1 9 8 4 (UK)
10 x 25 minute episodes
This Channel 4 sitcom featured Mo (Amanda Symonds) and Jude (Rachel Weaver), two young women who shared a council flat in a tower block in London’s East End with their three-legged cat, Tripod.
It was intended to be an up-to-date and relevant comedy about the way young girls live in modern high-rise London and, in development, must have seemed like it ticked all the boxes . . .
Trendiness quotient: one girl to be a punk (Jude), the other to be of mixed race (Mo). Social conscience: one is long-term unemployed (Jude), the other to be made redundant in the first episode (Mo). Sub-plot: a thriving chunk of the black economy in the next-door flat. Relevance: the flats are on the 17th floor of a council high-rise and the lifts have real graffiti. Conflict: the suspicious DHSS snoopers threaten to cut off the social security payments. Role reversal: The DHSS snooper is black. Humour: Oh well, we can always rely on canned laughter.
To be a perfect Channel 4 self-parody, there should have been a hint of homosexuality in there somewhere – but the mix was quite crowded enough.
The catalogue of predictable absurdities – from the cat being fed on Indian takeaways to one girl being made redundant from a glass-eye factory – suggested that someone in the initial script conference had a sense of humour.
It was a nice touch to have the neighbours setting up a metal-bashing workshop in a 17th-floor flat and pinching council electricity from the lift shaft.
Kirsty MacColl sang the theme tune.
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