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Raw is an Irish Dramedy focused on the young, good-looking, hard-partying staff of a hip Dublin restaurant, named 'Raw'. Uniquely (by the standards of Irish television), most of the characters are foreigners - only four of the eight main characters in series one are Irish (and two of those four are from Northern Ireland and thus technically immigrants). Arguably, this is a case of Truth in Television. But by series three there are only two properly non-Irish in the lead cast.

The main character is JoJo, a 22-year-old heavy-drinking, heavy-drugging, short-tempered cook from Stroke Country who unexpectedly takes in her older brother, Shane. Shane, a solicitor, married man and heretofore success story, has gone on the run from his job and wife and is now employed as a lowly kitchen porter in 'Raw'. JoJo and Shane live with English barman Bobby, a charming chancer who is the unrequited love of JoJo's life, but has eyes only for waitress and student Rebecca. Then there is the tyrannical Australian Sous Chef Geoff, the timid Czech waiter Pavel and, above them all, dissolute Chef Mal and his ambitious English wife, Tanya.


This all changes fast in series two though.

Not to be confused with WWE Monday Night Rawnote  and certainly not with the Franco-Belgian horror film Raw.

Provides Examples Of:

  • The Alcoholic: JoJo seems like she's heading in this direction in series 4. Though, she stops towards the end of it.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Maeve, JoJo and Shane's mother made a couple of appearances in the second season and becomes a full regular cast member in the third with a story arc of her own.
    • Kate, Fiona's sister made a couple of appearances in Season 2 but became a regular from then on.
  • Back for the Dead: Pavel in series 4.
  • Batter Up!: Subverted in the series 5 finale. Shane, Max and Zoe confront the conman that had cheated Shane out of four grand and he threatens Shane and Zoe with a hurley. Max walks up behind him with a bat and calmly says, "Here mate, you can have this [baseball bat]. I don't need it".
  • Betty and Veronica:
    • Rebecca is the Betty and JoJo is the Veronica to Bobby in season 1. Subverted because Bobby doesn't actually know that JoJo actually fancies him. He becomes the Veronica in season 2 while Dylan becomes the Betty with JoJo as "Archie".
    • Series 3 also has Pavel as an Archie, with Geoff as the Veronica and Jack as the Betty.
    • Series 5 has Zoe as the Betty and Kate as the Veronica with Shane as the Archie. Also gender flipped with Calum as the Betty, Max as the Veronica and Fiona as the Archie.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Rebecca, the posh and articulate Daddy's Girl. She abruptly snaps in the first episode after Jojo insults her and she does not take news that Bobby has apparently cheated on her well. Additionally it's her idea to stage a break-in at the restaurant to get Bobby's rent money.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Subverted with Emma, Fiona's teenage sister. Her introduction is her father telling us that she wants to leave school early - and he wants Fiona to give her a job in the restaurant to show her how hard the working world is (hoping she'll go back to school). Except she ends up loving the work and shows some nice maturity for her age. The bratty daughter in the family seems to be Kate - and even she's still pretty competent.
  • Britain Is Only London:
    • The show, though set entirely in Dublin (and thus not even in Britain), is rather strangely fixated on London. Tanya is from there originally, and that is where she knows Mal and Geoff from. Additionally Shane and his wife Anna lived there for a while too.
    • Fiona in Season 2 opens Raw when she's just returned from London too. Her husband was English, so presumably that's why she lived there.
    • And now Bobby who is from Hull is moving back to England. Guess which city he's moving to.
    • And now Selena is confirmed to have come from London as well.
  • Brother Chuck: Tiny and Richard vanish after getting fired in Season 3.
  • Butt-Monkey: Richard who is apparently competent enough to get a job in Raw but incompetent enough that he almost never gets anything right. Lampshaded in one episode.
    Jojo: Richard, you are the one constant in this kitchen...
  • The Casanova: Bobby. In series one his answering machine message was "Hey this is Bobby, I'm probably having sex".
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Philip is obviously into Emma and she knows it too. He just is unable to tell her, even though she is throwing him some fairly strong hints.
