"This is a whole new brand of weird."A seriocomic show airing on NBC from 2000–04 about a hotshot New York attorney named Ed Stevens (Tom Cavanagh) who, following a painful divorce, moves back to his little home town of Stuckeyville, Ohio, buys the local bowling alley, and runs it in conjunction with his law firm.Basically Northern Exposure without the Fish out of Water elements, this show went for a sense of eccentric whimsy, which was usually genuine and smile-inducing ("Hey! You like sex? Come to the Festival of Ducks!").Had an odd first episode - the entirety of the pilot was presented as a "Previously On..." intro and they started with episode 2.
—Ed, to Phil
Provides examples of:
- Artistic Title
- Automobile Opening: Through the town of Westfield, NJ, playing the part of Stuckeyville, OH.
- Berserk Button: "I am a Lawyer. I own a bowling alley. They are not the same thing." - Ed's standard response to being called 'The Bowling Alley Lawyer'.
- Beta Couple: Michael and Nancy.
- Big Eater: Ed is a proud member of the local restaurant's "Two Pie Club".
- The Big Guy: Kenny played by Mike Starr.
- Bowling for Ratings
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Ed. Mike counts as a Bunny Ears Doctor.
- Given the nature of most of the other characters, though, their quirkiness probably seems tame by comparison.
- California Doubling: New Jersey for Ohio.
- Catch Phrase
- "Ten bucks if you..."
- Cloudcuckoolander: Phil
- Cool Loser: Warren Cheswick, Molly.
- Devoted to You: Ed to Carol.
- Disabled Character, Disabled Actor: Daryll Mitchell, who played Eli Cartwright Goggins on the show, was actually paraplegic.
- Dogged Nice Guy: Ed to Carol at times.
- Eccentric Townsfolk: The show thrives on this trope.
- Fake American: Tom Cavanagh is Canadian.
- Hollywood Nerd: Warren (Justin Long), who would go on to date Drew Barrymore and be the Mac Guy in real life.
- Joisey: Exterior Stuckeyville town scenes were filmed in Westfield NJ, some locals were hired as "Stuckeyville Extras".
- Keep Circulating the Tapes: No DVDs have been officially released due to music-licensing issues.
- Never Win the Lottery: One of Ed's cases concerned co-workers being sued after they tricked a fellow worker into thinking he had won the lottery - who then told off the Boss and quit his job before he found out that he hadn't.
- Nobody Over Fifty Is Gay: Subverted with the elderly and cantankerous Charlie Hudson, who is somewhere in his seventies (and dying). His lover is about the same age.
- Quirky Town: Come on, they named it Stuckeyville.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Phil's actor left briefly to do a candid camera style show, so did Phil himself.
- Real Song Theme Tune: "Next Year" by the Foo Fighters
- Running Gag: The ten dollar bets.
- Phil and his zany schemes.
- The name Godfrey.
- Shout-Out: The name of Ed's old law firm (Farmer & Sheehan) is an in-joke reference to "Late Show with David Letterman" stagehands Pat Farmer and Kenny Sheehan. (The series was produced by Letterman's company, Worldwide Pants.)
- Stage Magician: Stuckeyville Sam.
- The Bet: Ed and Mike's classic $10 bets.
- Unrequited Love Switcheroo: A few times with Ed and Carol before they finally get together. S1: Ed —> Carol then Carol —> Ed. S2/Early S3: Ed —> Carol. Late S3: Carol —> Ed. Though, late season 3 is the most straightforward example.
- What Have We Ear?: Stuckeyville Sam does this to Ed at the end of the episode "The World of Possibility".
- Will They or Won't They?: Ed and Carol. They will.