Off Centre

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This article is about the television show. For the Gilbert O'Sullivan album, see Off Centre (album). For the book by Damon Knight, see Off Center.
Off Centre
Off Centre TV comedy.jpg
Intertitle
Genre Sitcom
Created by Chris Weitz
Paul Weitz
Danny Zuker
Starring Eddie Kaye Thomas
Sean Maguire
Lauren Stamile
John Cho
Jason George
Theme music composer Ben Vaughn
Opening theme "Off Centre Theme" performed by Gordon Gano
Composer(s) Ben Vaughn
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 28 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Warren Bell
Chris Weitz
Paul Weitz
Danny Zuker
Producer(s) Franco Bario
Tim Kelleher
Andrew Miano
Dawn Urbont
Editor(s) Danny White
Cinematography Tony Yarlett
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time 22–24 min
Production company(s) DreamWorks Television
Warner Bros. Television
Weitz, Weitz and Zuker
Broadcast
Original channel The WB
Original run October 14, 2001 (2001-10-14)  – October 31, 2002 (2002-10-31)

Off Centre is an American sitcom that aired on The WB network from October 14, 2001 to October 31, 2002. Created by Chris Weitz, Paul Weitz, and Danny Zuker, the series was heavily promoted as "from the guys who brought you American Pie".

Synopsis[edit]

The series was centered around the lives of two friends, British stud Euan Pierce (played by Sean Maguire) and play-it-safe American Mike Platt (played by Eddie Kaye Thomas), after they move into the posh Hadley Building on New York's Centre Street. Rounding out the cast were Mike's girlfriend, Liz Lombardi (Lauren Stamile), their wacky friend, Vietnamese restaurant owner Chau Presley (played by John Cho), and secretly sensitive gangsta rapper Status Quo (Jason George).

The show was a thinly-disguised depiction of Chris Weitz's years sharing an apartment in the Police Building, 240 Centre Street in New York, with his Cambridge University contemporary, banker Euan Rellie.

Characters[edit]

Euan Pierce – A womanizing graduate of Oxford University, suave Brit Euan works as an investment banker and is reckless with money, as seen in the lavish apartment he shares with Mike, which includes of all things, a $2,000 airplane propeller. Among the skeletons in his closet are his "fruity" middle name (Crispin) and the fact that he used to riverdance. Loosely based on Chris Weitz's university friend and subsequent room mate Euan Rellie.[1]

Mike Platt – Unlike his Oxford roommate Euan, Mike is hardly financially stable, and for most of the series he worked for a non-profit organization, writing letters on behalf of political prisoners, protesting overfishing of the delicious Chilean sea bass, and performing other deeds that he cared little about, as he chose the job because it was close to his apartment. Mike went on to a short-lived career at a video game company before working as the sound guy for porn films, and later into unemployment. Mike dated Liz for over a year, and his attempts to break up with her during the first episode of the second season were thwarted when she dumped him first. Before Eddie Kaye Thomas was cast as Mike, both Will Friedle (Boy Meets World) [2] and Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother) [3] were attached to the role at one time.

Liz Lombardi – Mike's girlfriend for over a year, Liz was frequently seen trying to get Mike to better himself and take more control of his life.

Chau Presley – Chau is Mike and Euan's wacky Vietnamese restaurateur friend. His restaurant is called Qui Nhon. Some of his wacky antics consists of accidentally burning Mike's apartment, making money betting at illegal cock fights, and dating a homeless girl who showed signs of being mentally insane. He is the most free-spirited of the group. He is frequently looking for new schemes to attract the ladies, some of which work (such as claiming to be an MTV director when Cribs profiled Status Quo, and starting a fake band, The Chau Project, and booking a gig, despite not having any songs), and some of which don't (buying a ferret and carrying it on his shoulder for a week). His excuses and explanations are frequently outlandish. He once claimed that Euan had a bedspread made of puppies in order to woo a contestant on The Real World away from him. Chau later took over Mike's job doing sound on porn films, made a fortune in cockfight winnings, and briefly dated a homeless girl, although he prefers the term "outdoors-y." It should also be noted that he has a third testicle. He's arguably considered as the breakout character of the show.

Nathan Cole aka Status Quo – A Grammy-Award winning rapper often followed by his "posse people" MC French and DJ Cheddar, he lets down his tough facade around his friends. He secretly enjoys cooking, owned a fastidiously groomed standard poodle named D'Artagnan, is close friends with Martha Stewart and once briefly dated Cher. He had a long-time crush on Liz, but they refrained from pursuing a relationship, realizing that they couldn't risk their friendship and Scrabble games.

