is an Irish Dramedy
focused on the young, good-looking, hard-partying staff of a hip Dublin restaurant, named 'Raw'. Uniquely (by the standards of Irish television), most of the characters are foreigners - only four of the eight main characters in series one are Irish (and two of those four are from Northern Ireland
and thus technically immigrants). Arguably, this is a case of Truth in Television
. But by series three there are only two properly non-Irish in the lead cast.
The main character is JoJo, a 22-year-old heavy-drinking, heavy-drugging, short-tempered cook from Stroke Country
who unexpectedly takes in her older brother, Shane. Shane, a solicitor, married man and heretofore success story, has gone on the run from his job and wife and is now employed as a lowly kitchen porter in 'Raw'. JoJo and Shane live with English barman Bobby, a charming chancer who is the unrequited love of JoJo's life, but has eyes only for waitress and student Rebecca. Then there is the tyrannical Australian Sous Chef Geoff, the timid Czech waiter Pavel and, above them all, dissolute Chef Mal and his ambitious English wife, Tanya.
This all changes fast in series two though.
Not to be confused with WWE Monday Night Rawnote
Provides Examples Of:
- Actor Allusion: A Running Gag in season 1 is people mistaking Pavel for Polish when he is Czech. The character was originally written as Polish but the nationality was changed when Czech actor Krystof Hadek was cast.
- The Alcoholic: JoJo seems like she's heading in this direction in series 4. Though, she stops towards the end of it.
- Ascended Extra: Maeve, JoJo and Shane's mother made a couple of appearances in the second season and becomes a full regular cast member in the third with a story arc of her own. Kate, Fiona's sister could count as well, being added to the season 3 opening credits
- Back for the Dead: Pavel in series 4.
- Batter Up: Subverted in the series 5 finale. Shane, Max and Zoe confront the conman that had cheated Shane out of four grand and he threatens Shane and Zoe with a hurley. Max walks up behind him with a bat and calmly says, "Here mate, you can have this [baseball bat]. I don't need it".
- Betty and Veronica:
- Rebecca is the Betty and JoJo is the Veronica to Bobby in season 1. Subverted because Bobby doesn't actually know that JoJo actually fancies him. He becomes the Veronica in season 2 while Dylan becomes the Betty with JoJo as "Archie".
- Series 3 also has Pavel as an Archie, with Geoff as the Veronica and Jack as the Betty.
- Series 5 has Zoe as the Betty and Kate as the Veronica with Shane as the Archie. Also gender flipped with Calum as the Betty, Max as the Veronica and Fiona as the Archie.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Rebecca, the posh and articulate Daddy's Girl. She abruptly snaps in the first episode after Jojo insults her and she does not take news that Bobby has apparently cheated on her well. Additionally it's her idea to stage a break-in at the restaurant to get Bobby's rent money.
- Blondes Are Evil: Rebecca, to auburn-haired JoJo. Kate as well. Though in series three Fiona went blonde too, but didn't go evil. By series 4 the haircolour=morality idea kinda goes out the window, though Kate does act like an Alpha Bitch in series 5.
- Bratty Teenage Daughter: Subverted with Emma, Fiona's teenage sister. Her introduction is her father telling us that she wants to leave school early - and he wants Fiona to give her a job in the restaurant to show her how hard the working world is (hoping she'll go back to school). Except she ends up loving the work and shows some nice maturity for her age. The bratty daughter in the family seems to be Kate - and even she's still pretty competent.
- Britain Is Only London: The show, though set entirely in Dublin (and thus not even in Britain), is rather strangely fixated on London. At least four main characters have lived and worked in London before coming to Ireland for a fresh start.
- It did seem very forced that the new owner in the second series was yet another London blow in. Are there no other cities in the Raw universe?
- And now Bobby who is from Hull is moving back to England. Guess which city he's moving to.
- And now Selena is confirmed to have come from London as well.
- As well as Fiona having got a job there twenty years earlier.
- Butt Monkey: Richard who is apparently competent enough to get a job in Raw but incompetent enough that he almost never gets anything right. Lampshaded in one episode.
- The Casanova: Bobby. In series one his answering machine message was "Hey this is Bobby, I'm probably having sex".
- Cannot Spit It Out: Philip is obviously into Emma and she knows it too. He just is unable to tell her, even though she is throwing him some fairly strong hints.
- Character Development: Pavel in season 1 was shy and insecure. Now in season 3 he has become a lot more confident and is much happier.
- The Charmer: Bobby
- Chekhov's Gun: Pavel getting hit over the head by Philip's father in the season 4 finale. It comes back for a final Tear Jerker in the closing minutes.
- Chick Magnet: Shane astonishingly enough. He's married in season 1 (but divorces in between seasons) and attracts attention from Tanya. Next he bags Kate and it turns into a Love Triangle between her and Zoe.
- Citizenship Marriage: Geoff married Selena for a work visa in England. Considering the EU treaty on citizenship, it explains why he's in Ireland.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Kate a little when Shane goes after Zoe. They've already split up by this point though.
- Compressed Vice: Geoff in series three. JoJo's alcoholism in series 4.
- Control Freak: Anthony, JoJo's American husband.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Geoff is a male example. Comparing his season 1 behaviour with how he is now in season 4 the difference is astonishing.
- Demoted to Extra: Geoff for the first half of series 5.
