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Series / Sweet and Sour

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Sweet and Sour was a 1984 dramedy series on the Australian ABC. It charted the formation, rise and eventual demise of a Sydney-based band, the Takeaways.

To a certain generation of Australians, it's a Cult Classic - but since it was only screened once, it's little known outside that demographic. All 20 episodes are available on YouTube: start here.


This series provides examples of:

  • A Good Name for a Rock Band: subverted, as almost every name anyone suggests is derided by the others as horrible. The name they wind up with is not better.
  • All Drummers Are Animals: Johnny plays the trope straight.
  • Aussie Brevity: 20 half hour episodes, telling the complete story.
  • Bland-Name Product: "Fizzo" soft drink.
  • The Cameo: If you were a big name in the Australian music industry in 1984, the chances are you had a small role in this.
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  • Cult Classic: If you're Australian and were aged between 12 and 27 in 1984, you still know all the words to the theme song. And probably the rest of the songs too.
  • Dad the Veteran: Christine's father, Shrug Yates, is an experienced musician now reduced to playing for crappy cover bands to make ends meet.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Christine appears in the first two episodes, but doesn't meet the other characters (or have any dialogue) until episode three.
  • The '80s: the fashions, the music... and the ridiculously high rent of $300 for a inner-Sydney warehouse.
  • Everything Is an Instrument: Johnny the drummer believes that anything is a reasonable percussive surface.
  • Five Temperament Ensemble: Among the main five, Carol is Leukine, Darrell is Sanguine, Martin is Choleric, George is Pheglmatic, and Christine is Melancholic.
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  • High-School Hustler: Darrell is in university rather than high school, but is otherwise a perfect example.
  • Imagine Spot: used often - the show's first one happens before the mid point of the first episode.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: Even as they're being announced at their first gig, they still don't have a name until Darrell spots a couple eating fast food, and the Takeaways are born.
  • Meddling Parents: Martin believes his mother is one.
  • Stock Footage: Used in the clip to "Popstars and Politicians", featuring footage of Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • Sunglasses at Night: Johnny is rarely seen without his sunglasses. Not even when driving down the busiest highway in the country in the middle of the night.
  • True Art Is Incomprehensible: At least according to Martin's girlfriend, Charlie.
  • Wall of Blather: Darrell's general technique for getting what he wants.

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