British series on The BBC, 2007-2009, created by Jimmy McGovern, a TV writer also known for Cracker and Brookside. It will not be returning for a fourth series as the show is made by ITV Studios, which has closed the relevant unit for cost-cutting reasons.
Which is a shame, because it's an excellent series and has won Baftas, as well as International Emmys.
The series is a batch of loosely linked stories revolving around the residents of a single street in Manchester (you may only see a character once or twice). The stories are hard-hitting kitchen sink dramas of the sort McGovern is famous for, although happy endings are common.
This series contains examples of:
- Ambiguous Ending: Billy's story and Shay's story. Is Billy back on his football team or is he still in a coma dreaming that he is? Will Shay get to see his son?
- The Atoner: Paul
- Character Development: A lot. Many of the episodes have the characters seeing the error of their ways and becoming better people.
- Christianity Is Catholic: Eddie, Ojo, and of course, the priest.
- Berserk Button: Frank on his age:"I AM NOT A DINOSAUR! And if you call me that again I'll clock you one, you arrogant git."
- Bitter Sweet Ending: Angela's story, Yvonne's story (arguably), Jan & Cath's story, Shay's story and Margie and Eddie's story in the last episode [[spoilers: Angela's surrounded by her loving family but her daughter is still disabled, Yvonne's free of her abusive husband but has to live with having killed him, Jan's son has been proven to be innocent but the once loving relationship between the sisters is ruined, Shay has got clean and has hope of seeing his son but still can't at least for now and Margie's dead but Eddie believes she died knowing he loved her and he makes up with his children]]
- Can'tHelpEnough: Eddie.
- Eddie: I've got two options. One: Kill meself. Two: Kill the wife.
- Friend: You could just tell the truth.
- Eddie: That's worse than one and two combined.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: Sean
- Darkand Troubled Past: Paul and Ojo
- Dogged Nice Guy: Eddie
- Domestic Abuse: Sean and Margie's dad
- Drama Club: We see Jenna perform a snippet of Lady Macbeth's dialogue.
- Foreshadowing: "You'll be in the ground before me," is said to Sean by Yvonne's mum, who dies soon after. Yvonne and her sister murder Sean and hide his body in the grave where their mother is buried, so he is literally in the ground before her. Also a Meaningful Echo.
- Drivento Suicide: Frank though he doesn't go through with it
- Henpecked Husband: Eddie
- Jerk Ass Woobie: Angela, Joe, Charlie,
- Jerkwitha Heartof Gold: Margie, Wayne, Kieran and Shay
- Love Martyr: Yvonne, to a point.
- Mama Bear: Many. Angela (at least after the accident), Margie, Yvonne's mother, Jan, Cath, Dee, Olenka and Madeleine (the mother of Shay's son)
- Meaningful Music: Upon getting home from the doctors after finding out the results of her breast cancer biopsy were inconclusive, she puts on "I Will Survive".
- Morality Pet: Played with regarding both Billy's dad who is blind and Shay's son Otto who has Down Syndrome
- Not What It Looks Like: "The Flasher". A teacher stops to pee while out for a jog. A young girl sees him. A Pædo Hunt ensues.
- Pædo Hunt: The teacher in The Flasher and, to a lesser extent, postman Waye
- Single Mom Stripper: Dee, who worked as a prostitute at weekends. to try and get her kids into a better school.
- Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Dee.
- Rapeas Drama: Yvonne from her abusive husband with her young daughter watching
- "Reason You Suck" Speech: Frank to Man U supporters, Yvonne's mum and Margie to Sean, Gary's dad to Gary and Kierans date to Kieran
- Slut-Shaming: Mark's dad does a fair bit of this to Dee for being a prostitute which is incredibly hypocritical since he has been cheating on his wife with prostitutes for years
- Teacher's Pet: Jenna.