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Series: Beautiful People
Beautiful People is a BBC sitcom. It follows the story of Simon Doonan, the "Crown Prince, well, Queen, of window dressing" as he relates his life story to anyone who will listen. Set in the 90's, it's about as fabulous as stories about the childhood of a ridiculously camp window dresser could possibly be. It faced a mixed reception, which in itself was lampshaded on its own DVD cover: While the back contained genuinely positive reviews, the front cover of the first series features a review from Heat Magazine that simply said "Perhaps the gayest sitcom ever." The show is based on the memoirs of Simon Doonan, the creative director at Barney's Department Store.


This show provides examples of tropes that live among the Beautiful People such as:

  • Actor Allusion: Layton Williams, who plays Kylie, played Oliver in Oliver! The second series features an episode where, in Victorian Orphan dress, Kylie sings from Oliver! to attempt to cheer Simon up.
  • Arc Words: Actually Series Words. The phrase "Beautiful People" appears at least once per episode, accompanied by a snatch of the show's theme song. Also, whenever the character Reba's name is mentioned, Debbie Doonan replies, "Slut."
  • Batman Gambit: When the Doonan family cannot afford a holiday, they stage an elaborate lie and holiday in their own living room. The failure condition is more than obvious.
  • Big Applesauce: The entire first series is told by Simon who lives in New York, but is subverted in that his window dressings are very un-New York. Lampshaded in the second series when Simon meets a woman with a NY accent... only to discover she's 100% British.
  • Butt Monkey: Simon, but then again he doesn't really do much to fight against it - barring the episode "How I Got My Posh", naturally.
  • The Cast Show Off: There's plenty of singing and dancing, particularly with the Musical Theatre-trained Luke Ward-Wilkinson and Layton Williams, but the second series turns this up to 11.
  • Catch Phrase: Reba. Slut.
    • We'll be amongst the Beautiful People.
    • Feckin' Eejit.
    • More like a gay [noun].
    • Just like my days in Greenham Common.
    • Hibes (Its short for 'Hi Babes' for people in too much of a hurry).
    • I'm not being funny but...
    • Batty Boy!
  • Chekhov's Gun: Each episode relates to how Simon acquired an item. Roughly half are this trope, the rest are just a pleasant coincidence. Outside of this, however, you have Chekhov's Miniature Replica Of The Eiffel Tower.
  • The Chessmaster: How I Got My Beads.
  • Completely Missing the Point: "Once again, Andy, you've got the wrong end of the schtick."
  • Cool Teacher: Simon's music teacher takes him to see Eurovision.
  • The Couch.
  • Country Matters.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Either Doonan parent, as they both get VERY protective.
  • Dawson Casting: Averted. For a show about gay teenagers, they were rather explicit that they wanted the kids to look their age.
  • Disappeared Dad: Kylie's father is never mentioned until season 2, when he shows up... and promptly is written out of the show in a very dramatic manner.
  • Don't Look at Me!: Simon in "How I Got My Nose" and Kylie in "How I Got My Tongs".
  • Dramatic Pause: For comedy!
  • Dysfunction Junction: Its a show about two kids and their suburban families. Of course this will happen.
  • Everything's Better with Sparkles: Debbie loves her Body Glitter, Simon and Kylie love their sequins.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Two first season episodes use Hair styles as a plot, the second series gave Simon greasier hair to emphasis him going through puberty (and the memories we all have of how we looked back then).
  • The Faceless: Subverted. Kylie's dad appears at the start of "How I Got My Camp", but his face is hidden. He later shows up, quite faced.
  • Feud Episode: Kylie to Simon in "How I Got My Tongs".
  • First Episode Spoiler: More akin to First Minute Spoiler - every episode builds up to how Simon acquired an item mentioned either explicitly or in the show titles.
  • Five-Man Band: The Doonan Family.
  • Flashback: The whole show.
  • Future Me Scares Me: 2009!Simon frightens 1990s!Simon when he appears as the "Ghost of Gay Future."
  • Granola Girl: Aunty Hailey.
  • Hands-Off Parenting: Although often strict, the Doonans believe that making sure their children are happy is more important than enforcing rules.
  • Happily Married: Subverted in "How I Got My Groom".
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: See "Butt Monkey" entry.
  • Imagine Spot: Pretty much every musical number in the show. And they're quickly growing in number. Notably, however: Elaine Page's cameo and Kylie in the Closet.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Subverted with Jayeson. He tries to redeem himself, but nobody lets him.
  • Large Ham: Simon's drama teacher.
  • Master of the Mixed Message: Anyone on the show.
  • Myth Arc: Simon is telling the story of his childhood.
  • Open-Minded Parent: To Eleven.
  • Running Gag: Several, mostly in the form of catchphrases. Hailey's Blindness, Simon and Kylie's Camp and Ashlene and Reba(Slut)'s sluttiness are also prime examples of this.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Simon often corrects people's grammar and pronunciation, even though he can't say Epitome properly.
  • Shout-Out: Features many to the 90's, especially to that era's icons of camp.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Andy Doonan Does. Not. Stray.
  • Skip to the End: The "Dumbo Debbie" wedding scene.
  • Special Guest: The reason why, if you're not stereotypically camp, you probably recognise several of the names listed under 'Hey Its That Guy'. And they had Dana International as Dana International.
  • Spoof Aesop: "How I Got My Tongs" - Don't steal from the dead, get someone else to for you.
  • Stylistic Suck: Simon's mental image of his family as Eurovision contestants.
  • True Companions: The Extended Doonan Family - The Doonans, Hailey, Kylie.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Most of Simon's schoolmates don't even notice him and Kylie camping it up - unless the plot calls for it.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: The show is based on the memoirs of Simon Doonan, the creative director of Barney's Department Store. They took his 1950s childhood, moved it to the 90s and changed not only most of the names but also the stories. For example, fictional Simon's older sister, Ashlene, is a sexually promiscuous girl who gets pregnant at sixteen; the real Simon's older sister, Shelagh, is a lesbian.
  • X Called; They Want Their Y Back.

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