Jack Kenderson (Tom Everett Scott) is an analyst at the small Wall Street brokerage firm Balmont Stevens Inc., and has everything he wants: a successful job, a high-rise apartment, and a fiancée, Alex Brill (Nina Garbiras), who loves him dearly.
However, the arrival of a new supervisor, Catherine Miller (Jennifer Connelly), throws a wrench into the works when her presence shakes up the lives of Kenderson and his fellow employees, including fellow traders Fred Sacker (Rick Hoffman), Chris McConnell (Sean Maher), and Bridget Deshiel (Bridgette Wilson); receptionist Donna Pasqua (Melissa De Sousa); and the firm's CEO, Tom Divack (Giancarlo Esposito). The brokers also have to deal with their lives outside of the office, and high-pressure deals that come and go in seconds.
The show was executive produced by Darren Star (Melrose Place, Sex and the City), and ran on Fox in late 2000. It was cancelled after six episodes were aired, with the rest being aired internationally.
The $treet was notable for combining the backstabbing and sexual politics of Star's earlier shows with a heavy financial slant, and for helping to launch the careers of many notable character actors. It was also the first (and, to date, only) network series Connelly has starred in.
Not to be confused with the British series The Street.
This series provides examples of:
- All Women Are Lustful: To a T. Almost every woman in the series (with the exception of Miller) is pursuing at least one man.
- Anywhere but Their Lips: The series starts with one such moment — Jack is lying in bed looking happy, then Alex rises up from underneath the covers with a grin on her face.
- Badass Boast: After learning that's Sacker is running a background check for dirt on her, Miller confronts him in the firm's boardroom:If you ever mess with me again, not only will I have you fired - and I promise you I can make that happen - but I will also call in every favor I'm owed to make sure you are blackballed by every other firm as well. (Beat) Big day today, Freddie. Let's get to work.
- The Beautiful Elite: Much like Star's other shows, The $treet is about investment bankers who are filthy rich, sleep with everyone else and get caught up in day-to-day drama.
- Between My Legs: Sherman gets one when a stripper-gram (hired by his sister) stands over him when he's picking up files at work and takes off her dress.
- Bigger Is Better: In one episode, Sacker runs an office pool to guess the size of Sherman's manhood, with most betting that he's not well-endowed. After Divack tells Sacker and others to stop acting improperly, he asks Sherman to admit whether he (having guessed the opposite in jest) was correct, and Sherman sheepishly admits it's true.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Bridget. She starts out by harmlessly flirting with Jack at a bar, then explains that she's a third-grade teacher before attempting to seduce him. She later calls him from a nearby school, and says she looked up his number and wants to go out with him. Later on, at a launch party, Jack learns that she's a fellow trader who has been stringing him along to get information on the firm, and manages to get hired by the company at the end of her introductory episode using this information. When Jack asks her why she did it, she's tells him it's just business.
- Book Ends: Almost every episode begins and ends with someone walking to or from the Belmont Stevens office.
- Mitchell gets all the "go through hell" storylines (involved in a prostitution bust, going crazy and being mocked by a client while negotiating a deal, being stalked by a crazy inmate), and is the butt of most of the jokes.
- McConnell gets saddled with an assortment of women who are either incredibly neurotic or lie to him to get what they want. Any big deal in inevitably goes bust, and he ends up being publicly humiliated and fired for his actions. Later, when he begins dating Sherman's sister, she humiliates him in front of his friends and uses his connections to get ahead, all while sleeping with other men - and he's none the wiser.
- Call-Back: After he is told he won't be getting a year-end bonus, McConnell rails at Kenderson because of what happened with the Alden Industries account five episodes prior in "Propheting on Losses".
- Celibate Hero: Sherman is never seen out on a date with another woman, nor does he ever show any real interest in dating (although he does admire the stripper-gram his sister sent for him), even though he says he "loves the ladies".
- Chekhov's Gunman: Sacker discovers that Miller left her last job at another investment firm because of a broker who left her for another woman. Said broker comes to her new firm near the end of the season to negotiate a deal, and runs into her again.
- Chick Magnet: Kenderson. Even while he's still engaged to Alex in the pilot, a woman heavily flirts with him at a bar and on his friend's yacht, and despite telling other women he's just coming off a relationship, they flock to him like honey.
- Comedic Sociopathy: Sacker's wife, Joanne, manages to pull this off in her very first appearance, by making inappropriate jokes while her husband is at a doctor's office listening to a doctor describe the removal of his testicle to check for cancer.
- Cosplay: Mitchell's girlfriend is an erotic dancer who dresses up as Xena: Warrior Princess. He realizes this because he remembered that she showed up at "XenaCon a couple months back".
- Cut Short: The series ends with Sacker's wife, Joanna, telling him that she's leaving and wants some space, leaving Sacker heartbroken. A following episode was written but never produced, leaving it a hanging plot point.
- Double Standard: Discussed several times. Alex asks Mitchell (and later Bridget) why men who sleep around and cheat are admired and high-fived, while an engaged woman who has a moment of doubt and admits to briefly trying to court a past ex-boyfriend is vilified. Mitchell and Bridget don't have an answer for her.
- Downer Ending:
- "Closet Cases". After a few weeks of happiness, Mitchell breaks up with his girlfriend, Alison, after he can't come to terms with her (lesbian) porn star past. She delivers a blistering "Reason You Suck" Speech before forcing him out of her apartment for good.
- "Miracle On Wall Street": Sacker learns that he may have testicular cancer at the staff's Christmas party, and that one of his testicles has to be cut off to see if it has spread.
- Dress Hits Floor: Played straight and subverted.
- One of Sacker's co-workers asks him to "satisfy" his wife while he's recovering from a heart attack in the hospital. Sacker goes to the co-worker's house, and the wife drops her dress on the floor...except she has a negligee on underneath.
