Radio 4 Brit Com
set just prior to the The American Revolution
, written by an American (Jay Tarses) and a Brit (Andy Hamilton), who also star as hapless Everyman
Sam Oliphant and Deadpan Snarker
The main character is Sam, a Baltimore shopkeeper who just wants a quiet life, and is resistant to taking either side in the impending conflict. Unfortunately, his younger daughter Mary is secretly the revolutionary pamphleteer Sparticus. Even more unfortunately, two Redcoats have been billeted with them. And just to complicate things further, the redcoat captain and Mary are instantly attracted to each other.
Other problems in Sam's life include his ex-wife, who is now living with another woman; his elder daughter Cora, who is married to a man she (and Sam, and everyone else) loathes; and his son Joshua, who has a habit of wrestling bears to death by accident
The show ran for four seasons.
This show contains examples of:
- Actor Allusion: In one Season 4 episode, Sam has a dream that he's gone to Hell for refusing to take a side. Satan turns out to sound a lot like Sergeant McGurk.
- And Call Him George: Joshua, frequently. Often with animals much larger than normal for the trope.
- Artificial Limbs: Sergeant McGurk, who has less that 50% of his original body. Including only one nostril.
- Butt Monkey: Ezekiel.
- Captain Smooth and Sergeant Rough: Brimshaw and McGurk.
- Catch Phrase: Deconstructed. Sam suggests he could be a comic troubador, with the "comical catchy phrase" "Gadzooks! Here comes the harbourmaster!"
: But that's not funny. Sam
: Not yet. It becomes
funny after it's repeated thousands of times. And soon everyone's saying
"Gadzooks! Here comes the harbourmaster!" McGurk
: And that's funny, is it? I must be drunker than I thought.
- The Comically Serious: Ezekiel.
- Dating Catwoman: By the end of the first season Brimshaw knows that Mary is Sparticus, but has very carefully avoided finding proof of this.
- Disabled Snarker: McGurk.
- The Ditz: Joshua
- Does Not Know His Own Strength: Joshua.
- Eternal Sexual Freedom: Yes, Rule of Funny, but everyone seems remarkably unfazed by an openly lesbian couple in the 18th century.
- Evil Versus Evil: The story makes it very clear that, with the exception of Mary, her friends, Brimshaw and possibly McGurk, both the British Army and the Rebels are composed primarily of scoundrels, thugs, mercenaries and thieves.
- General Ripper: General Venables in Season 1.
- Gentle Giant: Joshua.
- Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: McGurk's reaction to Sam's ex-wife and her partner.
- Gratuitous French: In one episode, Joshua attempts to sound sophisticated by adding gratuitous French expressions to his speech, despite having no idea what any of them mean (and thus invariably using them inappropriately). When Sam points this out, Joshua responds that everybody knows French is just decorative and it doesn't matter what the words mean — and anyway, he doesn't know what most words in English mean either, and he's never let that stop him.
- Handicapped Badass: McGurk.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Season One's episodes were variants on "Storm Clouds" ("More Storm Clouds"; "Even More Storm Clouds"; "A Helluva Lot Of Storm Clouds" and so on). Season Two did the same thing with "Trying Times".
- Missing Mom: Elizabeth Oliphant. And as far as Sam is concerned, she should have stayed missing.
- The Other Darrin: Three different actresses played Mary Oliphant and two played Cora.
- Parody Episode: Season 3 included "A Kiss Is Just A Kiss", in which Sam turned the shop into a bar for all the Prussian mercenaries in town, only to encounter a long-lost girlfriend and "Somewhere Over The Rainbow", in which Mary had a strange dream of following a Yellow Brick Road to the Continental Congress.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: When Elizabeth and Agnes are told the bathhouse doesn't allow women, they respond by buying it.
- Slap-Slap-Kiss: Every scene with Brimshaw and Mary. Unless it's Kiss-Kiss-Slap.
- Who's Your Daddy?: Sort of - while Ezekiel would never dream of suggesting Cora might have been unfaithful to him, he's somewhat concerned about the fact they've never actually had sex.