- Deus ex Machina: The end of series 5. Everything tidies itself up nicely, especially with the Shane/winemerchant conman thing.
- Diabolus Ex Machina: The end of series 4. Crickey, was that depressing.
- Everyone Meets Everyone/In Medias Res: A boatload of new characters suddenly arrive in the first episode of series 4. Kate and Fiona's father and sister suddenly rearrive in their lives bringing in-progress-offscreen plotlines with them. A produce-supplier turns up who coincidentally happens to have a history with Fiona. New recruit Philip has a dramatic past he's trying to escape from. And in episode two Geoff's old friend Selena arrived on his doorstep out of nowhere.
- Fake Brit: JoJo and Shane for a debatable value of 'Brit'; they are from Belfast but Charlene McKenna was born in Monaghan and Keith McErlean is really from Donegal. Both counties are in Ulster but not actually in Northern Ireland.
- The Ghost: Eddie, Bobby and Jojo's friend who worked in the kitchen. He gets busted with the police in the first episode and is never seen.
- Happy Ending Override: Season 4 ends with Fiona and Ed finally hooking up after years of The One That Got Away. First twenty minutes of season 5, she dumps him and gains sexual tension with Max.
- Heroic BSOD: JoJo in series 4. Geoff in series 5.
- Hard-Drinking Party Girl: JoJo. Her first appearance on the show is being carried out of a house while sipping a glass of wine. Mostly dropped after series one when Jojo realises how important being a chef is to her. Brought back in series 4 after her relationship with Dylan hits the skids.
- Hard Gay: Geoff
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Geoff
- The Lad-ette: JoJo
- Like Brother and Sister: Bobby and Jojo, at least from the former's perspective initially.
- Love Dodecahedron: The show makes Grey's Anatomy look chaste. In the space of six episodes Jojo has lusted after Bobby, who was lusting after Rebecca, who was going out with Mark, Jojo tries to get over Bobby by getting Pavel drunk enough to bed him, but instead Pavel goes off with Geoff. While this is happening Shane has left his wife, and sort of entered a timid romance with Tanya (Mal's wife) but they opt not to pursue it, partly because his wife's come back. At one point there are two same-sex dates going on in parallel. One marraige is rekindled and then dissolves the next day. Another dissolves and is then rekindled the next day. An while all this is happening there's the comic relief of Tiny and Richard, two almost-mute hetero-life-partners. in six episodes.
- The hormones level off after series one though.
- Mean Brit: Max in season 5.
- Mistaken Nationality: Pavel is often mistaken for Polish. Truth in Television, as due to the high numbers of Polish that moved to Ireland after 2004, citizens of other Eastern European countries are often mistaken for Polish.
- Nonindicative Name: Tiny's an incredibly tall guy.
- Northern Ireland: JoJo and Shane come from there.
- Only a Flesh Wound: Subverted with Pavel in the fourth series finale. Philip's dad shoves him over, hitting his head off a table. He refuses medical attention, thinking it to be a simple bump on the head. It's only minutes later, when he's alone that he keels over, leaving the series on a Cliff Hanger. Series 5 reveals that he died..
- Put on a Bus: Mal, Tanya and Rebecca as of series 2. Richard and Tiny halfway through series 3. Ray at the end of series 3. Geoff and JoJo at the end of series 5.
- Re Tool: Series 1 was on the youth-oriented RTE Two, after the show proved a hit it was bumped up to the family-oriented RTE One. This meant a shift from near-constant swearing to nearly no swearing whatsoever. It also meant sex scenes became much more PG, the bed-hopping was reduced dramatically, and any scenes of partying became short, tame and rare.
- Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl/ Uptight Loves Wild: Deconstructed with Shane and Kate's relationship. It's fun at first but it ultimately fails because Shane wants a family while Kate wants to continue her wild lifestyle.
- She's Got Legs: Fiona. Even more impressive, seeing how, as of season 4, she's forty.
- Kate too. Given that she's Fiona's sister, this is no surprise.
- Ship Tease: Pavel and JoJo in season 1, Shane and Tanya also.
- Series 4 has Emma clearly fancying the oblivious Philip and Philip clearly fancying the oblivious JoJo.
- And series five still has Emma and Philip with Unresolved Sexual Tension, given that she spends most of the season with Philip's cousin, Brian. Even after they break up, Philip still hasn't made his move.
- Slobs Versus Snobs: JoJo (slob) versus Rebecca (snob).
- Straight Gay: Geoff
- The second series suggested he might be Bi the Way, but Geoff has now confirmed he is only into men. Though he did have a green card marriage with Selena.
- Theme Naming: Jojo's romantic interests are named Bobby and Dylan.
- Triang Relations: Jojo, Bobby and Rebecca in series one, Jojo, Bobby and Dylan after that. A few others are teased but those are the main ones.
- The Silent Bob: Tiny
- Unrequited Love Switcheroo: Jojo fancied Bobby in season 1. After splitting him and Rebecca up, she realises it amounts to nothing and goes after Dylan. In the meantime Bobby develops feelings for her.
- Will They or Won't They?: Jojo and Bobby, Pavel and Geoff. Philip and Emma, though this is as of the end of series five unresolved.
- Women Are Wiser: Tanya and Rebecca filled this role in season 1. Fiona sort of afterwards, though she came with a lot of baggage herself.