Supporting characters[edit]

Dr. Barry Wasserman – Appears in "The Unkindest Cut" and "P.P. Doc II: The Examination Continues." Played by Eugene Levy, Wasserman is a urologist who inexplicably has a large cult following. Dedicated to his work, he calls his car "The Penismobile" (its license plate reads "PPDOC"), and he frequently has to explain to people that he's not joking. He is allegedly the urologist of choice for P.Diddy, Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan, which makes him irresistible to women. Wasserman moved into the Hadley building after his wife committed suicide. He frequently makes jokes about his dead wife that no one finds funny but him.

Jordan – Introduced as a sort of female counterpart to Chau, Jordan is Liz's friend, who, according to Euan, has no social filter. Played by Rayne Marcus. Jordan says whatever is on her mind with no concern for the people around her, which creates several embarrassing situations, especially in restaurants. She and Chau briefly dated, before an argument about who was hotter - Owen Wilson (her choice) or Luke Wilson (Chau's choice) ended their relationship. She works as an assistant to Dr. Wasserman. Jordan refuses to use slang words for the notion of 'sexual intercourse', thereby referring to it as such or otherwise as coïtus.

Notable guest stars[edit]

Among the shows notable guest stars were Carmen Electra (as herself), and American Pie alumni Eugene Levy (as urologist Dr. Barry Wasserman), Jason Biggs (as Rick Steve, the man with two first names) and Shannon Elizabeth (as Dawn, a girlfriend of Chau's who adores seeing him get beat up). Tanya Roberts also guest starred in one episode as an older woman who ends up dating Euan. The show also featured one-off appearances by Jenna Fischer in "The Backup" and Zachary Quinto in "Diddler on the Roof" before they found fame on The Office and Heroes, respectively. There was also One Tree Hill star Bethany Joy Galeotti. And Perrey Reeves in "A Cute Triangle" prior to her turn on Entourage.

Controversy[edit]

While it aired, the show was controversial for its raunchy content, as topics addressed included threesomes, circumcision, pornography and masturbation. On March 4, 2002, as the show faced pressure from watchdog groups such as the Parents Television Council (which voted Off Centre the second worst show for family viewing in 2002), The New York Post printed a memo from the WB's Standards and Practices Department to the creators of the show that stated: "It is essential to reduce and/or modify the significant number of uses of 'penis,' 'testicles,' 'foreskin' as well as euphemisms for the same, such as 'your thingie,'" the memo says in part. It also orders the exclusion of such references as "covered wagon", "unit", "turtleneck", "little fella", "anteater", "diddy", "cloaking device" and "my pig is still snuggly, wrapped in his doughy blanket."

The episode which dealt with circumcision, "The Unkindest Cut", came under fire because of its treatment of the character Euan, who is British and has not been circumcised (the procedure is not routine and is uncommon in Europe and other parts of the world including Asia and South America), as well as the treatment of uncircumcised men in general.

Cancellation[edit]

The show aired on The WB network on Sunday nights, and despite dismal ratings, was renewed for a second season. However, the move to Thursday did not help the show, and it was cancelled seven episodes into the second season, leaving two episodes ("Scary Sitcom" and "Chau's Hard Iced Tea") unfilmed.

Ratings[edit]

Season Timeslot (EDT) Season Premiere Season Finale TV Season Rank Viewers
(in millions)
1 Sunday 9:30 P.M. October 14, 2001 May 19, 2002 2001-2002 #155 2.3
2 Thursday 9:30 P.M. September 19, 2002 October 31, 2002 2002 #151 2.26

Episodes[edit]

Season 1[edit]

Series
#
Season
#
Title Directed by Written by Original air date Prod. code
1 1 "Let's Meet Mike and Euan" Gerry Cohen Chris Weitz & Paul Weitz and Danny Zucker October 14, 2001 (2001-10-14) 227551
Mike, a boy-next-door type, is in awe of Euan, an overly confident womanizer. The two friends move into a New York City apartment complex home to celebrities and the wealthy. Things seem to be as good as they can get - that is until Euan invites Mike's girlfriend, Liz, to live with them.
2 2 "Feeling Shellfish" Mark Cendrowski Mike Barker & Matt Weitzman October 21, 2001 (2001-10-21) 227553
Mike and Liz both contract an STD and Mike blames Euan who he is sure is the cause of the infection. The condition puts a damper on Mike and Liz's anniversary as well as Euan's date.
3 3 "A Stroke of Genius" Michael Lembeck Danny Zuker October 28, 2001 (2001-10-28) 227552
Liz discovers Mike's hidden stash of XXX videos, and he's shocked when Liz is okay with it - she even offers to watch them with him. This seemingly good situation turns out to be a let-down for Mike. Euan tries to impress his jaded girlfriend.
4 4 "Trust Me or Don't Trust Me" Gerry Cohen Tim Kelleher November 4, 2001 (2001-11-04) 227555
Mike hits the town with Chau and Euan and turns down the advances of several woman in order to be faithful to Liz. However, Liz ends up kissing an old boyfriend that same evening.
5 5 "Euan's Brush with Love" Shelley Jensen Mike Barker & Matt Weitzman November 11, 2001 (2001-11-11) 227556
Euan goes on a quest to find a steady girlfriend and finds Ginger, an artist who thinks she's leeching off Euan. Status Quo's new clothing line makes him worry about his street cred. Meanwhile, Liz proves to Mike that skimpy clothing makes him uncomfortable.
6 6 "A Cute Triangle" Shelley Jensen Warren Bell November 18, 2001 (2001-11-18) 227557
Liz's sexy friend stays at the apartment for the weekend, getting Mike's hopes up that they might have a ménage à trois. Euan vows to remain celibate with his newest girlfriend, but lends his advice to Mike.
7 7 "Swing Time" Shelley Jensen Dawn Urbont November 25, 2001 (2001-11-25) 227558
Mike's parents come to New York for a visit, giving Mike a chance to bond with his estranged father. Things start working out until Euan catches Mr. Platt with another woman.
8 8 "Money or Brother Can You Spare a Ski Trip" Mark Cendrowski Mark Hentemann December 9, 2001 (2001-12-09) 227554
Mike takes on a second job at Chau's restaurant to try to solve his money problems. When Euan offers to help Mike out, Mike refuses, so Euan pretends to get Mike a job at his firm when in reality Euan is the one paying him.
9 9 "Marathon Man" Mark Cendrowski Tim Kelleher January 6, 2002 (2002-01-06) 227560
Euan is the subject of a hot rumor at work after a co-worker tells others that Euan is gay. Mike is thrilled to meet Liz's unimpressive ex-boyfriend.
10 10 "Guy Gone Wild" Dana deVally Piazza Dawn Urbont January 13, 2002 (2002-01-13) 227562
Mike learns about Liz's wild past and sets out to do things he missed out on when he was growing up. Things take an uncomfortable turn after Mike and Liz have sex at the office when they discover there are surveilance cameras.
11 11 "The Good, The Bad, and the Lazy" Jeff Melman Mike Barker & Matt Weitzman January 20, 2002 (2002-01-20) 227563
In desperate need of an enjoyable career, Mike heads to a career counselor. Meanwhile, Euan focuses his attention on his new B-movie actress neighbor.
12 12 "Gas Crisis" Mark Cendrowski Warren Bell January 27, 2002 (2002-01-27) 227561
Mike becomes increasingly comfortable with Liz, which leads to behavior that Liz isn't too fond of. Meanwhile, Euan avoids a woman who often breaks his heart and Status Quo works on a new song with Chau.
13 13 "Why Chau Lives Alone" Shelley Jensen Jim Bernstein & Michael Shipley February 10, 2002 (2002-02-10) 227567
Mike stays at Liz's for a while after he gets tired of living with Euan. To get back at Mike, Euan has Chau live in Mike's room.
14 14 "Mission Im-posse-ble" Shelley Jensen Mark Hentemann February 17, 2002 (2002-02-17) 227559
Status Quo fires his posse when Mike and Euan tell him they're all "yes-men". However, when Status Quo invites the neighbors to be his new posse, he treats Euan like a slave instead of a friend.
15 15 "Faking the Band" Jeff Melman Tim Kelleher February 24, 2002 (2002-02-24) 227564
Chau and Euan pretend to be rock stars to score women. Mike makes Liz angry when he proposes while drunk and forgets all about it.
16 16 "Hear No Evil, See No Package" Shelley Jensen Warren Bell & Danny Zuker March 3, 2002 (2002-03-03) 227565
Mike and Chau begin going to a gym where men often hang out in the nude. Meanwhile, Euan dates one of Liz's deaf friends, who turns out to be a lot meaner than everyone thinks.
17 17 "The Backup" Shelley Jensen Stephen Leff & Jim Patterson March 31, 2002 (2002-03-31) 227566
Mike warns Euan to stay way from his attractive friend, telling him that she's his "backup girl" he has if things with Liz don't work out. Meanwhile, Chau tries to win a big-screen TV in a contest.
18 18 "Mike & Liz & Chau & Jordan" Dana deVally Piazza Jim Bernstein & Michael Shipley April 7, 2002 (2002-04-07) 227569
Liz sets up Chau with her bizarre roommate, which facilitates a very strange romance. Meanwhile, Euan lies about his age to date a 45 year-old woman.
19 19 "Addicted to Love" Dana deVally Piazza Gabe Grifoni, Jake Farrow & Drew Levin April 14, 2002 (2002-04-14) 227568
Chau's new girlfriend becomes a hazard to him - gets him involved in fights, which result in Chau getting beat up by strangers. Meanwhile, Euan, Mike and Liz dog-sit Status Quo's canine.
20 20 "The Unkindest Cut" Shelley Jensen Warren Bell & Danny Zuker April 21, 2002 (2002-04-21) 227570
Euan is teased by Mike and Chau for having a foreskin. Euan makes an appointment with a urologist, who has a bizarre sense of humor when it comes to circumcision.
21 21 "Diddler on the Roof" Dana deVally Piazza Stephen Leff & Jim Patterson May 19, 2002 (2002-05-19) 227571
Euan worries about breaking up with one of MTV's The Real World cast members when he begins to think she'll bad-mouth him on national television. To get her out of his life, Euan sets up a plan to have Chau steal her away from him. Mike lands a dream job of doing the sound for porn movies, but he becomes upset when he thinks Liz is hooking up with Status Quo while he works nights.