- Miller at the beginning of "The Ultimatum", as she's taking a shower.
- Dueling Shows: With TNT's Bull. Neither made it past one season.
- Elevator Failure: Miller and the CEO of a pharmaceutical company (that makes the "female Viagra") get stuck in the building's elevator. She uses the time to...test the CEO's product.
- Femme Fatale: Bridget, who joins the firm and tries to string Kenderson along for favors and her own means.
- Flanderization: Bridget, who goes from a Femme Fatale who alternates between trying to seduce Jack and getting her clients the most money...to a sex-crazed nympho who openly espouses the joys of one-night stands, and does nothing but talk about men all day long.
- Girl on Girl Is Hot: Mitchell learns that his girlfriend is not only into women, but starred in a lesbian porn film years earlier. Someone gets hold of a copy of the film and plays it in his office, eliciting cheers and handshakes from all the male employees. Later subverted when Mitchell becomes very uncomfortable with the situation and says he's leaving Nicole.
- Greed: Discussed by the characters frequently in regards to their actions at the firm:Kenderson: You know, sometimes it's not all about the money.Sacker: Of course it is.
- Humiliation Conga: In the pilot episode, Tim (a new intern who has started working at the firm) is forced to go through a number of initiation tasks by Sacker.
- The Immodest Orgasm: Miller, taken up to eleven via experimental pills that cause hours of intense pleasure when she has a one-night stand with the product's founder.
- Jerkass Has a Point: McConnell rails at Divack when he's fired because of how he feels slighted by the firm's treatment towards him, and how the latter is forcing him to leave without saying goodbye to his friends. However, Divack did explain previously that McConnell was acting on impulse instead of logic when he made his bad trade with Alden Industries, and would make a bonus next year if he kept up his performance. Trying to start a hedge fund (after being repeatedly warned by Divack earlier in the series) was just the last straw.
- Juxtaposition Gag: One scene has Sacker explaining to his co-worker how his new condominium will cost $23,000 a month, before immediately cutting to Bridget telling Kenderson (who she's drinking with) how she makes $23,000 a year.
- Kavorka Man: Mitchell. He has the most on-screen relationships of anyone in the series, and he's often seen looking heavily disheveled.
- Left Hanging: The series ends with Sacker's wife, Joanna, telling him that she's leaving and wants some space, leaving Sacker heartbroken. A following episode was written but never produced, leaving it a hanging plot point.
- Moment Killer: Several times when McConnell is trying to court Zoya (a model he met at a party). Justified, in that he later finds out that she's underage.
- Nature Adores a Virgin: In "Miracle on Wall Street", a client's daughter asks Mitchell to take her virginity, and Sacker and Kenderson egg him on to go for it. Later on, his friends rib him by saying that all the virgins in Saudi Arabia will flock to him after hearing about his feats.
- New Meat: Tim the intern, who gets a Humiliation Conga in the pilot, but is eventually accepted into the firm by episode's end when he stands up to Sacker's antics.
- No Going Steady: Most of the cast is like this, although subverted with Kenderson (who is taking a break from his engagement, and still wants to rekindle the flame with Alex) and Sacker (who is happily married, but pretends to be a player).
- Nothing Personal: Said several times, to the effect of "It's not personal - it's just business."
- Old Shame: In-universe. Mitchell's girlfriend is embarrased when he finds a lesbian porn film she made years earlier, and it eventually leads to the dissolution of their relationship.
- Really Gets Around: Just about every character on the show, but special mention goes to Bridget (who has several monologues talking about the joys of one-night stands and how many men she's been with). Sacker is an aversion - he touts his player reputation to all the staff, but he is deeply in love with his wife, Joanna.
- Sex Equals Love: Discussed. Alex begins dating a musician, and after sleeping together for the first time, characterizes him to her friends as a "one-night stand I can't shake". This hurts the musician, who leaves after saying that he thought their relationship was worth more than that.
- Spit Take: Evan Mitchell spits out a mouthful of pasta when Alison (a dancer/Xena cosplayer) asks him to take part in a threesome.
- Stalker with a Crush: Mitchell tries to start a relationship with an inmate, Serena, who freaks out when he eventually tries to leave her, and makes threats to come after him.
- That Wasn't a Request: McConnell forces Sherman to give him his sister's phone number by saying this, almost verbatim.
- A Threesome Is Hot: Subverted. Mitchell's new girlfriend, Alison, wants him to take part in a threesome. He's excited about the idea, but also thinks they may be moving too fast. She takes him to a seedy bar in Manhattan and tries to convince him to first pick up a girl and then a guy for them. Mitchell doesn't like the idea and walks out on her, then tells her later on that he just wants to stay exclusive with her for the time being.
- White-Collar Crime: Subverted. After learning that the CEO of a textiles company died after his plane crashed, Kenderson visits the CEO's daughter (and former girlfriend) Devyn, who tells him that the company is set to be taken over. He grapples with whether or not to use this information to make a profit, and has to sit by while his co-worker invests all of his discretionary fund into the company's stock. Although he's told by the head of the firm to utilize his connections to make money, he doesn't reveal the information, short of dropping a hint to his co-worker that the stock is not going to drop as he thought it would.
- Working with the Ex: Jack and Alex, who team up later in the season to sort out a business deal.
- Would Hit a Girl: Sackman mouths off to Miller when they're at the gym about her past, and she punches him in response. When he keeps mouthing off, and she punches him again, he punches her right back.
- Younger Than They Look: After meeting a model named Zoya at a party, McConnell tries to seduce her in the back of her limo, until she hears a teen pop song and tells him she wants to listen to it. When he asks what her age is, she replies, "Sixteen-and-a-half". He bolts from the limo and doesn't look back.