On the surface the Porters are a normal family - indeed, even
the series' tittle 2Point4
the fabled average family size, alludes to their normality
(as well as the fact that the husband/father is still a bit
of a child himself). Yet, though the individual members -
central-heating engineer Ben; his wife, catering worker Bill;
and their teenage children David and Jenny - are unexceptional,
the situations in which the family occurrences and poor judgement
all conspire to turn the Porters' world topsy-turvy...
first series of 2Point4 Children gets the show off
on the right foot. Unlike
most British comedies 2Point4 Children has an ongoing
narrative that loosely links each episode week after week.
In series one this revolves around Bill and her obsession
with a mysterious motorbike rider. But as the series progresses,
and he seems to pop up all the time, it is left for the viewer
to decide whether he is real or a figment of Ben's imagination
- her fantasies manifesting themselves as flesh and blood.
series sees Jenny skipping school to meet her boyfriend, the
Porters dwindling sex life, a family barbecue, problems with
supermarket security, a surprise visit by Bill's mother, Ben
meeting an old girlfriend who still has the hots for him,
Bill taking her driving test, and Ben buying, and hiding from
his family, an expensive pale blue classic Chevy.
who has a family, or lives in the real world will immediately
be able to draw parallels between their own lives and that
of the Porters'. Whether it's problems opening those small
clear bags in the grocery section of supermarkets or dreading
the mother-in-law coming to stay, there are plenty of situations
that we can all recognise from our own lives. Even today,
almost 13 years since this first series was originally broadcast,
there are still plenty of familiar social situations to make
are also plenty of familiar faces, to those of us in our mid-30's,
including David Kelly (Robin's Nest and Fawlty Towers
- who will be playing Grandpa Joe in the forthcoming remake
of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory); Steven Lewis
(Blakey from On the Buses); and the Beryl Reid-like
are also several nods to classic movies. My favourite being
the homage to Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds - Ben leaves
a council estate only to find a load of young children sat
on her car.
include a tribute to actor Gary
Olsen, who died in 2000, and a photo gallery. The photo gallery
is not like the majority - where you simply get stills from
the series - but are publicity shots of the cast. However,
this kept freezing on our DVD player (it would only go so
far and then stop).
may have taken a long time to materialise on DVD, but the
wait certainly was worth it. This is a classic series that
is almost as topical today as when it was originally broadcast.
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