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Series / Manchild

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"Timing is everything."

Manchild was a British sitcom that ran 15 episodes from 2002 to 2003.

The series focuses on four men of a 'certain age' who have been friends for many years. Terry, Gary, James and Patrick are financially successful, but they have a difficult time realizing that this success doesn't necessarily translate into success in relationships.

Tropes in Manchild

  • Amicable Exes: Terry and his ex-wife still get on reasonably well.
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  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Terry does this regularly to share pearls of wisdom with the audience.
  • Bridezilla: According to Terry: "My daughter wants her wedding to make Madonna's wedding look like a car-boot sale."
  • Camp Straight: Patrick
  • Catapult Nightmare: James, when he dreams that his girlfriend snaps off his member.
  • Cigar Chomper: An entire episode revolves around how much the men enjoy smoking cigars.
  • Converse with the Unconscious: Patrick and his comatose mother.
  • Cool Train: James has a train that he's renovated into a sort-of love shack on wheels.
  • The Dandy: All four main characters to some extent.
  • Doing It for the Art: In-Universe. Patrick refuses to tell James what piece of art-work he should buy, insisting instead that he chose the piece that moves him personally.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: James spots a woman smoking a cigar in a rather suggestive manner.
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  • Gold Digger: Several of the women in the foursome's lives.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Terry gets jealous of his ex-wife's new man in an episode aptly titled "Jealousy".
  • Happily Married: Despite a few bumps, Gary and Cheryl.
  • The Hedonist: All four men.
  • I Have Boobs, You Must Obey!: Various women pull this one on the men all the time, particularly the one trying to bribe Terry into paying for a boob job.
  • In Touch with His Feminine Side: Despite all their griping about women, the men are constantly seen getting facials and manicures. Terry even tells the audience that the most important advice he gleaned from his wife was: "cleanse, tone, moisturize."
  • It's All About Me: Terry. The finale captures this perfectly: after buying the family house from his wife because he insists that the family has to have a "base" and an "anchor", he gets a better deal from the estate agent and decides to sell it. And this is after his son finally begins to warm to him and his daughter starts making plans for the house.
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  • The Lad-ette: This trope is referred to by name, and held in contempt by Terry.
  • Left Hanging: The final episode ended with Gary learning why his son Wayne was being so distant — he (presumably, given Gary's reaction: "she's only fifteen!") got his girlfriend pregnant. The cancellation of the show meant that it was all left up in the air.
  • The Loins Sleep Tonight: James's entire arc revolves around his erectile dysfunction.
  • Manchild: Well duh.
  • Manly Men Can Hunt: Terry firmly believes this, even though he's useless at it.
    "From time to time, it is every man's duty to hunt, to kill."
  • May–December Romance: Subverted in that the single characters even have a rule to not sleep with women over 30.
  • Naked Apron: James in one episode.
  • Nouveau Riche: Again, the four main characters, just based on their Conspicuous Consumption.
  • The One That Got Away: Scarlet to James. As he points out, he's well aware that he only wants her because she got away.
  • Poisonous Friend: Dirty Dixon, who is interested in nothing but belittling the other four men and trying to turn them against each other.
  • Real Men Hate Affection: Subverted. Occasionally the men can be openly affectionate to each other, up to and including kisses on the mouth.
  • Shirtless Scene: Nigel Havers. Quite a bit, actually.
  • The Smart One: Patrick. Gary explicitly tells him: "you're the brainy one."
  • Unreliable Narrator: Terry's voice-overs are often belied by whatever's unfolding on-screen.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Terry is utterly self-absorbed.
  • Woman Scorned: James cheats on his interior designer and she promptly has his flat destroyed.
  • Women Are Wiser: Very much the case with Gary's wife Cheryl. On getting her advice as to how to deal with Patrick's grief, he asks how she knows so much.
    "Because I piss sitting down. I'm a woman."

Alternative Title(s): Manchild Series


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