A crime scene record surrounds a house. A man walked just below the street, past the police patrolling there. The police warned him inside that the scene was terrible, and it was. Blood is everywhere. Then he left his spray bottle to get to work.
Paul “Wiki” Wickstead (Greg Davis) is not really a cop.
He works for the company that cleans up the crime scenes. He knows how to bleed off the white carpet. So he knows what he’s doing. She was also concerned that blood was everywhere in the kitchen where a woman had stabbed her husband 38 times. “Five will do it,” he cried.
Vicky wants to go to the pub because it’s curry night, and she wants to be there when the naan comes straight out of the oven. But when he started cleaning, a neighbour came with a cake, which he took from his hands in self-defence. But he learns more about the newly abused widow. He didn’t bake cakes, so the neighbours never believed him.
Then someone else came to the door; Sheila (Helena Bonham Carter), the widow herself. She takes off her coat to reveal a bloodied blouse and keeps Vicki at bay; now, he will never go to the pub. She lets him stay in the bathroom while letting the partner go and generally tells him why did she snap and killed her husband in anger instead of leaving him. Part of that involves modelling scale models, dozens of them. He even built a model of their dream vacation spot. But Vicky still doesn’t know why he should kill her instead of leaving.
Davis, as the American public may know:
As a Taskmaster co-host, he created and wrote The Cleaner; Each episode is essentially a two-person game, with a few others in and out of the main stage to add a bit of depth. But Davis’ skills give Wiki some unique character traits that help his character become a 6’8-inch man in a neat suit and create fairly complete human nature in various clean-up scenes.
The very first episode tells the whole story in 28 minutes, especially when Carter shows up. Davis’ writing, along with Carter’s performance, conveyed all the feelings that crossed Sheila’s mind, making her go from crazy to cute and back to crazy. But his story goes beyond that as he tries to convince Vicki that she has to rock her life the way she wants and that they both have to escape their dreams before she gives up.
To see another of Vicki’s situations, we watched episode two, where David Mitchell played Terence Redford, a writer whose grandmother died in a wood stove accident. But somehow, he was more worried about his new deadline and fading away than his sadness. And even though this story is a little different from the first, Davis still manages to complete a well-rehearsed arc in 28 minutes, which is a lot of fun material.
The Cleaner is, in a sense, an anthology:
Even though Wiki appears in every episode, he gets angry whenever someone calls him a “cleaner”. “I’m a crime scene cleaner,” he always replies, explaining how he cleans what others think is impossible. While we don’t see him often doing this work, we know he’s proud of it, and a lot of it makes Wicky more than just a day job, and we see him playing the different characters he meets. It’s fun to watch.
The Cleaner works as a comedy and a lighthearted drama as Davis finds clever ways to make each episode completely different.