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A 13-episode Australian-British co-production, revolving around two teens who meet on the internet, whose friendship changes both their lives. We begin our plot with Saskia, a 14-year-old aspiring musician who is infuriated when her music is stolen online and used as the background music for an online comic, run by a man called Max. Taking on the identity of "Indy", Saskia ventures out into cyberspace to get revenge. What she finds surprises her. Max quickly charms her, and convinces her to help work on the comic, getting equal credit. Such begins the friendship of Indy and Max.
However, Max is not all he seems either. His name is Noah King, a 14-year-old computer nerd who doesn't fit the expectations of his oblivious, but well meaning
father or Thuggish
Oh, and one last detail: Noah lives in London, and Saskia in Australia.
The series is difficult to find on DVD, but copies can be found here
and in digital form on Itunes.
This show provides examples of the following tropes:
(Cut to scene of Noah's family scrambling out of the river as their tent washes away.)
- An Aesop: One that forms most of the Character Development: Talk (honestly) to your friends. Most of the problems are caused by lack of or dishonest communication.
- Awesome Mc Cool Name: Invoked, with Max Hammer.
- Annoying Younger Sibling - Eddie is actually Noah's cousin, but apart from that he exactly fits the trope.
- Attention Whore - Eddie, due to being shunted around from family member to family member his whole life, not really wanted. Hence all the faked illnesses and allergies.
- Beneath the Mask: An increasingly prominent trope as the series goes on. The protagonists become anxious because they feel the need to constantly keep up their 'mask-' their online persona- and ultimately come to the decision that a friendship in which they can't be themselves is more damaging than not being friends at all.
- Better as Friends - Saskia and Ernesto.
- Be Yourself: As they become more invested in their friendship, the protagonists want more to be honest about their flaws and the troubles they have in Real Life. Having to keep up their masks causes a lot of strain and anxiety, and it's only when they agree to be honest with each other that the relationship improves.
- Big Brother Bully - Phil to Noah. He gets better later.
- Boke and Tsukkomi Routine - Clive (boke) and Noah (tsukkomi).
- Book Ends: The first episode ends with an Imagine Spot of Noah and Saskia's online avatars greeting each other as the same thing happens on the computer. The last episode ends with an Imagine Spot of Noah and Saskia (their true selves) doing the same, as they reveal their actual names. See Beneath the Mask listing.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall - Saskia does this all the time, often coupled with a Aside Glance.
- British Brevity - One series of thirteen episodes.
- Bumbling Dad - Bryce.
- Burger Fool - The Chicken Coop.
- Call Back - The final episode features an almost exact parallel of the first: Saskia threatening Stemple to get her into Webweave during school, while Renee panics about her school record in the background.
- Cerebus Syndrome - Not too severe, but the earlier episodes are a lot more self-contained and the problems are a lot more easily solved, and the characters more straight-forward. As the series ends, it gets noticeably serious and there are a few Heroic BSODs, as the core friendship of Noah and Saskia is seriously threatened by outside sources and their own insecurities. Fortunately, there's a very heartwarming ending which implies that things get better.
- Child Prodigy - Ben, Saskia's guitar teacher.
- Deadpan Snarker - Saskia's "mouth is a weapon of mass destruction." Although the effect is somewhat dampened by living in a World of Snark.
- Does Not Like Men - Deb.
Deb: (suggesting a question for Saskia to ask Noah) If you had to step in front of a bullet for me, would you step to the side, thereby minimising damage to yourself but presenting me as a greater target, or would you just die like a man?
- Friendship Moment - Renee giving Saskia her birthday music to use for the fiftieth episode of Max's show.
- Finagle's Law: Lampshaded in the episode where Noah and his family go camping.
Noah: I blame myself. If I'd been more awake, maybe I would have seen the signs. Nice smooth patch of ground, far away from any trees...It turned out to be a riverbed. Of course, it was dry for eleven months of the year. Guess which month we went?
- Her Code Name Was Mary Sue - Max Hammer is very much an idealized version of Noah as he wishes he really was. The villains tend to be caricatures of his family.
