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Series / How Do You Want Me?

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How Do You Want Me? is a sitcom broadcast on BBC2 in 1996 that was a springboard for comedian Dylan Moran. It features Moran as Ian Lyons, a world-weary former comedy club owner whose marriage to Lisa Yardley (Charlotte Coleman) has forced him to move to the country, whose inhabitants treat him at best with bemusement, and at worst with open hostility, especially his old-fashioned turkey farmer father-in-law, Astley (Frank Finlay).
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The show ran for two series, and ended on an ambiguous note.


Provides examples of:

  • Chick Magnet: Awkward and messy looking as Ian is, he is not only married to Lisa, but both Smitten Teenage Girl Suzanna and Mark Piggott's girlfriend Sophie express a romantic/sexual interest in him.
  • Dean Bitterman: Headmaster Norriswood, whose actor would go on to play a similar character in The History Boys. Sometimes he seems a mystery why he is a Headmaster at a school at all, seeming uncomfortable on one occasion with even using the word "children."
  • The Dreaded: Norriswood to the children. His shadow falls over them and sinister music plays.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Ian really does try his best, but the country life defeats him. Derek could be considered this, but he is a bit of a Jerkass at times, making no attempt to disguise his dislike of Ian.
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  • Double Entendre: Smitten Suzanna offers to polish Ian's helmet. He looks behind him to spot a Roman helmet adorning his hatstand.
  • Eccentric Townsfolk: To some extent, though it's mostly to highlight how out of touch Ian is.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Dean is an uncouth lout, but he'll beat the living daylights out of anyone who crosses his father, who is also the only person who can silence him with just a single stare.
  • Flat "Yes": The Headmasters' response to Lisa's query as to whether he and his wife agree on everything.
  • Hope Spot: Norriswood giving Ian status by appointing him a school governor. Also Astley's rare attempts at bonding with Ian, such as over cards, or by clay pigeon shooting.
  • Hufflepuff House: Warren Yardley, who appears much less than the other siblings. His wife isn't even named.
    • Also applies to Honor Deacon, the third teacher at Lisa's school.
  • Jerkass: Astley Yardley. To Lisa, he is a Papa Wolf and clearly his favourite child, but he tries to bribe Ian to leave the village and one occasion ambiguously seems to try and kill him. To be fair, about half of the townsfolk qualify, the rest are merely eccentric.
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  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Dean and his firemen/builders aren't actually seen doing a lot of work. Becomes a problem when he is employed to fix Derek's wall.

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