A 1990s Brit Com starring Real Life best friends Linda Robson and Pauline Quirke as sisters Tracey and Sharon with Lesley Joseph as their friend and neighbour, the flamboyant man-eater Dorien Green.Tracey is Happily Married to successful builder Darryl Stubbs and has a big house, plenty of money and a son at boarding school. Sharon is unhappily married to the lazy Chris Theodopalopadous and has a cheap council flat and a job in a supermarket. However, Darryl's business isn't as successful as he makes out and he and Chris are arrested for armed robbery and sentenced to twelve years in prison. Tracey feels unable to cope on her own so Sharon, partly to comfort her and partly to get away from her own miserable life, moves in with her.A new series started on ITV (the original was on The BBC) in 2014, 16 years after the "final" episode. This starts off with Sharon back in her council flat, but events conspire to bring her back to Chigwell.
This show contains examples of:
Awful Wedded Life: Sharon and Chris, in contrast to Tracey and Darryl. Tracey describes Sharon as, "The most mistreated wife since Anne Boleyn." Presumably Dorien and Marcus' marriage isn't very happy either but we don't see enough of Marcus to be sure.
Big Fancy House: Tracey and Dorien both have one, at least by UK standards, until the penultimate series when financial circumstances force them all to downsize.
Bland-Name Product: In the new series, Dorien has found fame as the author of Sixty Shades of Green.
Dorien and Sharon work in "World of Quid" a fictionalised version of Poundland. For extra points, the shop is clearly a former Woolworths with some of the letters still used in the sign - Poundland is the largest owner of former Woolies stores.
But I Can't Be Pregnant!: Sharon in a early storyline. After Chris' arrest, she started seeing another man and was shocked when he managed to knock her up, believing herself to be infertile. Turned out it was Chris who was infertile.
Channel Hop: From BBC One (Series 1-9) to ITV (Series 10+)
Digging Yourself Deeper: Chris at his trial. When the judge has trouble pronouncing his surname, Chris calls him a"stupid old fart", the judge holds him in contempt of court and Chris responds, "Big deal, I'm down for a ten year stretch anyway, aren't I?" resulting in his and Darryl's sentences being increased to twelve years.
Disappeared Dad: Sharon and Tracey's father, who went missing when they were little, leaving them to be brought up by various other relatives after their mother died. In one episode they discovered his name was George Hamilton and, at Sharon's insistence, wasted a trip tracking down the film star George Hamilton (As Himself) and never found their real father.
Early-Installment Weirdness: The first series had a very odd title sequence, showing Sharon and Tracey standing together in a darkened room in a way that made them look more like lovers than sisters, while the theme song was performed by a man, in a very downbeat manner. Starting with the second series, this was changed to the more familiar sequence showing pictures of them growing up together, with the theme song now sung by a woman in a slightly more up-tempo fashion.
Everybody Smokes: And all over the expensive furniture. Darryl smokes cigars while everyone else sticks to cigarettes.
Gold Digger: Dorien, regarding Marcus. Money is the only thing she gets out of the marriage.
House Wife: Tracey and Dorien, the perk of having rich husbands. Although Tracey later starts working.
Intergenerational Friendship: Between the sisters and Dorien. Dorien won't admit to it though and gets highly insulted whenever someone mistakes her for the girls' mother.
Mrs. Robinson: Dorien, most of her lovers are somewhat younger than her, not that any of them ever complain.
The Other Darrin: All of the men. Darryl managed to stay as the same actor up until the last series before being suddenly recast. Meanwhile, Garth regenerated twice and then settled into his third form and Marcus was played by a different actor every time we saw him (which, admittedly, wasn't very often as he spent most of the series' run as The Ghost). However, Chris is the most notable example, he was recast after Series One, stayed in his new form for most of the show and then reached the last series and turned back into his Series One actor. In the new series, Garth is played by a new actor again
Overly Long Name: Theodopalopadous is at least two syllables longer than a surname really ought to be. Not suprisingly, Sharon hates it.
Pun: Often dropped by Sharon. For example, whilst playing Monopoly, she referred to "Dorien's Boobs, also known as The Community Chest."