Life with Derek

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Life with Derek was a Canadian live-action domestic comedy, produced for Canada's Family Channel, which gained a respectable American audience airing on Disney Channel. The show focused upon two families merging together after divorces. By your average Nuclear Family standards, the siblings don't get along all the time and Hilarity Ensues. The main character is Casey, a perfectionistic teenage girl who has a rivalry with the titular Derek. The show ran for two short thirteen-episode seasons (2005-06 and 2006-07) and two full seasons (2007-08 and 2008-09.)

The Movie, Vacation with Derek, premiered in Canada on June 25, 2010, but failed to make its US premiere date of December 10, 2010. The film, however, finally made its U.S. debut on Saturday, May 14th, 2011.... on Starz Kids. At 1:50 PM in the afternoon.

Compare Even Stevens, Marmalade Boy.

Tropes used in Life with Derek include:
  • All Guys Want Cheerleaders: Casey joined the pep squad because she assumed this was expected of her as the football hero's girlfriend.
  • Aloof Big Brother: Derek oscillates between being this and a Big Brother Mentor (who just happens to really suck at it,) depending on his mood.
  • Alpha Bitch: Max's cheer-captain ex-girlfriend Amy.
  • Amateur Sleuth: Edwin and Lizzie try their hands at it, and fail miserably.
  • Animated Credits Opening: The opening sequence for The Movie is Stop Motion animated.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Edwin takes the cake, though Marti and Lizzie have their moments.
  • Arc Words: The phrase "Blended Family" grates on the nerves after four seasons.
  • Ascended Extra: Sheldon Schlepper, who was originally supposed to only be in one episode.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Casey learns this the hard way on her sixteenth birthday when she wishes Derek out of her life. But considering that it's all a dream, and the audience is well aware of it...
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Speculation abounds regarding this between Derek and Casey. Thick enough between Truman and Casey to serve up with an ice cream scoop.
  • Big Man on Campus: Max. Derek tries.
  • Black Best Friend: Emily.
  • Blah Blah Blah: When Sam is talking to Derek about his and Casey's recent argument, this is all Derek hears.
  • Book Dumb: Derek obviously isn't stupid. He just has other priorities.
  • Brainy Brunette: Casey and Lizzie both qualify.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Casey addresses the audience each episode immediately following the Title Sequence.
  • Brilliant but Lazy: George managed to become a successful attorney despite having been a slacker and a ne'er-do-well in high school. Derek arguably qualifies, as well.
  • Brother Chuck: Noel. His last appearance in an early season four episode had him coming to terms with him being just friends with Casey. It was an obvious set up for a Platonic Life Partners friendship or possibly another Love Interest for Casey. But then Truman came in, and Noel never showed up again.
  • Butt Monkey: Edwin
  • Canada, Eh?: Generally averted, but not altogether avoidable in a self-consciously Canadian show. At one time, averted and mocked in one episode.
    • And the accents. Dear Lord, the accents.
    • Canadians have accents?
      • Not so much accents as "verbal quirks" (which I'm sure us Americans have from their POV). Pronunciations such as Sorry being said as "Sore-ee", Been as "Bean", Again as "Uh-Gain", and of course the pronunciations of the "ou" sound in words like House, About, etc. And no, it's not the "aboot" pronunciation (no idea where that even came from), they just say it... very differently.
  • Calling the Old Man Out:
    • The three younger siblings raise some serious Cain when they're expected pick up the slack around the house when Casey and Derek have to study for finals, without any additional consideration or compensation.
    • In The Movie, Casey stands up to her grandmother Felicia in defense of George and the rest of the Venturi clan.
  • The Cast Showoff: Ashley Leggat, who plays Casey, is a professionally-trained dancer, and the show emphasized this repeatedly in later seasons. The TV-movie Vacation with Derek even made a whole subplot out of this, casting So You Think You Can Dance Canada winner Nico Archambault as her love interest.
    • Leggat is a triple threat entertainer. She is also a singer, having sung a few times on the show.
  • Catch Phrase: Casey's annoyed reaction of "Der-ek!" The distinctiveness is in how she says it. Lampshaded in the episode "Open Mic Plight" when Derek responded:

Derek: Ca-sey! Sal-ly!

Edwin: Didn't Derek tell you to show up after dinner?
Lizzie: Yeah, friends don't let friends eat here.
Nora: Hey!

Derek: Are you sure? Because "Mac" just feels right.