Friday Night Dinner
|Friday Night Dinner|
|Created by||Robert Popper|
|Written by||Robert Popper|
|Directed by||Steve Bendelack
|Opening theme||"Animal" (Punks Jump Up Remix) by Miike Snow|
|Composer(s)||"Meddle" by Little Boots
"Fot i hose" by Casiokids
"1901" by Phoenix
"Believe E.S.P." by Deerhoof
"Walk The Line" (Original Mix) by Dani Siciliano (Series 4)
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||4|
|No. of episodes||25 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Nira Park
|Running time||25 minutes (approx.)|
|Production company(s)||Popper Pictures
Big Talk Productions
|Original network||Channel 4|
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV)|
|Original release||25 February 2011– present|
Friday Night Dinner is a British television sitcom written by Robert Popper and starring Tamsin Greig, Paul Ritter, Simon Bird, Tom Rosenthal and Mark Heap. The comedy is focused on the regular dinner experience of a British Jewish family (the Goodmans) on each Friday night. The first series originally aired from 25 February 2011 on Channel 4. Series 4, which comprises six episodes, began airing on 22 July 2016.
There are strong elements of farce throughout.
Cast and characters
- Tamsin Greig as Jacqueline "Jackie" Goodman, the wife of Martin and mother of Adam and Jonathan. Humorous, honest and occasionally flirtatious, Jackie is usually disillusioned by the behaviour of her husband and sons.
- Paul Ritter as Martin Goodman, the father of Adam and Jonathan. Martin often goes shirtless inside and outside — he explains this by stating he is "boiling". He also has a hearing impairment and often mishears words but also uses it as excuse when he hears something he'd rather not get involved in. He calls Adam and Jonny "bambinos", colloquialism for "bambino/bambini" (children) in Italian. He is very interested in science. In many ways he is socially awkward. He also has a few rather odd habits, including eating out of the bin and generally collecting food scraps any way possible. His filthiness forms a main part of his character.
- Simon Bird as Adam Goodman, the eldest son. He is trying to forge a career writing advertising jingles. Adam is nicknamed "Pusface" by Jonny and once by Nelly and Jim. He is quite often the victim of the mayhem, and the straight man around which the chaos ensues.
- Tom Rosenthal as Jonathan "Jonny" Goodman, the younger son. He works as an estate agent. Jonny often instigates fights with Adam and plays pranks on him, causing Adam to retaliate. Adam and sometimes Jackie nicknames Jonny "Pissface".
- Mark Heap as Jim Bell, the Goodmans' neighbour. Jim frequently appears on their front doorstep and is seemingly infatuated with, and therefore trying to stalk, Jackie. He does this by dropping hints to attempt to gain entry into the house. Martin appears unaware of Jim's interest in Jackie. He is accompanied by his Belgian Shepherd, Wilson, of whom he is irrationally afraid, despite Wilson being very docile. As well as this, he seems to be quite socially incompetent and constantly leaves gaps in conversation where nothing is said. This is added to by a seeming total misunderstanding of social rules, particularly when attempting to flirt with Jackie because he has a crush on her. In series 2 there is the suggestion that Jim has spent time in a secure psychiatric unit: he had been in hospital, 'wasn't allowed' to eat with a knife and had an extreme reaction to red paint believing it to be blood. He seems to be fully conversant in Chinese. In season 3, it is revealed that he was born in a zoo. He also has a brother, who is in Uganda in series 1 and implied to be in prison in series 4. In the same series, he has passed his driving test after 15 attempts and revealed that his father committed suicide by falling off a tower.
- Frances Cuka as Eleanor Buller (often referred to as "Grandma" or "Nelly"), Jackie's mother. Her sporadic deafness and lack of situational awareness often cause comic embarrassment. She is also very vain and always looks in the mirror to check on her hair.
- Tracy-Ann Oberman as Aunty Val Lewis, Jackie's best friend. She often dresses in a very similar way to Jackie, which occasionally causes confusion for Martin and Jim.
