Series: Gimme Gimme Gimme

This is Will and Grace, on cocaine, in a parallel universe.'s review of the first series boxset

A BritCom about Tom, a Camp Gay man, and Linda, a loud, overweight trashy straight woman, sharing a flat. Often compared with Will and Grace, which had a similar gay man/straight woman roommates idea, but the style and humour were a little different. Both leads were Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonists...

Actually maybe that isn't so different.

The characters live in a grotty run down flat, that they rent from an ex-prostitute, rather than a plush apartment, and generally the characters were less middle class and the humour broader and more risqué. This is an example of a typical British reaction to those impossibly glossy and unlikely American sitcoms such as Will and Grace - stripping off the American gloss and deliberately replacing it with more familiar grot.

Tom and Linda were former clubbing fanatics in their youth, who met in a club one night absolutely stoned, and decided to be roommates. They appear to hate each other, but what bonds them is the fact that, pretty much, no-one else can stand either of them.

It was created by Beautiful Thing writer Jonathan Harvey, who developed the series with actress Kathy Burke, who played Linda.

Gimme, Gimme, Gimme came 48th in Britain's Best Sitcom. Named after the ABBA song, "Gimme, Gimme, Gimme (A Man after Midnight)".

This show provides examples of:

  • invoked Actor Allusion: Su Pollard's character, Heidi Honeycomb, is greeted by Linda; "Heidi, Hi!"
  • All Gays Love Theater: Tom is a struggling actor trying to make it in show business. His most "memorable" role was playing a member of the public in the marketplace of EastEnders in 1994.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Tom's parents turned up in "Dirty 30".
  • Baby-Doll Baby: Invoked. Suze and Jez keep a doll one episode in order to practice looking after one in the future. When Linda ballses everything up to the point of being in the local newspaper, they threaten to call the police for kidnapping when Linda doesn't give the "child" back.
  • The Beard: Tom becomes this to the American tourist Gloria in the last episode of the first season because she wants to stay in the UK legally and be with her girlfriend India. They eventually marry, despite Linda's jealousy and attempts of sabotage.
  • Berserk Button: Tom gets rather annoyed whenever Linda teases him about his first TV role being an extra on EastEnders.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: They did this a lot. One time Linda actually says to Tom, "Remember Sugar, you know, my sister from the last series?"
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Suze. She can prove to be really quite cruel towards Linda. Perhaps justified by Linda's own nastiness towards her.
  • Camp Gay: Tom
  • Chekhov's Gun: In "Stiff", where they find Beryl's body in a coffin in their living room, Beryl's boyfriend asks Linda whether she is Beryl's sister but then dismisses the idea because Linda is "too ugly". This seems like a throwaway joke at first, but the fact that Beryl has a sister comes back when Beryl turns up and announces it was her "bitch twin sister" who has died, not her.
  • Citizenship Marriage: In "I Do, I Do, I Do" Tom marries an American lesbian so she can stay in the country.
  • Downer Ending: In the last episode, Tom gets a job on the soap opera Crossroads and leaves the flat. It manages to get a last laugh in, revealing that Linda's infamous red hair is actually a wig and she is completely bald, but it still ends on a very sad note with her sitting alone on her bed and turning the lights off.
    • The 1999 Christmas Special, where Tom and Linda have absolutely no invitations to any Year 2000 New Years party and get morosely drunk together, finally passing out with alcohol and missing the turn of the Millennium.
  • Dumb Blonde: Suze.
  • Egg Sitting: Tom and Linda are given the neighbours' doll to look after while they're away because they're practicing how to look after a baby for when they possibly have one in the future.
    • Linda grumpily takes it out for a walk much later, leading to members of the public being rather concerned about how aggressively she is treating her "child".
      Linda: [crossly, at the group of women] Oh, calm down!! It ain't alive!!
  • Flanderization: Unfortunately, by series 3, this had well and truly set in. Both Tom and Linda had become much, much more stupid than they were when the series started.
  • "Friends" Rent Control: Although Tom is an actor with an agent, he and Linda are rarely seen working, but Tom's recent appearances on television and on stage are usually mentioned whenever Tom wants to remind Linda that he does get employed.
    • Linda, meanwhile, claimed she had just got a job working at a call center in the pilot, but gets fired two episodes later. Then we don't see her working until the season finale of season 2, and then nothing after that.
    • How Beryl hasn't chucked them out is a mystery.
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Linda usually mentions hers at least once an episode.
  • Innuendo: Whether it be accidental, innocent or just plain double entendre, it comes in spades.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Linda and Tom.
  • May-December Romance: Beryl has a much younger toyboy lover in "Stiff".
  • invoked Never Live It Down: Tom beginning his career in the television industry as an extra in EastEnders.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: The theme tune is ABBA's "Gimme, Gimme, Gimme (A Man After Midnight)", which the show was named after. The version used as the theme tune isn't the original however, but a version sung by Tom and Linda karaoke style.
    • Pop Culture Pun Episode Title: The final episode of the first season is called "I Do I Do I Do", which is also named after an ABBA song (although the original song title has 5 "I Do"-s and not 3 like the episode's.)
  • Roommate Com: The show is about a Camp Gay man and his Fag Hag friend sharing a flat near in the Home Counties. They said that they've been roommates for years ever since they met up at a nightclub whilst intoxicated on drugs. For everybody else's sake, it's best that they stay together for the sake of their sanity.
  • Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace: Subverted; when they get to that part of the ceremony, everyone gasps and looks expectantly at Linda; who has been objecting to the whole thing. She doesn't object and just moans at them to get on with it.
  • Third-Person Person: Beryl, the elderly prostitute landlady.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Although Tom and Linda seem to loathe each other as much as everyone else does, there are moments when they appear to genuinely show a strong friendship, such as Linda making an effort for Tom to have a good birthday, and the Millennium Special, in which Tom and Linda are the only characters to appear (dream sequences and the Big Lipped Alligator Moment notwithstanding), is full of them.