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Series / Crashing (UK)

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Crashing is a British comedy drama series written by Phoebe Waller-Bridge and directed by George Kane. It was produced by Big Talk Productions and commissioned by Channel 4. The six-part series premiered on 11 January 2016.

Six young adults live in a large disused hospital as property guardians. They keep the building safe in exchange for cheap rent, but they have to follow a strict set of rules.

Characters:

  • Louise "Lulu" (Phoebe Waller-Bridge), Anthony's childhood friend who moves into the hospital
  • Kate (Louise Ford), a perfectionist who is 'anal', Anthony's fiancée
  • Anthony (Damien Molony), a cook who is engaged to Kate and childhood friend of Lulu
  • Sam (Jonathan Bailey), Anthony's sex-obsessed friend; grows closer to Fred
  • Melody (Julie Dray), a French artist
  • Fred Patini (Amit Shah), an awkward young gay man; becomes close friends with Sam
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  • Colin Carter (Adrian Scarborough), a divorced co-worker of Kate; becomes a 'muse' to Melody
  • Will (Lachie Chapman), Fred's Australian boyfriend
  • Jessica (Susan Wokoma), Kate's bisexual co-worker
  • Aunt Gladys (Kathy Burke), Lulu's eccentric great aunt

The series provides examples of the following tropes:

  • The Ace: Fred’s boyfriend, Will, is great at everything he does. He has the perfect life and always gets what he wants, and he knows it.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The series was based on two short plays – one about Anthony and Lulu, and one about Sam and Fred — that Phoebe Waller-Bridge expanded on for the production company Big Talk.
  • Adorkable: Fred’s very cute and very nervous and often wears nerdy button-up shirts and sweaters.
  • Awesome Aussie: Will, at first.
  • Book-Ends: In one of their first conversations in Episode 1, Sam tells Fred, “Don’t say ‘mate’” because it makes him sound lame, while Fred retorts, “You say ‘babe’” to point out Sam often sounds like an asshole. In their last conversation in Episode 6…
    Fred: Can I have a sip of your coffee, mate?
    Sam: Ugh. Don’t say “mate.”
    Fred: Okay… babe.
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  • British Brevity: 1 series, 6 episodes in total.
  • The Casanova: Sam tries to be, anyway.
  • Childhood Friends: Anthony and Lulu. People who know them both often expect them to be a Childhood Friend Romance, much to Kate’s discomfort.
  • Coming-Out Story: Over the season, Sam slowly comes to realize he has romantic feelings for Fred.
  • Cringe Comedy:
    • A subplot of episode 4 sees Lulu, in need of money, visiting her aunt with Anthony. Said aunt seemingly intentionally gets both of them drunk, is oddly touchy with Lulu, and fixated on figuring out how to get her out of overalls. This does not deter a strapped for cash Lulu in the slightest.
    • Episode 5 also has a hungover Lulu vomiting into a pot of curry Anthony is preparing, trying to cover it up with spices, and then watching Anthony serve the dish to Kate.
  • Everyone Looks Sexier If French: Melody, oui oui.
  • Friend Versus Lover: Kate, Anthony’s fiancee, is jealous of his relationship with childhood friend, Lulu. Sam is also jealous of Will and often acts out to get Fred’s attention instead.
  • I Love You Because I Can't Control You: Melody is enamored with Colin because he doesn’t want to sleep with her.
  • In-Series Nickname: Louise is invariably called "Lulu" by everybody.
  • The Lad-ette: If anyone in the main cast is going to burp, fart, get piss drunk, or hook up with someone random, it’s going to be Lulu.
  • Left Hanging: The final episode ended with Kate telling Anthony and Lulu she’s “not fucking stupid” after Anthony and Lulu spent a night together and then kissed minutes before Kate came into the kitchen.
  • Like Brother and Sister / Platonic Life-Partners: Anthony and Lulu. Until they have sex in the final episode.
  • Like Parent, Like Spouse: In episode 5, Colin notices he and all of Melody’s former muses bear a striking resemblance to her father.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Sam and Lulu hook up, but Sam has a crush on Fred, who’s dating Will, who later kisses Sam, and Lulu is in love with Anthony, who’s engaged to Kate.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Lulu and Anthony, which they discuss at the end of Episode 4.
  • Mistaken for Gay: In Episode 6, after a fight, Anthony sees Kate drunkenly kissing her co-worker, Jessica, and assumes she’s actually a repressed lesbian.
  • Mistaken for Pregnant: In Episode 5, Lulu and Sam tell Anthony that Kate is pregnant to keep him from finding out they hooked up. Anthony immediately goes to the bathroom and sits in a stall in silent panic for several minutes.
  • Mistaken for Suicidal: Early in the season, Colin - fresh off a divorce - sings a spontaneous song about wanting to die most mornings and seems familiar with how the crisis hotline Will works at operates. In the final episode, Melody has him pose by an open window. She leaves him alone to confront Sam, and when they return Colin is unconscious on the ground below. Melody assumes he jumped, but when Colin comes to he admits that he really did just lose his balance and fall out the window.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits!: Anthony tells Sam Lulu is a “red zone” and frequently tries to stop them from hooking up. All the other main characters tell Anthony it’s none of his business, though.
  • Naughty Nurse Outfit: Melody wears one to confront Sam over his sex-obsession. She’s still wearing it when she has to take Colin to the hospital, and Hilarity Ensues when Colin’s ex-wife assumes she’s a real nurse who just chose to dress provocatively.
  • Non-Residential Residence: The characters reside in an abandoned hospital. They have some sort of legal agreement with its owners and have to obey a strict set of rules (like having no visitors or no parties; not that they truly follow those).
  • Quirky Ukulele: Lulu is a young woman who plays the ukulele and she's desperate to be more unconventional than she truly is deep down. She calls her instrument uku-Lulu and plays some strange bits for fun. Lampshaded when she meets Kate: "Is that a ukulele? Wow, quirky!"
  • Real Men Cook: Anthony. He’s even a chef for a living.
  • Roommate Com: Crashing follows the lives of six twenty-somethings who live together as property guardians in a large disused hospital. They keep the building safe in exchange for cheap rent, but they have to follow a strict set of rules. Anthony lives with his fiancee Kate. Anthony's childhood friend Lulu moves in one room. Sam, Melody and Fred also live there. Fred is gay and Melody is an eccentric French artist. Colin, a depressed divorced middle-aged guy who is Kate's colleague becomes Melody's muse.
  • Standard Office Setting: The London company called Something Events where Kate works and Lulu starts to work as a secretary. It has a bullpen setup that makes it easy for characters to communicate and interact.
  • Stepford Snarker: Sam’s a twat, and he doesn’t hesitate to play the “dead dad” card to get his way in the first episode, but Episode 2 shows he’s taking his father’s recent passing pretty hard and acting obnoxious to hide his grief.
  • Work Com: Some episodes and story lines concern Kate's work at her job. The company is called Something Events. Colin and Jessica work there as well, and Lulu gets there a job as a secretary. Kate doesn't like having her both at home and at work.
  • Your Cheating Heart:
    • At the start of the series, Colin’s wife has just left him for another man.
    • In the final episode, Anthony sleeps with Lulu despite being engaged to Kate.

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