Western Animation: Stressed Eric

"Eric, relax".

Think modern life is stressful? Well just be thankful that you're not Eric Feeble, the perpetually struggling forty-something and unfortunate star of this short-lived British animated series, and arguably one of the darkest shows ever made in this category. The series lasted for 13 episodes, broadcast in two seasons. The first season was broadcast in 1997, the second in 1999. The first series (but not the second) was co-produced by Klasky-Csupo.

Eric is a divorced father of two. He is the primary caregiver for both of his kids. Which is a stressful duty. Brian, Eric's son, seems to have a learning disability. He is 9 to 10-years-old, but has already flunked classes for three years. He doesn't speak at all, wanders aimlessly, and has a tendency to place random items into his mouth. Claire, Eric's daughter, is notably frail. She is 6-years-old and her immune system is hypersensitive. She has allegic reactions to just about everything, and has to eat special regulation food. Which doesn't stop her from craving for regular food. Maria, their Portuguese au-pair, is alcoholic. His ex-wife Liz currently lives with another man, and tries to rediscover herself through following New Age ideas. Which doesn't prevent her from incessantly calling Eric when she feels like it.

The work environment of Eric isn't much better. His office is sandwiched between the janitor's closet and the men's toilets. Paul Power, his boss, is a very demanding individual. Never satisfied with Eric's work, Mr. Power has demoted him in previous occasions. And is always ready to press him further. Eric still has a personal secretary, Alison Scabie. Unfortunately for him, she provides no actual help. She treats the office line as her personal phone, speaking constantly with her friends. Leaving Eric saddled with her work as well as his own.

Eric has an additional reason to feel like a failure. He compares himself to neighbor Ray Perfect, a man who seems to have the perfect family and a great career. Eric finds himself needing the assistance of Doc, his family doctor, who is ready to provide with plenty of medication. Too bad said medication has nothing to do with his stress.

Tropes featured include: