Bob and Margaret

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Bob and Margaret
Series logo.jpg
Format Animated comedy
Created by David Fine and Alison Snowden
Starring Andy Hamilton/Brian George as Bob Fish
Alison Snowden as Margaret Fish
Country of origin United Kingdom, Canada
No. of seasons 4
No. of episodes 52 (List of episodes)
Production
Running time 30 mins
Production company(s) Global Television Network
Philippines Animation Studios
Nelvana Limited
Broadcast
Original channel UK: Channel 4
BBC Two
Canada: Global Television Network
United States: Showtime, Comedy Central
Israel: HOT cable network
Original run June 22, 1998 – December 25, 2001

Bob and Margaret is a Canadian/UK animated television series that was also shown in the United States and all over the world. The series was produced by Nelvana, a Toronto animation studio, and created by Canadian David Fine and Brit Alison Snowden. The series was based on the Academy Award winning short film Bob's Birthday, featuring the same main characters, which won the Best Animated Short Film Oscar in 1994.[1] The series is one of the few Canadian TV shows to ever have regular American exposure. In Canada, it was the highest rated Canadian made animation series ever when it aired in prime time on Global Television.

The show revolved around a married English couple named Bob and Margaret Fish, a middle class 40-ish working couple with no children and two dogs named William and Elizabeth. Bob is a dentist and Margaret is a chiropodist. Bob and Margaret struggle with everyday issues and mid life crisis. Stories often revolve around the mundane, but in a way which is eminently relatable. From the trials of shopping to dealing with friends who annoy them, but owe them a dinner.

In the first two seasons, Bob and Margaret lived in England, in the South London community of Balham. For the third and fourth seasons, however, they moved to Toronto, Canada, allowing the writers to explore the humour of culture clash. The move was actually inspired by the realities of funding, with certain Canadian tax benefits dependent on stories actually based in Canada. As such, to keep the series funded, the move was necessary. The creators of the series (real-life husband-and-wife David Fine and Alison Snowden) chose to take an executive role on these latter two seasons, reviewing scripts and consulting, but not involved in the detail they were for the first two seasons. Snowden continued to provide the voice of Margaret, but Bob's voice, originally played by Andy Hamilton, was replaced by Brian George.

The programme was shown in the United Kingdom on Channel 4 and Ftn, in the United States on Comedy Central, and in Germany and France on Arte. Comedy Central only showed the two "London" seasons. The third and fourth "Toronto" seasons were eventually shown (almost 2 years after Comedy Central showed the last second season episode) on the Showtime cable channel; they currently rerun all four seasons on their specialty "Showtime Women" channel.

Bob and Margaret currently airs on Adult Swim Latin America and formerly on Canada's YTV. Cartoon Network Brasil airs its four seasons on the Adult Swim program. The London seasons also get shown in the UK, currently on Channel 4.

The second series can be found on Region 1 NTSC DVDs in Canada and Region 2 PAL DVDs in the UK. Season one can be found on VHS in PAL (at least in the UK) and NTSC (at least in Canada), and the DVD is due for release in Canada in February 2010 as an NTSC Region 1 Set.

Characters[edit]

Robert (Bob) Fish[edit]

Born in South London to Daisy and Cesial Fish, and is the husband of Margaret, Bob has one brother named Peter who happens to be a successful world class chef, while his sister Susan is a recent divorcee and single mum. Bob is a dentist working alongside with his colleagues. His characteristics seem to have a positive reactions towards Margaret, while carrying resentment towards his brother Peter. Bob is originally voiced by Andy Hamilton until Brian George replaced him in the third and fourth series.

Margaret Fish[edit]

Bob's wife, Margaret, is portrayed as a caring chiropodist working in South London. She can be shy and nervous, but when the moment calls for it, can be feisty and in control as well. Numerous people take advantage of Margaret's kind attributes. In series 2's first episode, "Bob Gets Wired", she was accidentally classed as a terrorist. In Friends for Dinner, it's Margaret, not Bob, who eventually stands up for themselves in the face of a very rude couple. Margaret is voiced by Alison Snowden.

Cookie and Melvin Fish[edit]

Cookie and Melvin Fish are Bob's friendly Canadian cousins from the Toronto suburb of Mississauga; they both have carefree attitudes and always have a positive and humorous view of life. The TV series depict them as being proud Canadians and always having to compare Toronto as being a better city than London (in episode "Stranded in Toronto" ). However, as much as they love and adore Bob and Margaret, they certainly and unknowingly annoy them on numerous occasions, for example, when they play their vacation videos about their visits to London and all the hilarious and humiliating moments of their taping Bob and Margaret at their worst time. The couple have two cats named Bailey and Buster, who act violently toward the dogs William and Elizabeth.The voice of Melvin is done by Wayne Robson while Cookie is voiced by Jayne Eastwood. Their first appearance was in the episode "The Discomfort of Strangers".

Penny and Heather[edit]

After the arrest of "Dorothy" (who was suspected to have been an accomplice in patient molestations), Bob's secretary at his former dental office in London, Penny (first appearing in the pilot episode "A Tale of Two Dentists") becomes her replacement. She is characterized as a lazy, irresponsible and neglectful employee who seems to have an attitude problem. Death threats from violent protestors force Bob and Margaret to depart London on account of their dogs being improperly cared for - something that was actually Penny's fault. Heather is another secretary of Bob's working in his dental office in Toronto, she is somewhat kind and less judgemental with a carefree attitude.

Ed and Patel[edit]

Ed and Patel are Bob's dental hygienists working in his Toronto dental clinic. Ed is defined as a Canadian woodman while his friend Patel is an Indian hygienist who encourages Bob to take on challenges for success. In one episode, both Ed and Patel fight when all three of them (including Bob) head out on a camping adventure.

Eden and Guinvere[edit]

Eden (Edie) is Margaret's former secretary at her London chiropody clinic, and Guinvere (voiced by Tracey Hoyt) is Margaret's secretary at the women's clinic in Toronto, seen as calm and friendly to Margaret. In "Gone to Seed", she decides to conceive using a sperm donor clinic, but ends up in panic upon finding out that the donation is Bob's.

Trevor and Joyce[edit]

Trevor and Joyce are Bob and Margaret's next-door neighbours in Toronto. Trevor (voiced by Dwayne Hill) is seen as a lazy, alcoholic couch potato, and his wife Joyce is a hardworking smoker. The couple is mostly seen feuding.

Cecil and Daisy Fish[edit]

The parents of Bob, Peter, and Susan Fish. Deceased Cecil is often seen in Bob's flashbacks, portrayed as an uncaring father to Bob--too busy praising his other son, Peter. Daisy reveals that Bob was Cecil's favourite son and Peter is Daisy's. Bob reveals how horrible his mother has been to him. Daisy is seen as a mean-spirited mother to Bob while not realizing that Peter and Susan are always trying to take advantage of her.

Peter and Susan Fish[edit]

Peter and Susan Fish are Bob's sibling back in London. Peter is a world class chef and Susan is a stay-at-home mum; both are charcaterized as selfish offspring.

Tony and Maureen Heslop[edit]

Tony and Maureen are Margaret's parents. They always put her down, greatly respecting Bob for marrying her when nobody else would due to certain physical characteristics of hers. They characterize their own daughter as a "mentally-ill monkey" as shown in the series finale, "A Very Fishy Christmas."

Cathy Beattle and Ken[edit]

Cathy and Ken are an overbearing couple who were friends with Margaret back in London, but Bob despises them. Cathy often becomes annoyed by Ken's antics and becomes regretful whenever something bad happens to him. Cathy is voiced by Sarah Hadland and Ken by Victor Lu.

Constable Caroline Pines and Garrett Chip[edit]

Constable Caroline Pines and Garrett Chip are corrupt, lazy officers who are constantly seen in the London-based episodes. Both have breached and violated their protocols and mandates in humorous ways; however, the writer created the flow by making the whole London police base force as being corrupt and not bright.

Series overview[edit]

Series Episodes Originally aired DVD and Blu-ray release date
Series premiere Series finale Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
1 13 June 22, 1998 (1998-06-22) November 2, 1998 (1998-11-02) 16 February 2010 [2] N/A N/A
2 13 August 19, 1999 (1999-08-19) February 8, 2000 (2000-02-08) 25 September 2005 [3] 17 July 2006 [4] N/A
3 13 May 30, 2001 (2001-05-30) August 22, 2001 (2001-08-22) N/A N/A N/A
4 13 September 13, 2001 (2001-09-13) December 25, 2001 (2001-12-25) N/A N/A N/A

Reviews[edit]

The Globe and Mail raves that "Bob and Margaret" is the best and creatively written animated Series, The Huffington Post also agreed that the TV series succeeded beyond expectations, in an animated comedy series. Editor Victor Javason of the "Toronto Star" calls the show "genius" for its brilliant actions of moving the show's setting from London to Toronto, the editor also states "an excellent way to clash humour and culture with members of the commonwealth".

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

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