2point4 Children

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

British comedy series that ran from 1991 to 1999.

Named after the then-average number of children in a British family -- today it would probably be 1.8 Children.

The main characters were:

  • Bill (Willemina) Porter, a caterer
  • Ben Porter, her husband, a plumber
  • Jenny, the daughter
  • David, the son
  • Rhona, a nymphomaniac Drop-In Character
  • Christine, Ben's bad-tempered apprentice

The actress for Jenny was replaced in the third season. In the final season, the character was sent to university, and a new teenage child adopted.

The episodes could be very surreal -- one ended up as a parody of The Prisoner. And Bill had numerous prophetic dreams given to her by her Spirit Advisor -- a biker whom it turned out may have been Dead All Along due to a bike accident.

2point4 children is a prime example of Magic Realism. It was written by Andrew Marshall, whose former writing partner David Renwick was responsible for the more successful One Foot in the Grave (which was more like tragic surrealism).

Tropes used in 2point4 Children include:
  • Acting for Two - Bill's mother and aunt were played by the same actress
  • Arc Words - Bill's recurring dream of a biker telling her to stay out of "MIA". The dream was cut short; it was supposed to say "Miami", where she was caught in a hurricane in a later episode.
    • In fact MIA is the three-letter airport code for Miami International, and it only occurs in one or two episodes. Two points don't make an arc, although since the seasons are only six episodes long, two episodes is a sizeable chunk.
  • Brand X - the video game Ninja Badger
  • Casanova
  • Christmas Episode - five of them!
    • All of which end with a bizarre broadway-esque musical number.
  • Cousin Oliver - Declan, the Porters' foster child, who was also a Suspiciously Similar Substitute for the departing Jenny.
  • Cut Short - By the death of Ben's actor in 1999
  • Dead All Along - It is strongly implied that Bill's mysterious motorcycle guy was this. Bill sees his obituary in a stack of old newspapers she was going to throw away.
    • The end of the first episode of the second series shows a TV news report (which Bill misses, due to being asleep) reporting on the accident that killed him. This implies he was alive during the first series.
  • Disaster Dominoes
  • Dom Com
  • Drop-In Character
  • Gender Blender Name - Bill (full name Willemena)
  • Homage
  • Magic Realism
  • The Other Darrin - Jenny was first played by Georgina Cates and then by Clare Buckfield.
    • Declan was played by Mitchell Ray in his first appearance, and by Alex Kew when he became a regular character.
  • Sitcom Arch Nemesis (Jake the Klingon)
  • Special Edition Title - for the Christmas episodes.
  • Spiritual Successor - Considered by some to have paved the way for the similarly-themed My Family.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute
  • Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?: Dawn, the "per-son-al ben-ker" later resurfaces as an equally deranged and annoying loan officer.