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Series / The Happy Apple

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The Happy Apple is a 1983 Brit Com created by Keith Waterhouse for ITV, based on a 1970 play by Jack Pulman of the same title. It stars Leslie Ash, Jeremy Child, Nicky Henson, and John Nettleton.

Nancy Gray (Leslie Ash) works as a secretary for advertising agency Murray, Maine & Spender. The agency is in decline, with only one major client remaining and little prospect of attracting new ones. Then it's discovered that Nancy (who is 'more average than average') has an uncanny knack for recognising successful products and advertising slogans.

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Tropes used in The Happy Apple:

  • Advertising Tropes: Each episode featured jokes based on different advertising techniques as the agency tried to figure out the best method for selling their latest product or service.
  • British Brevity: One series of 7 episodes.
  • Expository Theme Tune: The one thing anyone who has seen this series remembers is the expository theme tune set To the Tune of... Eine kleine Nachtmusik:
    Nancy is junior secretary
    In an advertising agency...
  • "Flowers for Algernon" Syndrome: Nancy accidentally becomes cultured after accompanying the firm's cultural advisor to a number of high class such as the ballet and the opera. (Originally, one of the bosses was supposed to attending to improve his own knowledge of high culture, but kept dodging the engaging so the advisor kept finding himself with a spare ticket.) However, the firm then discovers a cultured Nancy is no longer 'average' and cannot predict winning advertising campaigns. Facing potential ruin, they return Nancy to 'average' by locking her in a sauna and force reading her trashy romance novels.
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  • Plucky Office Girl: Nancy is a young secretary whose power of 'being more average than average' is the secret of the agency's success.
  • To the Tune of...: The show has an Expository Theme Tune set to the tune of Mozart's Eine kleine Nachtmusik.
  • Trivial Title: "The Happy Apple" refers to a line in the first episode about how it is easier to sell "a happy apple" than "a sad fig".


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