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The sexual dynamics of Balamory.

August 28, 2009

As with any microcosm of society, Balamory is a hotbed of sexual tensions, but as I sit here and watch Josie Jump tell Archie to ‘relax’ and ‘go with the flow’-while engineering a pillow fight, which is clearly an attempt to tempt him into physical contact, I am compelled to offer my analysis of the situation.

The primary character of Miss Hooley, is the kingpin in this seedy underbelly of simmering sexual tension. Her popularity shown by the fact that people come to visit her each day for a cup of tea, and help, regardless of the fact that she is the sole carer for what appears to be 12-13 children of pre-school age(Someone really needs to call Ofsted).

In her sensible clothing and shoes, with her trim neat hair- Miss Hooley appears to be a woman for whom sexual tension is an irrelevance. Look closer.

It has been proposed that PC Plum has a hankering for Miss Hooley.  Indeed he seems keener to visit her, than to visit Penny Sweet at the local shop/cafe, even though Penny is clearly is more than a little in love with him(evidenced by her nickname ‘Plummy’ for him, and her concern when he was in Paris, and hadnt visited). I am afraid that Penny Sweet is on to a loser. If you watch closely, at Plums introduction songs- he is clearly trying to indicate his homosexuality- from his pastiche of Queen, in his big numbers, to the casual indifference he appears to treat people of the opposite sex with. PC Plum clearly believes Miss Hooley to be asexual, and his constant visits to her, are more of a desire to have his homosexuality hidden- than any real desire for our repressed heroine.

The common misconception is that Archie is gay. Given his pink house, and complete indifference to all members of the female population- I think this is lazy stereotyping. Archie may be a clear example of why inherited wealth is a bad thing- and the way a culture of entitlement will hamper the common sense and entrpreneurial instinct needed to make his way in the world. His continued insistence that his shit inventions- time machines made of boxes, and glasses cases made of yoghurt pots, are worthwhile- needs to be tackled by someone- but his position as laird of the castle, and the wealthiest man in Balamory- mean that his position will remain unchallenged. Archie is not gay, he is a sexual inadequate, without the social skills or the sexual desire to make a move on any woman in the village. (Even though again, Penny Sweet- mercenary minx she is, has spotted his potential, as wealthy husband, and flirts shamelessly with him at every opportunity- with a view to perpetuating her failing cafe and sweet shop, and getingt out of her partnership, with her mentally challenged sister and business partner). Archie sees Miss Hooley as a suitable bride his mother would approve of, but has not the social understanding, or the sexual prowess to factor any kind of relationship into the bargain.

Edie McCredie is very straightforward- there is no doubt that she is a lesbian- it is not easy in such a small scottish community to express your sexuality with confidence- and so she alludes to her sexual orientation by insisting on fixing the bus she drives, and dressing as a man in any given production that the Balamory put on. I have to say, that if one was in need of a man, while in Balamory- Edie would be a safer bet that any of the eligible bachelors on offer. Edie and Miss Hooley did have that one drunken night, after the BAlamory pantomime- but this minor exploration of her sapphic tendencies was as far as Miss Hooley wanted to go.

People often discuss the couplings in Balamory, stating that Josie Jump and Spencer are clearly together. Again, this is lazy stereotyping, verging on racism- with the key factor in peoples reasoning being that Spencer and Josie are both black, both live in houses that are variations of yellow. Well if you watch, Josie Jump is a complex character. Struggling to assert her identity as a key part of the community, and overcome the assumptions that she is only good for a jump- Josie eschews easy lays, for solid friendships with Miss Hooley, Edie McCredie, and Penny Sweet. This is a girl who is a feminist at heart, and who refuses by virtue of her gender, to be little more than a sexual plaything defined by her relationship. She continues to do this, even though she has been replaced by an entirely different person- and her replacement was not noticed by her closest friends and aquaintances.(Again clear evidence of racism- the fact that the first black woman in Balamory left, and when Josie mark 2 moved in, she was required to just assume the identity of a woman, with whom the only thing she had in common was ethnicity). She appears to have a secret desire for Archie, but this can only ever be a friendship- as we have mentioned- he will never be willing or able to satisfy even the most basic of her desires.

And so we have Spencer left. Spencer. A man who is clearly an artist, reduced to painting houses and postcards, to supplement his income- and who will always, in the minds of the locals be inferior to PC Plum, and Archie- with their white skin, and positions of power, and wealth. Spencer offers the only genuine opportunity for our key character Miss Hooley, to undo that neat trim hairstyle, and button down clothes. His passion for her remains unabated, and she is nearly breathless when he pops into the nursery. Penny Sweet may want him- as does PC Plum- but his heart, and his less mentionables, beat only for Miss Hooley- and I have no doubt that in the evenings, when she is making her cocoa- it is Spencer she imagines ravishing her, in her neat little green kitchen. Miss Hooley wants him, but his lack of social position mean that while he may provide a sexual awakening for her, he may never be the man with whom she abandons her neat methodist lifestyle. After all, Orange and Green do not mix.

And so we have this beautiful scottish village- seemingly calm on the outside- alive with sexual tension and repression, with unrequited love, and sexual desire- with hopes of marriage for good reasons and bad- all resulting in dissapointment and regret.

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14 comments

  1. Have you watched Me Too! Raymond and Tina have the same daughter but never mention each other. Acrimonious divorce?


    • Seriously? I never noticed that!haha I watched it this morning, and I can understand why Bobby cleans buses for a living!hah


  2. I too never noticed that Raymond and Tina have the same daughter – does that make me a bad very unobservant mother?!
    Re the post – I may never watch Balamory in the same light again, this may be a good thing.


  3. Ah, I *knew* PC Plum was gay. Didn’t clock Edie being a lesbian though. Must pay more attention.

    And the revelation about Me Too? Never noticed that either. What have I bee doing when these programmes are on? Sleeping…..?


    • I am generally dozing off when either are on. I have two hour a day tv rule- mainly so can stick cbeebies on when she gets up and i dont want to… am bad mother. Cant help it.


  4. Totally agree with all of it but especially Archie. Never a truer word spoken.


  5. Suzy Sweet, Penny Pocket. Tut.

    You seem to have amalgamated them into one person.

    They are the disabled lesbian couple who run the shop, having resignedtheir posts running Haringey Council after being embarressed by their lack of ethnic diversity. Apparently ‘Geordie’ is not sufficiently exotic for those fickle London types.


  6. My god, Susie Sweet and Penny Pocket- I assumed they were sisters- they are actually lesbians. No wonder Penny wants Plummy or Archie, if she is entangled with Susie in that way. I would be running for the hills…


  7. can i point out we’re under the care commission and not ofstead.


    • Bah, tis all same shebang…actually, I should know that. Whoops.


  8. Re: Me Too!
    Raymond and Tina do mention each other and occasionally have stories together. They met in the theatre when they were in the same production. Over the years, Tina progressed from being Raymond’s “hag” while they were in the cosmopolitan city to being his “beard” when the work dried up and they had to move to the more traditional community of Riversea Fingle and take jobs in public transport.


  9. […] Sexual Dynamics of Balamory […]


  10. I have long pondered this matter and am glad to see that someone else has spent time exploring the subject. Anyone else hqave a husband who looks like and acts in a similar pompous manner to Daddy Pig in Peppa Pig? How happy our family life would be if daddy fell on his back with his legs in the air everytime he laughed.


  11. I always assumed Edie was a lesbian but tried to cover it up by being promiscuous with men earning her the nickname “Easy McCredie”



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