  • Character Development: Pavel in season 1 was shy and insecure. Now in season 3 he has become a lot more confident and is much happier.
  • Characterization Marches On: Kate's Genki Girl tendencies don't really surface until the third season when she becomes a regular.
  • The Charmer: Bobby is good for charming the ladies.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Pavel getting hit over the head by Philip's father in the season 4 finale. It comes back for a final Tear Jerker in the closing minutes.
  • Chick Magnet: Shane astonishingly enough. He's married in season 1 (but divorces in between seasons) and attracts attention from Tanya. Next he bags Kate and it turns into a Love Triangle between her and Zoe.
  • Citizenship Marriage: Geoff married Selena for a work visa in England. Considering the EU treaty on citizenship, it explains why he's in Ireland.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Kate a little when Shane goes after Zoe. They've already split up by this point though.
  • Commuting on a Bus: Geoff spends the first few episodes in Season 5 away and only making appearances via Skype chats, but comes Back for the Finale
  • Compressed Vice: Geoff in series three. JoJo's alcoholism in series 4.
  • Control Freak: Anthony, JoJo's American husband.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Geoff is a male example. Comparing his season 1 behaviour with how he is by the finale, the difference is astonishing.
  • Deus ex Machina: The end of series 5. Everything tidies itself up nicely, especially with the Shane/winemerchant conman thing.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: The end of series 4. Crickey, was that depressing.
  • Dublin: The restaurant is set there and the city setting provides a good aversion of the Oireland trope.
  • Everyone Meets Everyone: A boatload of new characters suddenly arrive in the first episode of series 4. Kate and Fiona's father and sister suddenly rearrive in their lives bringing in-progress-offscreen plotlines with them. A produce-supplier turns up who coincidentally happens to have a history with Fiona. New recruit Philip has a dramatic past he's trying to escape from. And in episode two Geoff's old friend Selena arrived on his doorstep out of nowhere.
  • Fallen-on-Hard-Times Job: The returning cast members in Season 2 are working in a greasy spoon cafe (Geoff), a clothing store (JoJo) and a bar (Pavel) - before Fiona reopens Raw.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling:
    • JoJo and Shane at the start of the series. Soon becomes subverted when it's shown that JoJo is quite the competent chef.
    • Fiona is the responsible sibling to her flakey younger sister Kate. Their other sister Emma is in between.
  • The Ghost: Eddie, Bobby and Jojo's friend who worked in the kitchen. He gets busted with the police in the first episode and is never seen.
  • Happy Ending Override: Season 4 ends with Fiona and Ed finally hooking up after years of The One That Got Away. First twenty minutes of season 5, she dumps him and gains sexual tension with Max. Likewise Season 1 ends with Bobby and Rebecca hooking up after a misunderstanding kept them apart. They've broken up already by Season 2's premiere.
  • Heroic BSoD: JoJo in series 4. Geoff in series 5.
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl: JoJo. Her first appearance on the show is being carried out of a house while sipping a glass of wine. Mostly dropped after series one when Jojo realises how important being a chef is to her. Brought back in series 4 after her relationship with Dylan hits the skids.
  • Hard Gay: Geoff who is gay but is pretty aggressive, and not remotely camp.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Geoff is a dick in his first two seasons, but softens through his relationship with Pavel.
  • The Lad-ette: JoJo with her tomboyish name and hard drinking habits, and is thought of as One of the Boys by Bobby.
  • Lighter and Softer: Season 2 dropped a lot of the extra nudity, cursing happened less frequently, drug references disappeared and violence became tamer.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Bobby and Jojo, at least from the former's perspective initially.
