Friday Night Dinner (2011-) is a Channel 4 television series. Once a week, the Goodman family - snappy mother Jackie, half-deaf hoarding father Martin, and twenty-something sons Adam and Jonny - meet up for a Sabbath meal. The brothers' constant war of attrition, Martin's attempts to hold onto his precious back issues of New Scientist, Jackie's neuroses and the regular intrusion of the Stalker with a Crush neighbour Jim combine into elaborate Fawlty Towers Plots which always collapse at the climax of the episode.Not to be confused with the similar "dysfunctional Jewish family meets for a meal" sitcomGrandmas House.
This show provides examples of:
The Alleged Car: Jonny, a real estate agent, gains access to a company car... shaped like a miniature house.
All Jews Are Cheapskates: Martin eats out of the bin, spoons unused ketchup back into the bottle and saves back copies of New Scientist on the grounds that they'll be worth something someday as "collectables".
Bestiality Is Depraved: Subtly hinted at with Jim. When Jackie gently points out that it's unlikely someone would have raped Wilson, since he's a dog, Jim simply shouts "yes, exactly" and goes very quiet. There's also the "little game" Jim was playing with Wilson.
If something is introduced early in an episode of Friday Night Dinner, it will become important at a later point in the episode: For example, if a phone is stuck on speaker, you know that someone is going to have a private conversation that becomes a public one. I call it Chekhovian because every episode really does have about a half-dozen equivalents of Chehkovian guns, items set up to play a role in the climax of the episode.
Cloudcuckoolander: Jim has a habit of throwing non-seqiturs into conversation, decides to pop round to their house to tell them that their doorbell is broken (he knows because there's a sign on it), and when his dog runs away, he panics "What if someone's raped him?"
The Door Slams You: Jackie's mother, while trying on her bikini, finds the front door open. She walks over to check why... and is promptly thrown through it when Martin unknowingly knocks the door shut.
Escalating War: Between Jonny and Adam. Most of the time, it's adding salt to each other's drinks in increasingly elaborate ways. Generally leads to people getting caught up in the crossfire.
Grieving guest:My dad's just died, why are you putting salt in everything?!
Expy: Two examples. Jim is precisely the same twitchy, asocial pervert that Mark Heap played in Green Wing, Dr Alan Statham, though minus the ego that came with being a consulting radiologist. Adam meanwhile is Will from The Inbetweeners five years later.
We were playing a little game. (Beat) It went wrong.
Ominously Open Door: The very first scene parodies this. The two boys arrive at their parents to find the door hanging open. Nervously, they approach it... and find their next door neighbour stepping out of the downstairs loo.
Only Sane Man: Adam usually takes this role. Jonny also has his moments.
Priceless Ming Vase: Any object that is established to be of significance to someone will likely be damaged or destroyed by the end of the episode. See: the dress, the Mercedes, "Buggy," the apple crumble...
The eighty-four-year-old Mr Morris manages to top him by wrestling barechested.
Yiddish as a Second Language: Largely averted, but to troll Jim, Jonny claims that "pusface" is a traditional Jewish nickname and that the eldest son should receive a basket of green fruit (but not pears) called a "schmoygle". Jim dutifully turns up at the end of the episode singing "Happy birthday pusface" clutching his schmoygle.