‘The Goo is… that feelin’ ya get when your [sic] out and your havin’ a laugh and ya don’t want it to stop and the last thing ya wanna do is go home.’
‘The Goo is an Aristotelian confluence of events which all combine at once… to make for a fuckin’ deadly night out.’
For this female viewer, The Goo is reminiscent of a Pont l’Evêque cheese. Amusing, savory, and reeking of ripe gym socks. I can’t help it. I’m irresistibly drawn toward any and all revelations concerning the murky oubliette of the masculine psyche (see The Trip). Especially if they are humorous (see The Trip again) rather than violent and/or pornographic. It’s an anthropological pursuit. Or maybe the right word is zoological.
The Goo consists of five webisodes about two fellas in Dublin, best mates, whose lives are punctuated by bouts of professional-level potation. The culture they describe is such that male friendships are lubricated (sorry, wrong word) by generous lashings of Guinness and whatever the hell it is that Dave drinks. During a seven-week bender, the two ne’er-do-wells explore the linguistic, visceral and esoteric mysteries of that Platonic essence colloquially known as The Goo.
Jonesy (Stephen Jones), who has a dead-end job at a call center, has just broken up with Louise, his girlfriend of three years. As bar manager Dave (Dave Fleming) notes, “that’s what this Goo is all about. It’s part of the healing process.” He’s determined to be a good friend to Jonesy in his hour of need.
Meanwhile Jonesy and Dave tutor an enthusiastic student of Goo-ology (Ste Murray), a sweetly naive lad whose facial features and bizarre coiffure resemble those of Roger Daltrey circa 1965 (except that he’s dark-haired rather than Daltrey-blond). This apprentice is duly dubbed “Baby Goo.” Being fond of near-beer and Fanta soft drinks, Baby gets off to a rocky start on the road to Goo-dom.
The lads are themselves disciples of a legendary preceptor (Peter Coonan), the Obiwan and Yoda of Goo, a Master of Revels whose “sessions” last for days. He is, of course, known as the Goo-ru.
Called to a session, Dave and Jonesy wake up four days later in an unknown location. Jonesy has been forced to wank off one of the Goo-ru’s dogs, and he is now clad in cut-off shorts and a shirt interestingly missing the cloth off the left tit. Dave has fared slightly better, although one wonders (inquiring minds want to know) what odd experiments the aliens may have performed on his vulnerable naked body before enrobing him in a beer bottle costume.
In Episode 4, Dave and Jonesy have a falling out over a “dolly” whom Dave has been laboriously chatting up for an hour, only to watch as Jonesy effortlessly moves in for a smooch the minute his back is turned. Jonesy is surprisingly successful with the ladies. Oh, there’s a certain charm to his beefy (beery?) frame and cropped strawberry-blond hair. It’s all a matter of confidence, a quality lacking in the sweeter and cuter bean-pole Dave, who favors philosophical musings and French sayings (“Bonsoir et bonne chance!”).
But it is precisely Jonesy’ lack of introspection that feeds his laddish and repulsive masculine brio. He has one scene of anguished self-doubt about his reasons for deliberately breaking up with Louise, the girl he obviously loves but can’t commit to. But most of the time, he’s pure wanker. For example, he finds extensive comic potential in the fact that Dave once dated a blind girl.
Dave fortuitously meets an attractive Frenchwoman named Justine, and at last has a chance to try out his conversational skills– which mostly consist of English delivered in a Clouseau-like French accent.
But something essential is missing from his life. In the end, it’s Baby Goo who comes to the rescue, inviting Jonesy and Dave to meet him at their local, each unbeknownst to the other.
Baby Goo explains to the two disgruntled Goons that it’s important “for everyone to have a best mate,” and dilates on this subject quite movingly: “Yes, in friendships there will be hard times, but then someone once said– I think it was Plutarch– ‘adversity’ is the only balance to weigh friends. I’ve watched you two push each other through adversity. Your friend is the man who knows all about you– and still likes you.”
Baby Goo thus proves himself the true adept in the deeper and more substantive mysteries of the Goo. He toddles off to the toilet, saying he expects them to have patched things up by the time he returns. Jonesy and Dave re-bond over the welcome news that Jonesy does not actually have the clap, even though he has stupidly been refusing to “bag up” during his many one-night stands. Dave remarks that he can see the two of them sitting there in twenty years, “talkin’ the same ol’ shite.” Suddenly we see their middle-aged selves at the bar. When Young Goo returns, the two elders firmly advise him to fuck off, as Dave drains his pint with relish: “Très fuckin’ bon.”
Have a watch, and may the Goo be with you.