Culture is the second episode of the second series of the sitcom Bottom, it was first broadcast on October 8th 1992
The episode starts off with Richie and Eddie doing a cross word in the newspaper but afterwards Eddie gets frustrated and tears up the newspaper.Eddie questions why they had to take away their telly when Richie says they took it away as Eddie whilst heading down with the TV rent money, the money for the TV rent was used to buy supposedly magic beans (a reference to Jack and the Beanstalk)costing the exact amount as the TV rent money did. Eddie insists the beans are magic but then goes on the argue further with Richie saying it wasn't him letting them get behind with the rent and then questions how they got £86.23 behind in the first place, Richie tries to change the subject only for Eddie to point out it wasn't him (Eddie) passing Rumbelows every week for the last 3 months but taking the money five doors along to Dr.O'Grady's personal organ enhancement clinic turning out to be a botch job.
Richie then complains about his boredom, and then suggests playing "Pin the Tail on the Donkey". However, since there is nothing in the flat to play with, they end up playing "Put a bit of Sellotape on the Fridge", in which Eddie wins. After this, Eddie suggests that they have a "see how much custard you can fit in your underpants" competition, in which Richie wins after Eddie sits down, splattering his custard all over the room.
After cleaning up, they try to play with Richie's antique chess set that his Great Aunt Dorothy left him. Richie puts on a smoking jacket, which is actually his Mac, turned inside out. Richie tells Eddie that the chess set is the one that Wellington played with on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo. Here, it is made clear that Eddie has been stealing the valuable ivory chess pieces and selling them. Because there's only five pieces left, they have to play chess with different objects as the missing pieces such as frozen prawns (in place of pawns), a potted cactus, a tomato ketchup bottle, a large Spider-Man figurine and a toy skeleton. They also create cocktails using Pernod,Ouzo, marmalade and salt as ingredients, naming their creation the Esther Rantzen, as it "Pulls your gums over your teeth". Just as they are about to start playing, Richie tells Eddie he doesn't know the rules of chess.
The episode then cuts to a few hours later; it is now 5 o'clock in the morning and Eddie has been up since 10 o'clock last night telling Richie the rules of chess 124 times. They have been through the Ouzo, the Pernod, the Old Spice and all three litres of the Industrial Strength Floor cleaner. By now Eddie's nerves are frayed and furiously forces Richie to begin the game. Richie, having learned nothing over the previous seven hours, acts out a war situation with his pieces, destroying half of them in the process and Eddie, realising that Richie still doesn't have a clue about the rules, moves his Queen around the board several times in one go to confuse Richie, and then drags Richie's pieces over to his side, then declares checkmate. Richie retaliates with a punch and they have a massive fight, in which Richie gets his feet crushed with a table, has a chair broken over his head and his head slammed in the fridge, but not before ramming the spike of an umbrella into Eddie's groin. The episode ends with Richie pulling the television from behind the fridge whilst Eddie talks to the viewer about how "they say television encourages violence, well I'm smashing his face in and we haven't got one!". Richie explains that it hadn't been taken; he had hidden it to see what a night without television would be like as he wanted to get a bit of interaction going, Eddie smashes the TV over Richie's head and the episode ends
This is the second episode where only Eddie and Richie appear
This is the second episode to be set entirely in the flat
Richie makes a reference to James Bond in this episode where he says to Eddie he will pretend to be him (Bond) and if he loses he has to die before this scene he questions ''What would James Bond have?'', James Bond was previously mentioned in the series 1 episode Apocalypse and is later mentioned in the series 2 episode Holy
Its the only episode in which Richie and Eddie play Chess
Its the second episode in which at one point Eddie is addressed as Edward
There are three fourth wall breaks in this episode, Eddie first breaks the fourth wall in which after Richie says he is getting his key from his secret place Eddie stares directly at the camera and in a quiet voice says ''Behind the radio'' he says it as if he is talking to the viewer. Eddie again later breaks the fourth wall when he says ''You know its funny, they say the television encourages violence, and i'm smashing his face in and we haven't got on'' after this Richie then breaks the fourth wall to say ''Well thats where he's wrong listeners cause in fact we do have a telly and here it is''
In the series 1 episode Apocalypse Richie says he knows the rules to Chess but in this episode he doesn't know how to play the game
Its implied in the live stage shows that Eddie cannot read or write, in this episode he is seen writing down his answers on the crossword and is also shown reading out the questions for the crossword in the newspaper
When Eddie is asked by Richie what colour chess pieces he wants to be and when he has won the game due to only having five pieces left they are both standing in front of the sofa, in the next shot they are both standing behind the sofa
When Eddie flips the table so it lands on Richie's foot the props are on the table, in the next shot which is a close up of the table landing on Richie's foot all the props have disappeared
Before Eddie flips the table Richie punches Eddie, as Eddie falls backwards he takes the chess pieces with him in which he had his arms around
Richie suggests the game of sellotape a sausage to the fridge and Eddie says they haven't got a sausage but one of the replacement items used the compensate the missing pieces is a sausage
Even though the telly is hidden by the fridge whenever Eddie goes up to the fridge he never seems to notice the TV