Series: Friday Night Dinner
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" sitcom Grandmas 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".
- Amazingly Embarrassing Parents
- Animals Hate Him: Wilson seems to despise Jim, his owner, completely ignoring his commands and growling ominously whenever he touches him.
- Author Catchphrase: Simon Bird brings the same deadpan "Brilliant" used by several characters in The Inbetweeners to this show, where both Adam and Jonny use it.
- 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.
- Character Development: At the beginning of the series Jim is genuinely creepy, but as the show progresses his Stalker with a Crush tendencies are downplayed and he becomes merely eccentric.
- Chekhov's Armoury: As the AV Club review of the show says:
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.
- Christmas Episode: After the second series. Adam points out how strange it is that a Jewish family have Christmas dinner every year.
- 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?"
- Cringe Comedy: A lot of it, particularly any scene involving Jim.
- Doomed New Clothes: Jackie's friend's dress.
- 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.
- Drop-In Character: Jim.
- 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.
- Fawlty Towers Plot: Every single episode.
- Girlfriend in Canada: Jonny's supposed girlfriend does exist... but she's going out with someone else.
- Idiot Houdini: Jim's...eccentric tendencies allow him a fair amount of leeway with the Goodman family.
- In-Series Nickname: Jonny and Adam call each other "Pissface" and "Pusface" respectively. Their dad's ex-girlfriend is known universally as "Bitchface".
- Insistent Terminology: Martin keeps nagging Adam about the lack of "females" in Adam's life.
- Jerk Ass: Mr. Morris, Grandma's terrifying 84 year old boyfriend.
- Line-of-Sight Name: This occurs in two scenes in the episode "The Fox":
- The first is lampshaded:
Jackie: Have you been lending Jim money?
Martin: A bit...
Jackie: What? What for?
Martin: [looks at the object on the wall next to him] Er... mirrors.
Jackie: OK, did you say the first thing that you could see?
Martin: ... possibly.
- Then later in the episode:
Martin: We're picking up something special for Jackie, a surprise.
Val: [...] What is the surprise?
Martin: It's, er... um... [spots a cyclist] a bicycle.
Val: A bicycle? [...] Where you getting it from at this time of night?
Martin: Um... [points at a nearby building] that house there.
- Literally Loving Thy Neighbor: Jim has a poorly disguised crush on Jackie, and turns up constantly at their door with the weakest excuse.
- Meddling Parents
- Moebius Neighbourhood: Jim is the only neighbour we meet.
- Noodle Incident: How Jim's dog ate his keys.
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.
- The Precious, Precious Car: Bitchface's Mercedes.
- 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...
- Real Song Theme Tune: "Animal" (Punks Jump Up Remix) by Miike Snow
- Running Gag: In-universe, Martin always jokingly compliments Jackie's cooking by calling it "a lovely bit of squirrel" (which no one else seems to find all that funny).
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: A very passive-aggressive variation between Jackie and "Bitchface".
- Trans Atlantic Equivalent: An American pilot was shot in 2011, featuring Tony Shalhoub and Allison Janney, but it wasn't picked up.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Martin has a fondness for ketchup
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Martin is a Fan Disservice variation on the trope.
- 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.