is a 2013 ITV sitcom set during The Roman Empire
and revolves around two young plebs, Marcus and Stylax, and Marcus' slave, Grumio. At the start of the series they've been living in Rome for 6 weeks, and Marcus and Stylax work together at a scriptorium. In the first episode, a young Briton, Cynthia, and her slave Metella become their neighbours, and Marcus quickly develops a crush on Cynthia.
Described by the Radio Times
as The In Betweeners meets Rome
Plebs contains examples of:
- Anachronism Stew: Most likely due to Rule of Funny, but bananae and pineapples were not available or known to Romans.
- Banana Peel: Happens to Aurelius after Stylax introduces bananas into the workplace. After his fall, Flavia bans bananas from the scriptorium.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Cynthia, to a certain extent. For instance, she doesn't realise that gladiators actually die: she thinks it's 'theatre'. On the other hand, when a daft old crone puts a 'curse' on her, she thinks it IS real.
- Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: Metella, Cynthia's slave.
- Cringe Comedy: Stylax rushing into Flavia's office to thank her for recommending the clinic and herpes cream....and completely failing to notice that she is meeting with clients. Verbal Backspacing ensues before he beats a hasty retreat.
- A Date with Rosie Palms: A popular pastime in Ancient Rome, sometimes with the aid of an erotic vase. And don't even ask what Stylax does with a dead gladiator's hand...
- Erotic Eating: Averted- it looks like Flavia is going to eat the banana in an erotic way, especially when she asks Stylax to look away while she's eating, but she then proceeds hold it horizontal and nibble on it like corn on the cob.
- Girl Next Door: Cynthia
- Gladiator Games: Part of the plot of episode two. Cynthia is dating a gladiator and doesn't believe the bloodsport is real.
- Hospital Hottie: The nurse who treats Stylax for his STD.
- Kind Hearted Cat Lover: Cynthia happily adopts a stray and names it Felix when Rome becomes infested with cats. Marcus pretends to be a cat lover as well, but neither she nor Metella are convinced. Especially after Felix chokes to death in his apartment.
- Kissing Cousins: Stylax and Lucretia. Neither of them see anything wrong with it, and are surprised to find out that everyone else is squicked out by it. And then Stylax is squicked when he finds out that Flavia has done it. With several cousins.
- Less Embarrassing Term: Aurelius is a Water Man, not a Water Boy.
- New Year Has Come: The series one finale takes place during Saturnalia and has Marcus and Stylax racing to find Cynthia and Metella in the forum before the gong strikes twelve.
- A Party Also Known as an Orgy: Marcus and Stylax fork out for tickets to an orgy; Marcus tries to convince Na´ve Newcomer Cynthia to come as his guest, while avoiding mention that it's an orgy.
- Potty Failure: Marcus and Grumio, both on purpose to spite the other.
- The Queen's Latin: Most of the characters are from the lower middle classes and speak with working class accents. Grumio in particular has a very thick Yorkshire accent.
- The Roman Empire: It isn't initially specified when exactly the series is set, but the series one finale reveals that it's set in 27 B.C., early in the reign of Augustus.
- Servile Snarker: Metella mostly, but Grumio and Aurelius the water boy both have their moments.
- Shout-Out: A slave named Grumio, you say?
- STD Immunity: Averted- Stylax Really Gets Around and catches genital herpes as a result.
- Swapped Roles: Marcus agrees to trade roles with Grumio for his birthday. Cue Grumio getting his hair styled, wearing Marcus' best tunic (and getting hair dye on it) and ordering Marcus to buy a couple of geese for dinner. Marcus is not impressed.