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Series / Beautiful People

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Beautiful People is a BBC sitcom. It follows the story of Simon Doonan, the "Crown Prince, well, Queen, of window dressing" as he relates his life story to anyone who will listen. Set in the 90's, it's about as fabulous as stories about the childhood of a ridiculously camp window dresser could possibly be. It faced a mixed reception, which in itself was lampshaded on its own DVD cover: While the back contained genuinely positive reviews, the front cover of the first series features a review from Heat Magazine that simply said "Perhaps the gayest sitcom ever." The show is based on the memoirs of Simon Doonan, the creative director at Barney's Department Store.

This show provides examples of tropes that live among the Beautiful People such as:

  • Arc Words: Actually Series Words. The phrase "Beautiful People" appears at least once per episode, accompanied by a snatch of the show's theme song. Also, whenever the character Reba's name is mentioned, Debbie Doonan replies, "Slut."
  • Batman Gambit: When the Doonan family cannot afford a holiday, they stage an elaborate lie and holiday in their own living room. The failure condition is more than obvious.
  • Big Applesauce: The entire first series is told by Simon who lives in New York, but is subverted in that his window dressings are very un-New York. Lampshaded in the second series when Simon meets a woman with a NY accent... only to discover she's 100% British.
  • Butt-Monkey: Simon, but then again he doesn't really do much to fight against it - barring the episode "How I Got My Posh", naturally.
  • The Cast Show Off: There's plenty of singing and dancing, particularly with the Musical Theatre-trained Luke Ward-Wilkinson and Layton Williams, but the second series turns this up to 11.
  • Catchphrase: Reba. Slut.
    • We'll be amongst the Beautiful People.
    • Feckin' Eejit.
    • More like a gay [noun].
    • Just like my days in Greenham Common.
    • Hibes (Its short for 'Hi Babes' for people in too much of a hurry).
    • I'm not being funny but...
    • Batty Boy!
  • Chekhov's Gun: Each episode relates to how Simon acquired an item. Roughly half are this trope, the rest are just a pleasant coincidence. Outside of this, however, you have Chekhov's Miniature Replica Of The Eiffel Tower.
  • Cool Teacher: Simon's music teacher takes him to see Eurovision.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Its a show about two kids and their suburban families. Of course this will happen.
  • Everything's Better with Sparkles: Debbie loves her Body Glitter, Simon and Kylie love their sequins.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Two first season episodes use Hair styles as a plot, the second series gave Simon greasier hair to emphasis him going through puberty (and the memories we all have of how we looked back then).
  • The Faceless: Subverted. Kylie's dad appears at the start of "How I Got My Camp", but his face is hidden. He later shows up, quite faced.
  • First-Episode Twist: More akin to First Minute Spoiler - every episode builds up to how Simon acquired an item mentioned either explicitly or in the show titles.
  • Future Me Scares Me: 2009!Simon frightens 1990s!Simon when he appears as the "Ghost of Gay Future."
  • Hands-Off Parenting: Although often strict, the Doonans believe that making sure their children are happy is more important than enforcing rules.
  • Happily Married: Subverted in "How I Got My Groom".
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: See "Butt Monkey" entry.
  • Imagine Spot: Pretty much every musical number in the show. And they're quickly growing in number. Notably, however: Elaine Page's cameo and Kylie in the Closet.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Subverted with Jayeson. He tries to redeem himself, but nobody lets him.
  • Myth Arc: Simon is telling the story of his childhood.
  • Running Gag: Several, mostly in the form of catchphrases. Hailey's Blindness, Simon and Kylie's Camp and Ashlene and Reba(Slut)'s sluttiness are also prime examples of this.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Simon often corrects people's grammar and pronunciation, even though he can't say Epitome properly.
  • Shout-Out: Features many to the 90's, especially to that era's icons of camp.
  • The Show of the Books: Loosely based on Simon Doonan's memoirs, but with a Setting Update and a lot of licence taken with other aspects.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Andy Doonan Does. Not. Stray.
  • Skip to the End: The "Dumbo Debbie" wedding scene.
  • Special Guest: The reason why, if you're not stereotypically camp, you probably recognise several of the names listed under 'Hey Its That Guy'. And they had Dana International as Dana International.
  • Spoof Aesop: "How I Got My Tongs" - Don't steal from the dead, get someone else to for you.
  • Stylistic Suck: Simon's mental image of his family as Eurovision contestants.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Most of Simon's schoolmates don't even notice him and Kylie camping it up - unless the plot calls for it.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: The show is based on the memoirs of Simon Doonan, the creative director of Barney's Department Store. They took his 1950s childhood, moved it to the 90s and changed not only most of the names but also the stories. For example, fictional Simon's older sister, Ashlene, is a sexually promiscuous girl who gets pregnant at sixteen; the real Simon's older sister, Shelagh, is a lesbian.