Season 2[edit]

Series
#
Season
#
Title Directed by Written by Original air date Prod. code
22 1 "Love is a Pain in the Ass"
"Love Stings"
Shelley Jensen Warren Bell & Danny Zuker September 19, 2002 (2002-09-19) 175351
Mike decides it's time to break up with Liz, but Mike is thrown off when she beats him to it. But when the break-up sex is over the top, Mike changes his mind and tries to keep the relationship going. Meanwhile, Euan meets a woman who is more wild in bed than he is.
23 2 "Cockfight" Shelley Jensen Tim Kelleher September 26, 2002 (2002-09-26) 175352
Euan and Status Quo meet a woman at a bar and fight each other for her attention. When they learn she has a twin, they compete to see who can sleep with both. Mike bets on cockfights with Chau in order to make money for Liz's birthday present.
24 3 "Unflushable"
"M. Night Shyamalan's Unflushable"
Shelley Jensen Stephen Leff & Jim Patterson October 3, 2002 (2002-10-03) 175353
Mike wows the guys when he leaves the bar with the new apartment building tenant, Carmen Electra. However, Mike's new diet causes him to clog her toilet and enlists Euan and Chau to help clear it up.
25 4 "P.P. Doc II: The Examination Continues"
"PPD2"
Dana deVally Piazza Bill Freiberger October 10, 2002 (2002-10-10) 175354
Mike and Euan's urologist moves into their apartment building. They worry that the doctor will hurt their game, but soon find he attracts women.
26 5 "The Deflower Half Hour" Dana deVally Piazza Mike Barker & Matt Weitzman October 17, 2002 (2002-10-17) 175355
Lindsay, Euan's date, announces to everyone that she wants to lose her virginity to Euan when she turns 18 at midnight. Upon hearing this, the gang have flashbacks to their first times.
27 6 "The Guys' Guys" Dana deVally Piazza Dawn Urbont October 24, 2002 (2002-10-24) 175356
Mike's high school friends come to visit, and their dorkiness makes Euan feel overly popular. Meanwhile, Status Quo and Liz have a date.
28 7 "Little House on the Bowery" Shelley Jensen Tim Kelleher October 31, 2002 (2002-10-31) 175357
Mike and Euan switch accents to test whether it's the accent that lands women or if it's Euan. Meanwhile, Chau dates a crazy homeless woman.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rick, Fulton (November 15, 2001). "I WAS FLOP AT POP; Sean Maguire tells how singing almost cost him everything". Daily Record. 
  2. ^ Friedle lands UPN sitcom Neil Wilkes, DigitalSpy, 4 March 2002
  3. ^ PopEntertainment Interview - Have You Met Josh?, Jay S. Jacobs, PopEntertainment, 18 January 2006

External links[edit]