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Series / Is It Legal?

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From Left to Right and Clockwise: Dick, Colin, Stella, Bob, Alison,and Darren

Is It Legal? is a Brit Com written by Simon Nye (of Men Behaving Badly fame) which aired from 1995-1998. It initially aired on ITV before moving to Channel 4 for it's final season. The show revolves around the group of imcompetent individuals who run Lotus, Spackman & Phelps (of Hounslow High Street). The plot begins when the idealistic Colin becomes a junior partner there. Working with him is the incompetent Darren, the bossy Bob, the arrogant Dick Spackman, and the snarky Alison.


  • Accidental Murder: Colin accidentally kills one of the firm’s clients in “Death in Hounslow” when he pushed a pen-stand with two sharp-ended pens over to him. One of them proceeds to lodge in his forehead and he dies as a result.
  • Alliterative Name: One of the employees who works at the firm is called Bob Birch.
  • Ambiguous Syntax: The first episode has Stella inform the Naïve Newcomer Colin of Dick's current whereabouts by informing him that "Dick's out". This makes Colin believe that she wants his dick in a weird initiation ceremony until Stella tells him otherwise.
  • British Brevity: 21 episodes over 3 series.
  • Caught on Tape: In “Infatuation”, a new employee, Peter, comes to work at the firm, charming everyone but Bob, who tries to find incriminating evidence against him. At the end of the episode, he is able to locate audio evidence of him belittling and having a low opinion of his new co-workers (except ironically enough, Bob). He is promptly pushed out the door.
  • Cheek Copy: In the episode “Whodunnit”, Stella discovers several photocopies of someone’s butt in her office and tries to find out who did the deed. It’s eventually revealed to be the photocopying engineer (he has black-outs apparently). A couple of other characters get in on the act too, with Alison photocopying her breasts at the end of the episode and Bob photo-copying his butt as well later on (only for his crush, Sarah, to show up and see the act).
  • Dark Reprise: A Lonely Piano Piece version of the theme tune plays whilst Bob is (temporarily) giving up on winning Sarah’s affections in “Dick’s House Of Horror”.
  • A Dick in Name: Dick Spackman, who's fairly arrogant and has a tendency to disregard other people.
  • The Dissenter Is Always Right: In "Infatuation", a new employee named Peter comes to work at the firm. Every one is infatuated with him except Bob, who Dislikes the New Guy and tries to find discriminating evidence against him. In the end, an audiotape is found which had Peter basically criticize the rest of the staff at the firm (except ironically enough, Bob, who he genuinely liked).
  • The Food Poisoning Incident: In “Infatuation”, Darren tries to sue Mr.Bappy after allegedly receiving food poisoning from one of their products. It is eventually revealed that he was actually poisoned by eating out of date (by a year) chicken nuggets.
  • Hangover Sensitivity: The employees after the Office Party in the titular episode. Alison and Stella in particular both come in wearing sunglasses and wincing at the sunlight.
  • Naked People Are Funny: The second act of "Office Party" focuses on the firm figuring out what happened at their Office Party. It turned out that they all got naked and wandered through the local shopping centre whilst drunk.
  • Naïve Newcomer: Colin is the newest member of the firm and is idealistic, if naive.
  • Nepotism: Colin’s only at the firm because his father retired and transferred his partnership to him.
  • Only Sane Woman: Stella is one of the more competent employees in the firm but is held back by the stupidity of her fellow employees.
  • Plot Allergy: Of the "Relationship Hitch" variety: One of the (several) snags preventing Bob from getting together with Sarah is that he's allergic to bread, despite the fact that she works at a sandwich shop.
  • Put on a Bus: Dick takes up early retirement between the events of "Indecision" and "A Question of Pants", thereby writing him out of the show.
  • Replaced the Theme Tune: Gained a new theme tune with its Channel Hop to Channel 4 for the final series.
  • Sassy Secretary: Alison is not that interested in her work and likes to annoy her colleagues.
  • Trashcan Bonfire: In the episode “Dick’s House of Horror”, Alison throws a lit match into a bonfire so that he can look at thing which Bob is embarrassed about whilst he’s trying to put out the flames.
  • Way Past the Expiration Date: Darren at one point gets food poisoning from eating chicken nuggets that were a year past their expiration date.
  • Welcome Episode: The first episode ("Death in Hounslow") is about Colin becoming a junior partner and meeting his new fellow employees.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Colin is this. He wanted to become a solicitor so that he could “heal the world”, which puts him into some conflict with his more cynical employees.
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: The second half of "Office Party" has the employees try to figure out what happened at the Office Party they threw last night. Turned out that they spent a significant amount of time naked in the shopping centre.