- I Coulda Been a Contender - Noah's dad was a potential professional football player before a crippling knee injury, and as a result, is a touch too involved with the game.
- I Do Not Like Green Eggs and Ham - Saskia makes a big deal about the perils of casual day in episode five, but when she gets there, it's not so bad. Much later, Noah gets more willing to actually do physically activity, and becomes willing to play football.
- Insistent Terminology - "It's not a crush, it's LOVE!"
- Jerk Jock - Phil
- Just Friends - Or, as it is put, "buddies."
- Latin Lover - Ernesto.
- Life Embellished - the comic is more or less this to Noah. In his own words: "well, maybe I exaggerated the amount of barbed wire."
- Lovable Alpha Bitch - Renee has many of the classic Alpha Bitch traits, but she is Saskia's best friend and a genuinely Nice Girl.
- Master of the Mixed Message - Noah. He steals Saskia's music, says some rather unusual things to win her to his side, draws pictures of her avatar and talks about her a little creepily, spends awhile running to her for everything, falls victim to She Is Not My Girlfriend and gives her the "buddies" speech, but still treats her like she's special including a borderline anniversary celebration, gets insanely jealous when she starts dating someone else, lies to her to sabotage her new relationship and almost sells the comic, claims not to miss her when other events cause her to break off the friendship, but then arranges the whole Q&A session.
- New Media Are Evil - AVERTED. The series has been praised for dealing with internet friendships in a more realistic and three dimensional manner.
- Not So Different: Played straight and discussed. The series' entire schtick is how an Australian musician and an British comic artist discover they are Birds of a Feather and become friends. Both protagonists wonder how they could be so different and yet understand each other so well.
- Odd Friendship - Both Noah and Saskia's "real life" best friends seem to have little in common with them.
- Poor Communication Kills - Rather frequently, not helped by the anonymity of the internet. Including Phil, Clive and Eddie all impersonating Max and making Saskia furious enough to break the friendship off, and Saskia later thinking Eddie was Max all along. Non internet related, Renee accidentally manages to convince Ben that Saskia is in love with him.
- Romantic False Lead - Ernesto
- Running Gag
- Noah, Clive and Eddie's inability to remember Ernesto's name.
- In the last episode, Saskia tells us to rewind very far to get the whole story.
- "She is NOT my girlfriend!"
- Serious Business
- Casual Day. Saskia does not approve.
- Theresa takes the work at the Chicken Coop very seriously.
- Football, to Bryce.
- To Ernesto's father, fish.
- She Is Not My Girlfriend - Noah, oh so very much. Worth noting is Episode 4, in which everyone is under the impression Indy/Saskia is more, including Indy/Saskia herself.
- Stalker with a Crush - Stemple to Renee.
- Stalking Is Love - As espoused by Clive:
Noah: I've wasted all my money, got bags full of food that I don't eat, and, she thinks I'm a stalker!
Clive: So? It's not until they actually call the police that you give up.
- Small Name, Big Ego - Oh, Clive.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech - Noah gets two of these, very close together, in the twelth episode. He kind of deserves it though.
Lizzie: I was wrong about you, Noah. You're not like Kurt. As least Kurt has an excuse. You're just a bully. A mean, arrogant bully.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl - Saskia and Renee.
- Good Parents
- Reasonable Authority Figure
- Took a Level in Jerkass - Noah in the second last episode, where he tries to bring the Max Hammer persona into the real world, and the flashes of him in Saskia's episode before that (where he lies to her about what he thinks of Ernesto's actions to break them up).
- "Well Done, Son" Guy - Ernesto, given how disappointed his parents were with him for dropping out of school.
- What Might Have Been - According to IMDb, Jack Blumenau (who played Noah) was very close to getting the role of Harry Potter, only to be edged out by Daniel Radcliffe.
- What the Hell, Hero? - Both a minor character, and Saskia/Indy to Noah in "Will the Real Max Hammer Please Log On?"
- World of Snark