Dennis Plant, deluded, idiotic, quite possibly deranged, is back in time for the election (The Pretender, TV One, Sundays, 10pm). And, as we saw last night, he - and we - are amazed and possibly horrified at the prospect that he now holds the balance of power. Last night's episode ended in a bungling cliff hanger. Dennis gave a press conference to announce which side he'd go with. But - and this was the cliff hanger bit - he didn't seem to be able to remember who he'd decided he'd go with.
Dennis doesn't actually make any decisions, of course. His long-suffering but devious strategist Johnny tells him what he's going to decide to do. Or not do.
Dennis is not to talk to the media. Dennis is to say "no comment" and keep walking. "They're just like monkeys," said Johnny. "You never smile at a monkey cos they'll rip your bloody head off."
Dennis, sounding tough: "Any monkey corners me, they get a boot in the bum, mate."
Dennis, later, sounding concerned: "There are no actual monkeys, are there?"
This was an exchange which had our household of monkeys screeching away with delight at being offered such a lovely lot of bananas. There are plenty of pokes at the monkeys, and no doubt plenty more to come. We love it when the monkey wins. Naughty, stupid Dennis, convinced he has interesting and important things to say, goes behind Johnny's back and orders his even longer-suffering press secretary to get him some media coverage.
We are shown some earlier coverage of Plant being allowed to speak. A clip from the House: "And they can't drive. The only people happy to see them in this country are the panelbeaters." That was brilliantly naughty and a sly dig at accusations of bashing certain citizens in the hope of winning the votes of all those other citizens who think the other lot can't drive.
Dennis is so awful you couldn't make him up. He's a pampered, paranoid, petulant child who knows when he's been naughty and takes it out on his caregivers.
"What have you done, Dennis?" said Johnny, observing the look of half terror, half guilty pride on Dennis's face after he gave the unauthorised interview to the monkey. This was the cue for Dennis to throw the toys at his staff. He delivered the best speech of his life: how wonderful he was; how useless his staff were.
"You sit on your fat arses waiting for your pay cheques at the end of the week ... At the end of your lives, look back. What have you done? Nothing. No. Where's your bloody statue? Who's a winner? I am. Colin Meads, that's me. Who bangs in the fence posts? I bloody do. Who hoists the flag on top of Mt Everest? Bloody Dennis Plant."
"What did you do, Dennis?" said Johnny.
Dennis: "Just phoned the Dominion."
Johnny checked the website. "Bam?"
Johnny: "You said our health policy was 'bam'."
The monkey: "I couldn't make that shit up if you paid me."
Losers who think they're winners make for the best satire. And this is up there. All the players, from the yapping Dennis (Bob MacLaren) to the so far mostly silent, possibly mad, defector from the Labour lot, Joanne (Lucy Schmidt), and the monkey pack, are perfectly cast. You couldn't, you can all too easily imagine, make them up.