What is it?
It's a british sitcom from the 80s. It's not a new and exciting british format or anything, it followed the old british sitcom 'rules'. But my family have always really liked it, and my family used to quote it all the time, so my uncle would come in saying "Greetings!" and Mum would go on about traffic cones.
It's set in Liverpool, and in the 80s, work was very very hard to find, and lots of people were on the dole. [Some people have said that this show portrays Liverpudlians badly, but I don't think it does, it just shows a certain type, and a rather weird family. Nowhere does it say that they're all like that, and if people are so stupid to believe one family is how all of them were, then they're being pretty dumb] The Boswells are a family consisting of a mother, five adult/teen children, and a grandfather. The father of the children is still 'around' but is hugely unreliable, and disappeared for years with his new girlfriend. As a result, the family (excluding grandfather) pulled together in a huge way to survive, and diddle the system wherever they can. For example claiming for things that they definitely don't have, such as grandfather's incontinence, when he's fine, or a wheelbarrow for gardening, when they have no garden. And they do dodgy deals of items. Anything to put money on the table. Ie, 'bread', slang for money.
They live in Granddad's house, and Granddad lives in theirs, (next door) so that they can charge each other rent and get it as a claim from social security.
Granddad is rather strange and food obsessed, and rings them almost every meal time to make sure his food is on the way.
Mum is fixated on keeping the family together, and is also very Catholic, insisting on prayers before all meals, which she often uses as a way to guilt her children.
Joey is the oldest son, he's very 'cool' and also very loyal to his family. He's sort of taken on the role of 'father' for the younger ones, often telling them off or stopping arguments, and they all respect him. He's got the fancy car and dresses in black and always seems to have some money to donate to the family pot. He's often flirting with women, but doesn't usually seem serious about it at all, and turns on his charm to get money, and is the one who goes to the social security office.
Jack does dodgy deals of property, and sells them on. But he often seems to get cheated with it. He has a truck which when he's not in it is parked outside the front of their terrace house. When he is in it, the family put out traffic cones in his parking space so that no one else can park there. :D
Adrian is the strange one in the family. He actually enjoyed his education, and in the first series at least, had a job. He's very easily stressed, and is a bit 'girly' compared to his brothers.
Aveline is the only girl, and she is 'a model'. So she's constantly obsessing over lipstick and hair and clothes, but she's only average looking. She dresses like... well, like a tart, but she's been brought up 'properly' by her mother, who insists she carries a whistle around her neck just in case, and she's said that when someone asks her to take off her coat it's almost reflex to want to blow her whistle.
Billy is the baby, he's about 16 years old, and is constantly across the road at his girlfriend's house. He's not quite sure what he's going to do with his life yet, or how he's going to contribute to the family, and they often don't listen to his opinions, and patronise him.
And basically, it just follows their lives, and their attempts to get money, and their relationships. I constantly found myself interested by the fact that they have such an 'it's us or them' mindset, and they'd do all these slightly dodgy things... (though they don't steal from houses or anything, they *have* been brought up properly) but the second that Adrian says that this girl he likes wants to go on a date with him, they all donate money to him so that he can pay, or Aveline gets asked to pose nude and they all go over there to the guy's house and scare him off, etc. They'd do almost anything for each other, and anyone else they consider as family. So the children insist on bringing their father back into their lives, etc.
I'm really enjoying it.
And here's the themesong! :D It's really catchy.
and here's Joey going to try and negotiate for more money. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVsNjVWRN80&NR=1