- Harry Landis as Lou Morris (often referred to as Mr Morris), Grandma's terrifying boyfriend with a Hitlerish moustache. He has a terrible temper and gets angry when disturbed, loses patience or if someone flirts with Nelly when being overprotective. He has even tried to fight Martin in series 2 and Jim in series 3. He has not appeared since the last episode of series 3.
- Paul McNeilly as Lawrence the pub landlord, The Pub Landlord is an unfriendly person. He intimidates both Adam and Jonny who occasionally enter the pub when things go bad at the Goodman house. Coincidentally all the episodes he had appeared in are episode three of series 1, 2 and 4.
- Rosalind Knight as Cynthia Goodman (often referred to as Horrible Grandma), Martin's mother who is the opposite of Nelly and hates everyone including Jackie and the boys. She is also horrible to people such as Jim, Val and Nelly.
- Steve Furst as Uncle Larry Lewis, Larry is Val's husband who is mentioned in episode 4 of series 1. He did not make an appearance until episode 5 of series 3 where Val was having an affair with another man. Larry and Val always have arguments as seen in series 4 episode 2 where they were arguing about ridiculous things such as lakes and the euro, but Val instantly forgets about their arguments when Larry treats Val to a romantic trip. Currently his only appearance is "The Piano".
|Series premiere||Series finale|
|1||6||25 February 2011||8 April 2011|
|2||6||7 October 2012||11 November 2012|
|Christmas Special||1||24 December 2012|
|3||6||20 June 2014||25 July 2014|
|4||6||22 July 2016||26 August 2016|
Series 1 (2011)
The first series premiered on 25 February 2011 and ran for 6 episodes which aired on Fridays.
|No.||Title||Director||Writer||Original air date|
|1||"The Sofabed"||Steve Bendelack||Robert Popper||25 February 2011|
|Jackie and Martin are having a clear-out, but Martin is reluctant to chuck away all his tatty old magazines, and ropes in Jonny to secretly hide the stash back at his flat. Jackie is very excited because it's the final of MasterChef; Jonny thinks it's MasterShit. Jackie is trying to get on with dinner, but their slightly odd neighbour Jim keeps interrupting to use their toilet as he's broken his own loo in mysterious circumstances. Meanwhile, Martin has forgotten a man (Matthew Holness) is coming to pick up their old sofabed. Will Jackie even get to see her precious Masterchef? |
|2||"The Jingle"||Steve Bendelack||Robert Popper||4 March 2011|
|In the second episode, when Adam and Jonny come home to find Martin secretly peering into his underpants with a magnifying glass, they're desperate to find out what he's looking at. Also Jackie is just trying to have a nice Friday night, but Jim - the neighbour who's terrified of his own dog - keeps interrupting the meal. Martin takes Adam - who's single - into the toilet to have a private chat about 'females'. Soon the whole family are in the loo quizzing poor Adam, and Jonny is loving it. Lastly the secret behind Martin's pants-peering is revealed.|
|3||"The Curtains"||Steve Bendelack||Robert Popper||11 March 2011|
|Jackie is delighted with the new set of curtains she has bought, but the boys and Grandma think they're horrible leaving Jackie annoyed. Meanwhile, Martin drops Jackie's beef casserole all over the kitchen floor. It looks disgusting yet Martin scoops it back into the dish. The boys are unsurprisingly not happy about their meal. Later, the argument about the curtains spreads, and Jonny leaves in a huff to go to the pub with Adam joining him only to get there and share a quarter-of-a-pint and a chat with Jim. At home, Jackie and Grandma are still not talking, so it rests with Adam to resolve the family argument - can he save the day? |
|4||"The Dress"||Steve Bendelack||Robert Popper||25 March 2011|
|When Jackie finds out that Martin didn't throw away his old boxes of science magazines in their clear-out, she goes mad and Martin builds a bonfire and promises he'll burn them all. Instead Martin is only pretending to burn them and he is squirrelling the boxes off to his shed/lad's pad in the garden. Jackie is excited as her best friend, Val (Tracy-Ann Oberman), is popping around with her new dress for her daughter Karen's wedding. Adam and Jonny are convinced Karen has a face like a foot. Meanwhile, Jim's dog Wilson goes missing, leaving Jim distraught. Later, Val comes round and she looks just like Jackie: similar hair, similar clothes and - according to Martin - 'similar bottoms'. She tries on her dress which leaves the ladies in their element and the men supremely bored. Will Jim ever find Wilson, and will Jackie venture once again into Martin's shed to discover the truth behind his 'pretend bonfire'?|
