Still Up – Season 1 Episode 5 “Veggie Veggie Bing Bong” Recap & Review

Veggie Veggie Bing Bong

Veggie, Poppy, and Lisa are going on a camping trip. Even though she hates these sorts of things, Lisa is excited at the off-chance it might be some way to bond for the family. However, all her hopes are dashed when Veggie’s parents, stepfather Russell and Christine pull in. She has to keep up the ruse but how long can she survive her annoyingly cheerful “to-be” mother-in-law? They’re certainly not bad people but Lisa doesn’t appreciate their unannounced welcome.

Danny, meanwhile, has been dealing well with the Chloe issue. He shows signs that he has moved past the heartbreaking revelation that made the pain worse. He has a new challenge for the day as his landlord has agreed to redo the tiles in the bath. Rich, the builder, is up to the task. But Danny has a tough time striking up a conversation with him. Instead, he downed a bottle of cough syrup and put on headphones until Rich was gone…only to find that he was still there when he woke up. How will Danny get out of this one?

Veggie realizes Lisa is avoiding his parents when she stays for an abnormally long time in the woods with the portable toilet. He apologizes to Lisa, who embraces him and starts walking with him. All of a sudden, she twists her ankle and apparently sprains it. Christine, who is a physio, doesn’t believe it. She keeps repeating the ankle isn’t sprained but Lisa isn’t ready to back down. It is a trivial thing but represents the larger fight she finds herself in navigating Veggie’s parents.

Danny finds Rich turn teary in the bathtub. Without prompt, he starts to narrate his sob story to Danny about how his partner, Chris, called him a “cultural caveman” for the idealistic differences in the things they like. Danny is completely inept at dealing with this barrage of emotions and offers a cup of tea to soothe things. There’s nothing in the world that can calm down Brits quite the way a nice cuppa can.

Lisa, Veggie, and his parents are all unable to sleep and proceed to play the titular game, “Veggie Veggie Bing Bong.” It is a unique, private family game that she doesn’t understand at all. Veggie isn’t ready to help her as it would technically be cheating. So instead, she employs Danny’s help, who is also visited by an unannounced hostile – Chris, Rich’s partner.

While they have a spat in Danny’s living room, he tries to help Lisa navigate the game. She is quite abysmal at it although Danny appreciates the game’s complexity and intricate nature. Christine is leading the game for most parts, annoying Lisa. Danny’s help finally nudges her in the right direction and her determination sees her through: Lisa wins the game! Rich and Chris make up as well and proceed to have drinks with Danny at the house. A moment of reckoning awaits Lisa and Danny – and Veggie – who are struck with the different realities of their lives. 

Christine quietly floats the idea of a proposal which is forthcoming any day now from Veggie. Danny is confronted by his loneliness in life. His prospects still look dim and it is difficult to be hopeful in times like these. Veggie, for the first time, perhaps sees how different Lisa is in expressing herself with him and Danny. It threatens to become a roadblock for their future together. 


The Episode Review

Episode 5 settles into a nice familiar rhythm that should arguably be the hallmark of Still Up. Now that we have completely written off a romantic angle between the two protagonists, scenarios like these should work well. All the new characters featured in the episode have good banter with the mainstay cast. This dynamic between Lisa and Danny, where they intermittently vent and sort each other out while being involved in other lighthearted and funny themes, is the sweet spot.

The writing is particularly good offering up some hilarious one-liners and a typically British back-and-forth. There has been something missing in the show until now. In the sense that the comedy doesn’t lead to anything profound or revelatory. But that changes in episode 5 as Veggie, Lisa, and even Danny have their moments. There is yet time for the first season to finish strong and be a dependable contender for renewal.

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You can read our full season 1 review of Still Up here!
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