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Series / Hello Ladies

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Hello Ladies is a Sitcom starring Stephen Merchant, previously best known for his collaborations with Ricky Gervais, such as The Office and Extras. Here, Merchant plays Stuart Pritchard, a British freelance web designer who lives in Los Angeles. Christine Woods plays Jessica, an actress who lives in Stuart's guest house who apparently is the only pretty girl in Los Angeles that Stuart hasn't hit on. Merchant's clumsy attempts to pick up girls in the L.A. club scene are the main source of humor. Hello Ladies premiered on HBO in September 2013. It was cancelled after one season, but HBO made The Movie a year later to tie up storylines.


Tropes in this work:

  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: In the movie, Stuart's old girlfriend from England calls him up. Stuart tells Jessica the story of how the two of them were dating, and then this obnoxious prick came to work in the office, and a couple of months later Stuart's girlfriend left him for the obnoxious prick.
  • Bath Suicide: Seen in Jessica's terrible web series ("The Wedding").
  • Be Yourself: Jessica's advice to Stuart in "The Wedding", after diagnosing his failure to score with women.
  • Book Ends: The movie starts with Jessica's 30th birthday party and ends with her 31st.
  • British Brevity: Eight episodes in the first and only season, followed by a TV movie.
  • The Cameo: Stuart bothers Nicole Kidman at a party in the movie.
  • Casanova Wannabe: And Stuart is terrible at it.
  • Catchphrase: "Hello, ladies!" and "What are the rules? I don't know what the rules are."
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  • Character Development: Stuart's finally maturing past his superficial obsession with hot women and his desire to be popular, as shown by his rejection of Glenn and Glenn's douchebag movie mogul friend Alan, leads to Jessica getting together with him.
  • Conscience Makes You Go Back: In Season 1 finale "The Drive", Stuart has finally made his rendezvous with sexy model Kimberly at a party. He finds out that Jessica has received crushing news—she has lost her job on a network crime drama. Kimberly leads Stuart out to the beach, takes off all of her clothes, and goes swimming in the ocean. Stuart has his dream: a hot model who is pretty clearly going to have sex with him. Instead, he goes home to comfort Jessica.
  • Country Matters: While getting pestered by an unruly child at a wedding, Stuart lets slip that "he's like a cunt".
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  • Cringe Comedy: Stuart is constantly embarrassing himself when hitting on women.
  • Did Not Think This Through: Stuart hires a limousine just to impress women, but everywhere he wants to go is located in hard-to-reach areas that a even regular car would have trouble getting to.
  • Dirty Old Man: This is Alan's defining character trait.
    "My granddaughter's friends are super-hot".
  • Epic Tracking Shot: The movie starts with a three-minute shot without a cut, showing Jessica's 30th birthday party in a club.
  • Failure Is the Only Option:
    • Stuart's lack of self-esteem combined with his bad habit of objectifying women make him pretty much hopeless at picking up girls. Even when he finds an attractive woman who is interested in him ("The Date") his insecurities lead him to screw it up.
    • Jessica's dreams of being a respected actress never get further than some direct to DVD films and commercials for mundane supermarket goods.
  • Hollywood Law: Hollywood immigration law. When he is nearly caught snorting cocaine in a club's restroom in "Long Beach", a terrified Stuart says that's he's working in the United States on an H-1B visa and he's screwed if he's busted. The H-1B visa is a special work visa given by employers—in other words, the kind of visa Stephen Merchant might use to come to America to make Hello Ladies. It is not for self-employed small business owners like Stuart.
  • Horrible Hollywood: When the show isn't getting Cringe Comedy from Stuart's pathetic attempts to be a pickup artist, it's getting cringe comedy out of Jessica debasing herself for acting jobs. In the movie, after a humiliating audition for a yogurt commercial in which she doesn't even get the part, Jessica quits acting.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Merchant is 6'7". Putting him in a shot with Christine Woods makes him look even taller.
  • Inspirationally Disadvantaged: Subverted with Kives, Stuart's semi-friend who is paraplegic but also is much, much more self-confident and much more successful at picking up women. Stuart hates him for it.
  • Morality Pet: The typically self-centered Stuart is willing to drop everything to cheer up Wade. Jessica gradually shifts into this role as well.
  • The Movie: Hello Ladies: The Movie aired in November 2014. It tied up dangling storylines.
  • N-Word Privileges: Stuart tries schmoozing up to some gay men who work with supermodels. It all comes crashing down when he tries telling a gay joke that uses the word "faggot".
  • Self-Deprecation: The show often mock's Stuart's unusual height.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Jessica's is a super-bitchy and apparently more successful actress, Amelia (Jenny Slate).
  • Sitcomic: Merchant released a stand-up special called Hello Ladies in 2011 before this series was developed.
  • Title Drop: "Hello ladies!" is Stuart's would-be pickup line. (Also the first line of dialogue in the pilot.)
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Stuart. His continuing disappointments and humiliations are a direct result of his own flaws—insecurity, narcissism, a superficial view of women.
  • Wedding Episode: In "The Wedding" Stuart tries to pick up girls (naturally) at a wedding he's been invited to.
  • Your Mom: In season 1 finale "The Drive", Stuart, Kives, Jessica, and Wade are driving around Los Angeles as Stuart tries to find Kimberly, the model that's invited him to a party. The others grow impatient.
    Kives: You're wasting my night, all right? This sucks.
    Stuart: Oh really, am I? What would you be doing instead?
    Kives: Your mom.