|5||"The Mercedes"||Steve Bendelack||Robert Popper||1 April 2011|
|It's Adam's birthday. As he arrives home, a silver Mercedes almost runs him over. Inside is Sheila Bloom (Frances Barber) aka 'Bitchface' as Adam and his family call her. 'Bitchface' is famously obsessed with her Mercedes, and after some catty remarks about Adam's 'Yugo' ('Err... it's a Nissan'), she speeds off. Martin reveals that he used to have "a thing" with Bitchface years ago. The boys can't believe it. Jackie's not happy. Martin is cooking dinner because Jackie is 'crippled'. Later, Martin overcooks the beef and the family abandon dinner and go for a Chinese, but Bitchface is there. An awkward chat ensues, and finally Martin reveals exactly what he got up to with her...|
|6||"The Date"||Steve Bendelack||Robert Popper||8 April 2011|
|Adam comes home to find the house looking immaculate, with classical music playing in the living room, Jackie's posh bowls on the dinner table, Dad in a smart suit, and - most mysteriously - the table set for five. The doorbell rings and in comes Tanya Green (Tuppence Middleton), a girl Jackie has been trying to fix up with Adam for months. What follows is possibly the most excruciating family dinner scene of all time. Meanwhile, Jim has been locked out as his dog, Wilson, has swallowed his keys. Inside, the blind date continues, but will Jackie's dream of an Adam and Tanya wedding come true?|
Series 2 (2012)
A second six-episode series began airing in the UK on 7 October 2012. The episodes aired on Sundays. A Christmas Special aired on Christmas Eve 2012.
|No.||Title||Director||Writer||Original air date|
|1||"Buggy"||Martin Dennis||Robert Popper||7 October 2012|
|When Jonny finds Adam's old diary, he learns a terrible secret: when Adam was 11, he secretly dumped Jonny's beloved 'Pandy' panda bear toy in the outside bin, never to be seen again. This unleashes a war in the house, with Jonny threatening to destroy Adam's equally beloved old rabbit toy, 'Buggy'. Fights rage in every room, with Mum and Dad unable to control their two twenty-something sons, who have become 13 again. Desperate to hide his precious comfort toy from his angry brother, Adam gives Buggy to just about the worst person possible: neighbour Jim. Meanwhile, Dad will not stop sneezing on everything - 'He sneezed on a baby today - so embarrassing,' says Mum. Later, when dinner is served, Dad sneezes over all the food and Mum's delicious Friday night dinner is ruined. But what happens when hopeless Jim accidentally loses Buggy in a lake? And why is Jim speaking Chinese?|
|2||"Mr Morris"||Martin Dennis||Robert Popper||14 October 2012|
|The boys are excited, because grandma is coming for dinner, and tonight she's bringing her new boyfriend. 'He's not her boyfriend,' says mum, he's her 'male companion'. Eighty-two-year-old Lou Antony Morris is a horrible, vain man, who sports a trilby, a Hitler-ish moustache, and is obsessed with cleanliness - wiping his hands on the bathroom curtains when there's no hand towel. Mr Morris is also the world's worst driver, parking his battered old car right up to the front doorstep, smashing his headlamp. None of the family can see what lovely grandma sees in him. Dad can't stand the man and hides in his shed (while rifling through his box of fossils, saying that he's 'looking for trilobites'). But none of the family are quite prepared for what happens when Mr Morris suddenly loses his temper...|
|3||"The Loft"||Martin Dennis||Robert Popper||21 October 2012|
|To get out of cleaning the loft with Dad and Adam, Jonny claims to have dislocated his shoulder. But when Adam discovers he's lying, he threatens to tell mum immediately. "Fine," says Jonny, '"Then I'll just tell her all the grotty details of what you got up to with Hayley Posner". Adam is horrified. Hayley was Adam's blind date - the niece of his Mum's best friend Val - and he slept with her and then never called back, "because she smelt like Mum". Mum mustn't find this out, so Adam has to let Jonny get away with his pretend bad shoulder. Meanwhile Mum and Dad are not on speaking terms. There's been a terrible argument. Dad tells the boys that the reason - much to their horror - is 'sexual'. But what exactly he got up to, no one will tell them. Val (Tracy Ann-Oberman), comes round for dinner to lend mum moral support, as mum's argument with Dad escalates.What is mum and dad's terrible secret? And will mum and dad find out all about Jonny and Adam's secrets too? All this, and a visit to the unfriendliest pub in the world - The Black Boy.|
