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Series / A Prince Among Men

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The other, other Chris Barrie sitcom.
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A Prince Among Men was a Brit Com which ran for 2 series (1997-1998). It starred Chris Barrie as Gary Prince, a former footballer turned business manager who has a Small Name, Big Ego. The supporting cast consists of his German wife Lisel, his two secretaries Sonia and Beverly, his right hand man Dave, arrogant business manager Mark and local publican Vince Hubbert, who has a low opinion of Prince.

The show wasn’t received very well by both critics and audiences, lasting for only 2 series.

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Tropes:

  • Alliterative Name: Beverley Baker.
  • Black Comedy Animal Cruelty: The first episode had a brief gag where Gary accidentally presses a button which causes his garage door to open- whilst his guard dog was tied up to it. Luckily, the dog survives and attacks Gary.
  • Bragging Theme Tune: The theme tune declares "he's a winner, he's a star, he's a prince, a prince among men" and "he's always right, 'cos he knows what's what, but he hasn't let it go to his head". However, since Gary Prince was an arrogant prat, this was ironic.
  • Break-Up/Make-Up Scenario: Kevin and Sonia break up for a episode due to disagreements over the type of music they wanted at their upcoming wedding. They make up by the end of the episode by deciding to mix the two together.
  • British Brevity: Had 12 episodes over a grand total of 2 series.
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  • Catchphrase: From the show, we have Gary's "Hey, I'm always right!"
  • The Ditz: Sonia really isn't the brightest person in the world.
  • The Dog Bites Back: A literal example occurs in the first episode. Gary presses a button that lifts up the garage door whilst his guard dog is still attached to it, making it appear as if he had been hanged. Later on, the dog is shown to survive, first going after Sonia, before going after Gary Prince instead.
  • Ending by Ascending: The end credits of each episode depicts Gary Prince climbing up a ladder which spans the whole screen vertically.
  • Epic Fail: In one episode, Gary decides to type his own column (after his previous ghostwriter started to state controversial views) on his laptop. He somehow manages to produce only gibberish.
  • Epunymous Title: A reference to the idiom 'A Prince Among Men' starring a man called Gary Prince.
  • Family Disunion: “Family Matters” revolves around Gary’s attempts to reunite with his mother. He ends up being hit by a woman who he thought was his mother but was actually another old woman, arrested, let out, and then rearrested by his mother, who thought he was sending her death threats.
  • Gadgeteer's House: One of the show's source of comedy comes from the range of devices that Gary has installed into his house going wrong in one way or another.
  • The Ghost: Sonia's fiance Kevin, who isn't seen in the series and who apparently suffers from a variety of conditions.
  • Ghostwriter: “Ghost Story” reveals that he has a column written by a man named Des that goes out under his name. This causes problems when Des starts putting forward radical views such as abolishing the royal family.
  • Jerkass: Gary, who constantly insults his colleagues and wife and makes decisions such as planning to demolish a church to replace it with a go-kart track.
  • It's All About Me: Gary is this in spades. In one episode, he mentions that his first memory was him stealing a prize from the nursery school teacher since he believed his picture (a self portrait of himself) was the best.
  • Involuntary Charity Donation: Episode 2 ('Changing Revs') revolves around Gary intending to buy and demolish the local church and replace it with a go-kart track. However, the Church catches wind of this and cancels their sale of the Church to Prince. To add further punishment to him, they send away the go-karts he has obtained to Cameroon, thinking that they were genuine Charity donations.
  • Omniglot: Gary's wife Lisel's native language is German. However, she knows enough English to be able to work as a German to English translator, French, and several Japanese words.
  • Oop North: The show takes place in Sheffield and features Gary Prince, who has a Scouser accent (Said accent is very similar to the one Chris Barrie used for Lister note  in the Red Dwarf audiobooks).
  • Rags to Riches: Part of Gary Prince's backstory is that he was raised on an estate in the North before his talent in football was discovered. In the series' present day, he is a successful ex-footballer and entrepreneur and lives fairly affulently. Not that this has humbled him in any way.
  • Running Gag: A couple:
    • The gimmicks that Gary has installed in his house going wrong
    • Sonia going on about the various afflictions her fiance Kevin suffers from.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Episode 3 gives us John the Murderer, who deliberately pushed his parents into the River Mersey. Understandably, Prince doesn't want to be anywhere near the guy.
  • Sexy Secretary: Sonia. It may be the only reason Gary keeps her around considering how unqualified she is.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Gary definitely fits the bill. At one point, he argues that he could teach in philosophy even though he both has no experience and little interest in it.
  • Spiritual Successor: The show is this to The Brittas Empire, except that Chris Barrie is playing an ex-footballer here instead of a leisure centre manager and the series wasn't received as successfully.
  • The Unfavorite: Gary is said to be this in comparison to his brother Kevin (who was the apple of his parents eye) in ‘Family Matters’.
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