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Series / The Secret Life of Us

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Season 1 cast, left to right: Richie Blake, Gabrielle Kovich, Will McGill, Kelly Lewis, Dr. Alex Christiansen, Evan Wilde, Miranda Lang, Jason Kennedy and Simon Trader

The Secret Life of Us was an Australian drama series, which aired on Network Ten from 2001 to 2005, for 86 episodes (not counting the two-part Clip Show finale) over four seasons. The series revolved around a group of twenty to thirty-something friends living in an apartment block in St. Kilda, Melbourne. The main cast included, at various times, Samuel Johnson Actor as Evan Wylde (the show's main narrator), Deborah Mailman as Kelly Lewis (the show's second narrator, and one of two characters to appear in every episode), David Treddinick as Simon Trader (also appears in (or at least is credited for) every episode, despite not living in the block), Claudia Karvan as Dr. Alex Christiansen, Abi Tucker as Miranda Lang, Joel Edgerton as Will McGill, Anna Torv as Nikki Martel, and Stephen Curry as Stuart Woodcock.

This series contains examples of:

  • Altar the Speed: Jason and Gabrielle rush into a wedding in the first episode, at Jason's suggestion. Gabrielle soon finds out he was feeling guilty over sleeping with Alex.
  • Amicable Exes: Miranda and Richie eventually become this after he comes out.
  • Attempted Rape: Evan's old friend Ken assaults Kelly in "The Day the Trumpets Sounded". It gets as far as a Forceful Kiss before she manages to fight him off and escape the flat.
  • Back to Front: The season 3 premiere, "The End is the Beginning".
  • Book Ends: The pilot has Kelly narrating several times about trying to get a "trifecta": a good job, a good place to live, and a good boyfriend (temporarily achieved by the end of it). The first season finale has Gabrielle jokingly telling Alex she has a trifecta when she has no job, nowhere to live and no boyfriend. It's also heavily focused on in the clip show finale: home life and love life in the first part, work life in the second.
  • The Bro Code: A source of tension between Evan and Christian in "Weird Species Man" after the former gets together with George. Christian escalates things when he reveals that he had an affair with Alex a year ago.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: When Evan confronts David Ford at their high school reunion, he doesn't seem to remember him beyond his name. Somewhat subverted later in the evening, when he remembers being "damaged" by Evan's insults towards him, while downplaying his own bullying.
  • Clip Show: The series ends with a two-part Best Of special presented by Deborah Mailman.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Jason towards Gabrielle after their breakup. Will towards Sam during their relationship.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Tobias Evan Wylde, for some reason.
  • Final Season Casting: Season four opened with five characters from the previous season (Richie, Gabrielle, Tidy, Chloe and George) being replaced by complete newcomers. Evan left a few episodes into the season and was replaced (albeit by someone who had been introduced late in the previous season), and Christian left a few episodes later and was replaced by another relative newcomer. By this point, only Kelly and Simon remained from any of the previous seasons.
  • Gayngst: Several of Richie's storylines.
  • Gold Digger: Kelly has to deal with a rather shameless one while working for a dating agency.
  • Incompatible Orientation: Bree's crush on Jeff, who's interested in Simon.
  • Is the Answer to This Question "Yes"?:
    Tidy: Hey, do you guys mind if I have a smoke?
    Simon: Is George Bush a warmonger?
  • I Wished You Were Dead: The source of Kelly's guilt after Lucy's cat gets run over, even though Evan was the driver responsible. For context, the cat had got into their flat, crapped on Kelly's bed and spread fleas all over the place, forcing them to fumigate, and when Kelly brings this up with Nikki and Adam, she outright threatened to kill it.
  • Killed Off for Real: Will's girlfriend Sam, in "Intimations of Mortality".
  • Most Writers Are Writers: Evan, who manages to get published by season 2.
  • Naked First Impression: Evan first meets Alex's coworker Jennifer while he's naked in the apartment.
  • Naked People Are Funny: A subplot in "Rose-Coloured Glasses" involving a couple planning a nude wedding. When Kelly talks with the others about it, Evan's comments lead to the above scene.
  • No Animals Were Harmed: Used at the end of "The Truth About Cats and Dogs, Part 1", right after Evan has accidentally run over new neighbour Lucy's cat.
  • No Bisexuals: Played straight with Richie in the first two seasons, who's never treated as anything other than gay after his breakup with Miranda. Subverted with Chloe in the third, while Miranda seems to be a case of If It's You, It's Okay with her.
    • A Running Gag in one episode after Christian sleeps with a friend of Chloe, with everyone calling her a lesbian only to be corrected.
  • Promotion to Opening Titles: Nina Liu (Chloe) and Gigi Edgley (George) in season 3, both introduced a few episodes ahead of the departures of Alex and Miranda respectively. Both were listed as And Introducing at least once. Sullivan Stapleton (Justin) in season 4.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: "Death Defy", by Motor Ace.
  • Rearrange the Song: The season four credits slightly changes the "Death Defy" arrangement, with the opening lines changed from the first half of the first verse to the second half:
    • Season 1-3: "Starting to get my head in your space,/Starting to lose track of the weekdays,/Starting to cook my brain in five ways/Trying to be cool."
    • Season 4: "Starting to lose my inhibitions,/Starting to make some bad decisions,/I'm listening to all your crap opinions,/Trying to be cool."
  • Romantic False Lead: Carmen for Evan. Joseph for Kelly. Leah for Will. Brad for Richie.
  • Sadist Teacher: Will tells a story about a primary school teacher nicknamed Mr. Mad Dog, who walked into a rowdy class, broke it up and then started forcing the students to confess to how each had been misbehaving and hitting each on the hand with a ruler in turn. When it was Will's turn, he honestly told the teacher that he had done nothing - he'd just been sitting and doing his work while trying to ignore everyone else - but the teacher ignored him and continued hitting him while asking the question again. Will did not back down, and was eventually rescued by another teacher.
  • Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up: David Ford, who Evan runs into at a school reunion. As it happens, he considers himself to be more worthy of an apology because of Evan's supposedly damaging insults towards him at the time, rather than the physical bullying he put Evan through.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: Between Kelly and her university lecturer Frank in season 4.
  • The Thing That Would Not Leave: Played seriously with Evan's old friend Ken, who keeps extending his stay with Evan and Kelly despite her discomfort with him. Evan fails to take her concerns seriously until it's too late.
  • UST: Discussed by Evan while talking with Gabrielle, who gives several examples of it from television. Gabrielle notes that this describes her relationship with Dominic at the time.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: An episode in the first season has the group sharing past experiences. The flashbacks all feature the adult actors, regardless of how old the characters were in the scene, or how old the extras around them were.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Between Alex and Evan, mainly.