|4||"The New Car"||Martin Dennis||Robert Popper||28 October 2012|
|Martin is very excited. He's just bought a new fax machine. The boys can't believe it 'What's the point of using a fax machine when you've got email?' they ask. 'So you don't have to read everything off a bloody screen,' replies dad. Jonny, who's an estate agent, has been given a company car - the uncoolest car possible. It has a giant, estate agent-themed, fake brick roof on top. Adam calls it a 'house'. Mum soon learns that Jonny bagged the car because he'd been sleeping with his boss, the much older Liz (Lesley Vickerage). Mum is not happy, and an awkward scene arises when the family bump into Liz outside Jonny's office. Meanwhile mum has put dad on a diet - 'no chocolate, no cheese, no cakes' for two weeks, but dad has made the boys smuggle in food for him, which he keeps hidden in the downstairs loo. Jim pops round with his dog Wilson. He's drunk, as he's celebrating Wilson's birthday. ('Wilson is either 4 or 9'). Jim has even made Wilson a birthday cake. Later, returning from a 'family spin' in Jonny's car, the family find something awful has happened to their house...|
|5||"The Yoghurts"||Martin Dennis||Robert Popper||4 November 2012|
|Jonny is in a real pickle: he wants to split up with his 43-year-old girlfriend/boss, Liz, but is too scared to do so. Adam, meanwhile, is happy to keep teasing him about her age ('I'll switch the stair lift on'). Grandma offers Jonny some advice - 'Take her out dancing' - before showing him how to dance in the kitchen. While they dance to the music on the radio, it transpires that it's just the music for the news headlines, and before long, Jonny and Grandma are actually dancing to the news. Adam is loving it. Meanwhile, Dad has been drying fish under the stairs (Dad: 'Have you never had dried fish before?' 'Not from a cupboard' replies Adam). Then Grandma gets locked in the boot of Adam's car and everything changes. How will they get her out? And as if that isn't bad enough, Jonny's girlfriend, Liz turns up at the house.|
|6||"The Mouse"||Martin Dennis||Robert Popper||11 November 2012|
|The boys come home to find the house in a real state. The builders have been in, and everywhere they look, there's mess. On top of this, there's a mouse in the house, and mum is hiding in the shed. Dad - who's clueless in the kitchen - is left in charge of dinner ('I might as well be boiling a table'). But when Jim pops round to see if he can help around the house, something quite terrible happens to him, and mum is forced - out of guilt - to ask Jim over for dinner. This is Jim's happiest moment ever - finally, his first ever Friday night dinner with the Goodmans. Dad and the boys are livid with mum for asking him round. What follows is an excruciating dinner scene; along with Jim's peculiar eating habits ('I prefer to tear my food'), Jim's conversation skills have a lot to be desired ('Martin, are you circumcised?' he asks an unsuspecting dad). Things get even worse very quickly, as Jim leaves a trail of destruction in the house...|
Christmas Special (2012)
|Title||Director||Writer||Original air date|
|"Christmas Special"||Martin Dennis||Robert Popper||24 December 2012|
|It's Christmas day. Mum has made a fantastic Christmas dinner. The boys are delighted that Grandma is coming round, but horrified that Dad's mother - 'Horrible Grandma' (Rosalind Knight) - is coming too. Horrible Grandma turns up with her equally horrible dog, Boudacea, which has to wear an oxygen mask. Horrible Grandma hates mum's 'horrible dry turkey', and mum is distraught when Horrible Grandma brings her own turkey with her to eat. Dad and the boys are jealous, as they too secretly hate mum's dry turkey. After dinner, tensions mount, as the two grandmas have an argument that develops into a fight. And then Jim turns up, dressed as Father Christmas...|
Series 3 (2014)
In May 2013 Tom Rosenthal confirmed that a third series was to be filmed in September 2013. The filming finished in November 2013 and on 2 June 2014 it was confirmed that the series will air from 20 June 2014.
