British comedy series that ran from 1991 to 1999.
Named after the then-average number of children in a British family — today it would probably be 1.8 Children.
The main characters were:
- Bill (Wilhelmina) Porter, a caterer
- Ben Porter, her husband, a plumber
- Jenny, the daughter
- David, the son
- Rhona, a nymphomaniac Drop-In Character
- Christine, Ben's bad-tempered apprentice
The actress for Jenny was replaced
in the third season. In the final season, the character was sent to university, and a new teenage child adopted.
The episodes could be very surreal — one ended up as a parody of The Prisoner
. And Bill had numerous prophetic dreams given to her by her Spirit Advisor
— a biker whom it turned out may have been Dead All Along due to a bike accident
is a prime example of Magic Realism
. It was written by Andrew Marshall, whose former writing partner David Renwick was responsible for the more successful One Foot in the Grave
(which was more like tragic surrealism).
This show provides examples of:
- Acting for Two - Bill's mother and aunt were played by the same actress.
- Arc Words - Bill's recurring dream of a biker telling her to stay out of "MIA". The dream was cut short; it was supposed to say "Miami", where she was caught in a hurricane in a later episode.
- In fact MIA is the three-letter airport code for Miami International, and it only occurs in one or two episodes. Two points don't make an arc, although since the seasons are only six episodes long, two episodes is a sizeable chunk.
- Brand X - the video game Ninja Badger
- The Casanova
- Christmas Episode - five of them!
- Cousin Oliver - Declan, the Porters' foster child, who was also a Suspiciously Similar Substitute for the departing Jenny.
- Cut Short - By the illness of Ben's actor in 1999 (he emigrated to Australia after a cancer diagnosis and died in 2000).
- Dead All Along - It is strongly implied that Bill's mysterious motorcycle guy was this. Bill sees his obituary in a stack of old newspapers she was going to throw away.
- The end of the first episode of the second series shows a TV news report (which Bill misses, due to being asleep) reporting on the accident that killed him. This implies he was alive during the first series.
- Deadpan Snarker - All the characters have there moments, especially Bill and Ben.
- Disaster Dominoes
- Dom Com
- Drop-In Character
- Gender-Blender Name - Bill (full name Wilhelmina)
- Hidden Depths - Despite his standard characterisation, Ben is always able to provide emotional support when Bill needs it. And of the two during any genuine emergency or crisis, he actually manages stays calmer and reacts better than she does.
- Magic Realism
- Mood Whiplash - Frequently. The biggest example is probably the second-to-last episode of Season 4, which almost ends on the triumphant note of Jenny winning the school talent contest thanks to Ben and David helping her by dressing as The Blues Brothers and singing "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love". Then they get home and find the house has burnt down.
- Mrs. Robinson - possibly. One episode was centred around Bill reading David's diary and becoming convinced he was in a relationship with an older woman ... then learning the woman was his drama teacher and he was appearing in a production of The Graduate ... and then at the very end, he thanks the teacher for "everything. No, everything".
- Not so Above It All - Bill maybe the only sane man, but she does loose it when things get to much, plus every so often she proves on occasion she can be just as unusual as the rest of her family.
- The Other Darrin - Jenny was first played by Georgina Cates and then by Clare Buckfield.
- Declan was played by Mitchell Ray in his first appearance, and by Alex Kew when he became a regular character.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis - Jake the Klingon to Ben.
- Special Edition Title - for the Christmas episodes.
- Spiritual Predecessor - Considered by some to have paved the way for the similarly-themed My Family.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute
- Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?: Dawn, the "per-son-al ben-ker" later resurfaces as an equally deranged and annoying loan officer.