A mid-90's Britcom about a trio of flatmates in their mid-twenties.
It should be noted that the show might be regarded as something of a bridge between the earlier and more famous Men Behaving Badly and the later Coupling in integrating an equally (if somewhat differently expressed) dysfunctional female point of view into the show. Mandy was not a wise outsider remaining above the action, but a protagonist in her own right, fully as flawed as the men.
No relation to a 2013 European Disney sitcom. Or the 2015 Canadian teen sitcom.
This program features examples of:
- Aren't You Going to Ravish Me?: Mandy has to explain to Stoat that having a gun means he can do anything he wants to her.
- Bait-and-Switch: Martin falls in love with a nurse who happens to be a virgin. Cut to him in bed, commenting about when it's all over, you feel all happy and satisfied, suggesting that he just had sex with the nurse. Turns out that he was actually watching TV with Matt.
- Band Episode: "Fame" has Matt become the vocalist of a student band called "Proactive", which has moved in in the flat above his. This proves to be an issue for several issues: one, he's agoraphobic and two, he clashes with the rest of the band. He eventually goes to their first gig, only to freak out and collapse on the floor. Although it is successful, he decides not to go ahead with the role.
- Calling Your Bathroom Breaks: Played for Laughs. Mandy jokingly asks if the flatmates should keep each other informed of their bowel movements. Matt then walks by, saying "Just going for a dump, I'll be right back."
- Commitment Issues: After only several dates, Mandy begins to feel choked by her boyfriend, Graham.
- Downer Ending: The series ends this way. It focuses on Mandy and Archie's wedding. However, Archie is killed before he has a chance to go through with it. The series ends with a distraught Mandy realizing that she will probably never move out of the flat and that she's stuck with the other two for life.Martin and Matthew: "You'll always have us, Mand!"
- Driven to Suicide: Mandy's response to learning that her would-be fiancee is dead is to attempt to kill herself by crashing the car.. With Martin. Martin is able to convince her not to go through with it by reminding her about the people she could harm.
- Embarrassing Damp Sheets: One of the earlier Running Gags is that Mandy, until she was thirteen, would regularly wet the bed.
- "Friends" Rent Control: Only Martin has a steady source of income. Matthew is unemployed (indeed incapable of leaving the flat to get a job) and Mandy is stuck in a series of poorly paying temp positions. Justified in that Matthew's parents left him some money and the house in their will.
- The Ghost:
- Wally Bazoum, a Turkish man who is Martin's only other friend.
- Dennis and Ursula, an elderly couple who Martin borrows their car off to take Mandy to her wedding day.
- Giant Medical Syringe: Martin tries to win Claire back by claiming that he had taken an overdose. A doctor proceeds to pull a big needle to help heal him. It's big enough that Matthew confesses to faking the overdose.
- Help, I'm Stuck!: One episode had Matthew get his dick stuck up a vacuum cleaner, which is problematic because he is seeking to see and join the marines not long afterward.
- Identical Stranger: Martin encounters one who looks almost like his former girlfriend Claire in the series finale. He immediately buys her a nurse's outfit and wig, and gets her to speak in an Irish accent.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Series 2 employed an X and Y titling scheme e.g "Roundheads and Cavaliers", "Heavy Bondage and Custard Creams", etc
- "Kick Me" Prank: Martin gets abused by several school-aged children, who put a I havent got a Willie note on his back.
- Parental Abandonment: Matthew's parents died in a car accident. On the one hand, it has left him with a significant inheritance. On the other hand, it has given him a crippling fear for the outdoors.
- Paying in Coins: At the end of "Palms, Pigs, and Bad Debts", Mandy pays Martin her rent arrears in 50p coins (all gotten from the gains she made from the Claire Box). There is at least a thousand paid in 50p coins and it's enough to be stored in several bags.
- Really Gets Around: Mandy, who frequently makes love to an endless stream of men. In fact, there are hints throughout the series that she is addicted to sex.
- Running Gag: The fact that Mandy once wet the bed until she was thirteen is referred to regularly early on in the series.
- Russian Roulette: After Stoat leaves his gun behind, the boys idly suggest playing Russian Roulette. When they find they cannot open the gun, they test if it is real by shooting the television: it turns out to be real. Bang!
- Shoot the Television: At the end of one episode, the boys decide to test if a gun is actually real by aiming it at the TV and firing. It turns out to be real.
- The Shut-In: Matthew is so agoraphobic, even passing out the front door is enough to induce a panic attack.
- Small Name, Big Ego:
- Mandy, whose ambition considerably outsrips her talent.
- Hours after becoming the lead singer of a local band, Matthew assumes that he has creative control.
- The Stinger: "Roundheads and Cavaliers" ended on one of these which is a reference to Matt having just been Other Darrined that episode. It features the cast preparing to watch Roseanne. Martin then asks "I wonder who's playing the daughter this week?!" to which Mandy responds with: "Don't you just hate that, when they keep the same character and change the actor?" Both Mandy and Martin then look subtly yet strangely accusingly at Matt, sitting between them on the sofa, who proceeds to look worried.
- Swear Jar: After Martin had split up with Clare, they had a "Clare Box": in which Martin would have to put 50p every time he mentioned Clare, to be split among the others. Mandy uses the proceeds all in 50p pieces to pay her rent.Mandy: I've counted the money in the Clare Box: me and Matt have made over a grand each.Martin: Really? So that means (quickly uses calculator) that since we split up, I've mentioned her fifteen times a day.Mandy: Really? It felt like a lot more.
- Teacher/Student Romance: Mandy once made out with her science teacher at school, which caused his marriage to break down and for him to get the sack.
- Teen Pregnancy: As revealed in "Crabs", Mandy had a daughter, named Sarah, during her teenage years with her former boyfriend, Stoat. By the time of the series, she had given the child up for adoption and said child never appears.
- Title Drop: "Game On" is frequently used as a phrase by the trio, usually for a variety of reasons.
- Two Guys and a Girl: We have the boys Matthew and Martin, and the girl Mandy.
- Virginity Makes You Stupid: Martin. He starts out the series as a virgin and is probably the dumbest one of the trio. In the first episode alone, he forgets where a woman he's about to lose his virginity to's flat is and accidentally drops a cigarette down his front. It's eventually Subverted when he does lose his virginity.
- Wedding Finale: Subverted. In the final episode, Mandy is due to marry Archie. However, before they can do so, Archie is killed whilst trying to pull over to fulfil the final challenge set by his old marine unit.
- Women Are Wiser: Subverted. Mandy probably is somewhat more intelligent than the blokes but has a whole host of personality flaws and problems.