  • Love Dodecahedron: The show makes Grey's Anatomy look chaste. In the space of six episodes Jojo has lusted after Bobby, who was lusting after Rebecca, who was going out with Mark, Jojo tries to get over Bobby by getting Pavel drunk enough to bed him, but instead Pavel goes off with Geoff. While this is happening Shane has left his wife, and sort of entered a timid romance with Tanya (Mal's wife) but they opt not to pursue it, partly because his wife's come back. At one point there are two same-sex dates going on in parallel. One marraige is rekindled and then dissolves the next day. Another dissolves and is then rekindled the next day. An while all this is happening there's the comic relief of Tiny and Richard, two almost-mute hetero-life-partners. in six episodes. The hormones level off in the second season though.
  • Male Frontal Nudity: Pavel at the end of the fourth episode of Season 1.
  • Mean Brit: Max in season 5. Tanya in Season 1 is a borderline example, but she's soon shown in a more sympathetic light.
  • Mistaken Nationality: Pavel is often mistaken for Polish. Truth in Television, as due to the high numbers of Polish that moved to Ireland after 2004, citizens of other Eastern European countries are often mistaken for Polish.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: A lot of Season 2 previews heavily featured the line from Geoff to Fiona "I have found the sexual tension between us intoxicating" - hyping up that the two might become a couple (and that Geoff might be Bi the Way). In the show it's just one moment of sarcasm and nothing else.
  • Nonindicative Name: Tiny's an incredibly tall guy.
  • Northern Ireland: JoJo and Shane come from there.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Subverted with Pavel in the fourth series finale. Philip's dad shoves him over, hitting his head off a table. He refuses medical attention, thinking it to be a simple bump on the head. It's only minutes later, when he's alone that he keels over, leaving the series on a Cliffhanger. Series 5 reveals that he died..
  • Put on a Bus: Mal, Tanya and Rebecca as of series 2. Richard and Tiny halfway through series 3. Ray at the end of series 3. Geoff and JoJo at the end of series 5.
  • Retool: Series 1 was on the youth-oriented RTE Two, after the show proved a hit it was bumped up to the family-oriented RTE One. This meant a shift from near-constant swearing to nearly no swearing whatsoever. It also meant sex scenes became much more PG, the bed-hopping was reduced dramatically, and any scenes of partying became short, tame and rare.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Deconstructed with Shane and Kate's relationship. It's fun at first but it ultimately fails because Shane wants a family while Kate wants to continue her wild lifestyle. The former seems to be the case with Shane's parents - and it goes through similar problems but they're ultimately together again by the end of the series.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: JoJo's love triangle with Dylan and Bobby culminates with the latter giving her an ultimatum. She finally admits that "we're just children together" and gives up on the crush she's had for two years. Dylan however later finds out and assumes he was the Romantic Runner-Up - so she doesn't end up with either.
  • She's Got Legs: Fiona. Even more impressive, seeing how, as of season 4, she's forty. Kate too. Given that she's Fiona's sister, this is no surprise.
  • Ship Tease:
    • Pavel and JoJo in season 1, Shane and Tanya also.
    • Series 4 has Emma clearly fancying the oblivious Philip and Philip clearly fancying the oblivious JoJo.
    • And series five still has Emma and Philip with Unresolved Sexual Tension, given that she spends most of the season with Philip's cousin, Brian. Even after they break up, Philip still hasn't made his move.
  • Slobs vs. Snobs: JoJo (slob) versus Rebecca (snob).
  • Straight Gay: Geoff, the second series suggested he might be Bi the Way, but Geoff has now confirmed he is only into men. Though he did have a green card marriage with Selena.
  • Theme Naming: Jojo's romantic interests are named Bobby and Dylan.
  • Triang Relations: Jojo, Bobby and Rebecca in series one, Jojo, Bobby and Dylan after that. A few others are teased but those are the main ones.
  • The Silent Bob: Tiny, who only speaks in the finale.
  • Unrequited Love Switcheroo: Jojo fancied Bobby in season 1. After splitting him and Rebecca up, she realises it amounts to nothing and goes after Dylan. In the meantime Bobby develops feelings for her.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Jojo and Bobby, Pavel and Geoff. Philip and Emma, though this is as of the end of series five unresolved.
  • Women Are Wiser: Tanya and Rebecca filled this role in season 1. Fiona sort of afterwards, though she came with a lot of baggage herself.
  • Younger and Hipper: Season 4 introduces both Philip and Emma, who are both younger than the rest of the cast. Season 5 extends this to their friends.


Example of: