Every now and then Martin and Louisa show some interest in what they’re wearing and in looking in the mirror. In addition, there are a few scenes of them doing a few grooming activities, e.g. preparing for bed or getting the baby ready. It’s only natural to check out how you look, but sometimes when it happens on the show, it’s quite funny.
Here are some of them:
Before her interview for headmistress in S2E2, L checks her hair and face in the hallway mirror before leaving home. She practices her answers to potential questions and puts some gel in her hair while talking into the mirror. It’s sort of a way to get psyched up for the interview and gain confidence. Later, while being interviewed, she is stumped by a question she thinks she should have prepared for. Pressed for an answer, she says one of her top qualities for being appointed headmistress is that she’s a good listener. After the interview, she accuses Martin of being a terrible listener. It’s a great way for them to stand off against each other and amusing because Louisa is the one who has handled the situation best. It’s one of the many times when she puts ME in his place.
Before meeting L at the pub in S2E5, M checks his face and teeth and adjusts his tie while looking in a hand mirror (funny because he makes his teeth and smile appear comically grotesque). It makes us aware that he cares about how he looks, even if he’s pretty awkward about it.
Even though on Doc Martin Revealed Philippa says she objected when a writer included a scene with Martin taking off his jacket, in S3E2 Martin takes his jacket off to wash his hands at Louisa’s house when she’s got a stomach problem. Of course, he puts it back on after washing his hands so no one sees him without it, and Louisa’s bra gets caught in his jacket collar. There’s a brief embarrassing moment for L when she has to grab the bra. L’s bathroom is filled with her lingerie which would be discomfiting for any woman (or man for that matter). (M has previously been seen without his jacket while washing his car and in the very first episode when the plumbing has sprouted a leak and he holds a pillow over it to stop the water.)
When Mrs. Wilson begins to flirt with M in S3E4, Louisa definitely takes notice. She combats the possibility that Mrs. Wilson might become appealing to M by going to see him in his office after hours. Prior to knocking on his door, however, she stops to check herself in the mirror and makes her own comical faces, sticking out her tongue. She is wearing her hair down which should probably be deemed a more casual and sensual style since she mostly uses it when she is meeting M for dinner or a drink. (Her hair is also down when she’s in bed, which shouldn’t necessarily be taken as sensual. It’s pretty hard to sleep with hair in any kind of up do.)
Louisa dresses nicely for their date to the concert in S3E5. She takes particular care with her shoes and the camera shows her putting them on daintily. However, when she steps outside to the car, Martin wonders if she is wearing the best shoes for the occasion. (He notices shoes often: Edith’s, Louisa’s at the Wenns) He never changes his shoes with the exception of wearing slippers in one scene. I guess we’re just supposed to think that his concern for detail, and perhaps health, extends to women’s feet? Maybe the clothes make the man, the shoes make the woman?
While preparing for the first wedding, Martin checks his wardrobe and picks up the suit he had cleaned. Of course, it turns out the dry cleaner has given him the wrong item. Instead of his suit, he has a woman’s dress. It’s just another mix-up in a day filled with them, and comes up again when the cleaner brings the suit by later and thinks Martin and Louisa are back from their wedding ceremony. Not only is he wrong about that, but he wants to ask Martin a medical question. (We should add that to the repeated scenes since after they actually get married in S6, Chippy Miller asks Martin a medical question at the reception and later another villager shows up at the surgery to be treated the morning after, contributing to all the commotion in the house.)
Louisa also starts to dress for the wedding and looks in the mirror at herself while putting on her veil. When she stands looking at herself in the mirror fully fitted out in her wedding regalia, we can see she’s giving the situation some thought. Her stance in front of the mirror at her home is offset by the cut to Martin looking at himself in his suit in the mirror at his home. They both appear very serious, but it’s not absolutely clear that they have come to the same conclusion that marrying at this point does not feel right.
Series 4 has few moments when Louisa worries about her appearance. She’s pregnant and generally feels she’s enormous, although I think her pregnancy wardrobe is very nice. There is also the scene at the beach where Martin follows the headmaster into the water and is still dripping wet when Edith drives by. But, it’s really the hotel room occasion that brings grooming into play. Both Edith’s corset and Martin’s sense of propriety make for a comical interaction between them. He ends up changing in the bathroom and then departing for home.
Series 5 shows both Martin and Louisa in their night clothes a lot. It’s great to see Louisa wearing sloppy pjs with Uggs at times. There aren’t many new mothers who can take much time with their appearance. She still manages to look pretty good when she gets ready to leave the house. For me the best grooming scene is when Martin is in the bathroom getting ready for bed. He and Louisa are discussing the apartment in London while he uses a comb to squeeze the last bit of toothpaste out of the tube. It’s a great trick and conveys Martin’s frugality as well as his obsessiveness. The fact that he’s telling L that there’s a great science museum near the apartment is silliness because the baby is only a couple of months old.
Series 6 finds Martin preparing for their wedding again. This time M selects his suit and tie and finishes tying his tie while looking at himself in the mirror. Much like the first attempt at marrying, he still has a serious expression on his face, but this time we sense more determination in him. Of course the joke comes when he shows up at the church and Morwenna doesn’t think he’s changed since the start of the day. It is kind of hard to tell with him since he wears pretty much the same outfit every day, give or take a different color tie. We don’t see Louisa dressing this time. We simply see her when she appears at the door to the church. We do get a laugh when she tells Martin she was late because of trouble with her hair.
The other occasions in S6 that have to do with grooming include Martin and Louisa getting ready in the morning in E6. Martin can’t find his tie after L puts the baby on top of it on the bed, they deal with tight quarters in their bedroom, and L puts some cream on the baby’s face. L remarks that most of M’s ties are blue, but he disagrees. I have trouble figuring out where Louisa hangs her clothes. Closet space seems as limited in the house as all the other spaces are. Nevertheless, Louisa always looks nicely groomed. There’s also the quite caring scene at the hospital when Martin puts Louisa’s hair in a ponytail. He’s possibly trying to do his best to make up for the disastrous previous day. The final episode has Louisa in the bathroom collecting her wash supplies for her trip. There’s nothing funny at all about this scene. Actually it’s rather devastating seeing her in there with the door closed.
There are a few other villagers who are shown looking at themselves in the mirror, notably Mrs. T. She seems fairly ridiculous while sitting at her dressing table with her black neck brace on as she applies make-up. Carrie Wilson checks herself too. Caroline has a brief moment in the bathroom. If you take the subject to its utmost degree, we could include Mr. Flint and his woman’s wig and dress. We also see Margaret looking at herself in the mirror. In her case the mirror is reflective of her narcissism. In general, however, the grooming scenes are no more than humorous interludes.
Originally posted 2014-02-25 19:05:11.