-game lodge kind of thing in South Africa with frustrated wife Sarah (played by horny Amanda Holden), permanently pain-in-the-arse sullen teenage daughter Rosie (no idea who plays her), other little kids, new arrival mother-in-law Caroline (Hayley Mills) and token stereotypical S African partner Du Plessis. There’s a bar-owning SA boyfriend to Rosie and boss of rival de luxe safari lodge next door. Oh and lots of animals as you’d expect plus great scenes of the wonderful African landscape. The plot is they’re struggling. That’s it and it’s a pile of mushy rhino dung.
By all accounts Jessica Wallace – Kat Slater from Eastenders – is about to join as boss of the rival game lodge. Yeh that’s a likely scenario. You get the idea don’t you? I don’t watch it religiously but I catch it occasionally as R can watch this stuff till the water buffalo come home. This week’s plot was based on Sarah falling out with mum Caroline, sacking her after failing to get to grips with the manky swimming pool and mum Caroline promptly flounces next door to become senior manager at the rival lodge. Ooh tension point. Vet Danny wants to recruit a new full-time assistant and sulky daughter’s in the frame but blows her chance, apparently, by ballsing up an operation on ill cheetah. Still with me? Daughter Rosie wants to fly off in a huff back to the UK especially when she thinks bar-owning boyfriend is having more than a sundowner with some pretty girl. Mother caroline gets pinned under a people carrier with couple of guests trying to fight off hungry vicious pride of lions. A f*cking elephant could have got under that upturned vehicle and gobbled mum-in-law.
But of course it all ends happily. Danny rescues mother-in-law who reconciles with daughter and turns manky swamp into beautiful immersion pool with tin of paint. Daughter wasn’t a rubbish trainee vet after all but an inspired medical genius and secures job with Dad (big surprise) as well as discovering boyfriend really does love her and not the other far sexier girl. She cancels airline tickets to UK. Cheetah makes miraculous recovery and gets released into the ‘Wild’. Du Plessis is happy because he’s a simple tw*t and thinks he’s in a Disney movie.
Every week it’s the same. You can see the difficult personal and animal story lines developing every week to the point where it almost all folds, only for everything to be sorted out happily at the end. It’s just so bloody Sunday night nice; nice story lines, nice actors, nice outcomes, nice scenery and nice racial relations.
The plot line aches for one of the family – preferably mother-in-law or painful daughter – to get eaten by a pack of hyenas or for Sarah’s frustrations to boil over and for her to have a torrid, tempestuous, base affair with the African guy who manages next door. Look at this publicity shot above; this is not a demure little vet’s wife, happy to sterilise the scalpels. Her temperature’s rising and Danny better get his thermometer out; at least it’d live up to its title then. Is it just me or is AH about to veto a vet now after wanting less of Les?