British sitcom based on a radio show. It takes place in a flat on the 15th floor of a towerblock in South London. The flat is owned by misanthropic, cynical recluse and borderline sociopath Vince Clark (Sean Lock), who is looking for a lodger. Somehow he ends up taking in wide-eyed, cheery social butterfly Errol Spears (Benedict Wong), and misery ensues.
The series lasted from November 2002 to March 2004 for a total of 12 episodes in two seasons.
This show provides examples of:
- Aborted Arc: In the first episode, Vince is suggested to be literally mentally ill, stealing other peoples stories as his own and seemingly believing them himself, appropriating a story from Errol, then later telling it back as if it happened to himself, but it is never really touched upon again.
- Aroused by Their Voice: The call centre lady who makes one angry customer forget all about the late delivery of his fridge, before walking away from the phone rather stiffly.
- Bad Liar: Vince.
- Berserk Button: Vince really doesn't like being touched.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: He may not be brilliant, but Vince obviously has a brain: he can describe the formation of natural gas, makes allusions to history and literature and is accused of being a middle-class ponce because he reads books for fun. He works as a lifeguard at a public pool.
- Bumbling Sidekick: Errol.
- Comedic Sociopathy: This trope is pretty much Vince's entire personality.
- Cringe Comedy
- "Fawlty Towers" Plot: Vince's habit of lying over the smallest things, and his refusal to admit it, gets him (and Errol) into plenty of difficult situations.
- Foul Waterfowl: Vince gets into trouble in the sixth episode when a photograph is found of him holding a dead swan and laughing his head off. He claims that it's because another swan was about to attack the person taking the photograph. Apparently, it broke their arm.
- Freudian Excuse: Averted. In one episode, it's suggested that Vince's antisocial tendencies are his way of covering insecurities caused by the fact he only has one testicle; it turns out that he lied about having one testicle to appear more interesting though.
- G-Rated Drug: "Blue Rat", the energy drink containing all the energy of a rat trapped in a can.
- Ice Queen: The neighbor Vince is taken with in the episode aptly titled "Ice Queen".
- Naked People Are Funny: In Series 2, Vince's naturist father makes a visit.
- Odd Couple: Vince is misanthropic and cynical, Errol is sociable, trusting and naive.
- Overly-Long Gag: Several scenes in one episode featuring three old women racing each other (really slowly) to answer the phone.
- Sliding Scale of Realistic vs. Fantastic: In this Sitcom, the situation is gritty and realistic, while the comedy is much more surreal.
- Sound-to-Screen Adaptation
- Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Vince
- Yes-Man: Errol admits that he "doesn't like saying 'no'", and this causes him problems when he gets a job selling car parts to angry customers. Being a total misanthropist, Vince naturally argues with him over this issue, telling him that the only time saying 'yes' is appropriate is as an answer to "did you pack these bags yourself?" in an airport.