|No.||Title||Director||Writer||Original air date|
|1||"The Girlfriend"||Martin Dennis||Robert Popper||20 June 2014|
|Adam finally brings a girl home for dinner, but the evening is ruined when the family suddenly have to look after eight-year-old Katie, who has a massive girlie crush on Adam.|
|2||"The Fox"||Martin Dennis||Robert Popper||27 June 2014|
|Dad has been secretly hiding a dead fox in the outside freezer as he wants to get it stuffed. But when Mum needs to use the freezer, Dad enlists Adam and Jonny in a desperate attempt to hide the dead animal from her.|
|3||"Mr Morris Returns"||Martin Dennis||Robert Popper||4 July 2014|
|The family are distraught when Grandma gets engaged to Mr Morris, her horrible 85-year-old boyfriend. Meanwhile, Jim collects money for charity, while dressed in full dog costume, complete with doggy testicles.|
|4||"The Anniversary"||Martin Dennis||Robert Popper||11 July 2014|
|Mum and Dad's anniversary is ruined when Dad paints a portrait of Mum that looks like Margaret Thatcher, Jonny gets a tattoo of a skull, and Jim sleep-walks around their house, causing havoc.|
|5||"The Piano"||Martin Dennis||Robert Popper||18 July 2014|
|Dad's bought a piano, and the world's most sarcastic piano tuner comes round to tune it. Meanwhile, the family spot Aunty Val kissing a man (Renton Skinner) who's not her husband (Steve Furst). What should they do?|
|6||"The Big Day"||Martin Dennis||Robert Popper||25 July 2014|
|It's Grandma's wedding day, and she's getting married to the horrible Mr Morris. The family are distraught, but when the Rabbi (Paul Kaye) asks her if she'll take him for her husband, will Grandma really say 'I do'?|
Series 4 (2016)
On 17 April 2015, Channel 4 confirmed that Friday Night Dinner would be returning for a fourth series due to air in mid-late 2016. Tom Rosenthal stated on Twitter that the new series would probably be filming in early 2016.
The fourth series began airing on 22 July 2016.
|No.||Title||Director||Writer||Original air date|
|1||"The Two Tonys"||Martin Dennis||Robert Popper||22 July 2016|
|Dad accidentally invites someone who he used to hate round for dinner: an annoying man who talks with his eyes closed. How will Dad get rid of him?|
|2||"The Carpet Cleaner"||Martin Dennis||Robert Popper||29 July 2016|
|It's Dad's annual hinge oiling evening but when he spills oil on Mum's beloved carpet, it's a race against time to clean it up before she finds out. Meanwhile Adam fancies one of the waitresses at Mario's.|
|3||"Congratulations"||Martin Dennis||Robert Popper||5 August 2016|
|Adam has finally been recognised for his musical talent. But it's overshadowed when Jonny arrives home and announces he's got married. Also it's Jim's birthday.|
|4||"The Pyjamas"||Martin Dennis||Robert Popper||12 August 2016|
|Adam has been staying at Mum and Dad's all week, but with Mum fussing over him so much, he's started behaving like a little boy. Meanwhile Jim passes his driving test after 15 attempts.|
|5||"The Funeral"||Martin Dennis||Robert Popper||19 August 2016|
|It's Uncle Saul's funeral, which means 'Horrible Grandma' is back, and leaving a trail of broken furniture in her wake. Also Jonny tries to watch the Grand Prix.|
|6||"For Sale"||Martin Dennis||Robert Popper||26 August 2016|
|The boys arrive home to find a 'For Sale' sign in front of the house. How will they stop Mum and Dad from selling the family home?|
In September 2011, Deadline Hollywood announced that Greg Daniels, who had adapted The Office for American television, would spearhead an American remake of the series for the broadcast network NBC. The remake was picked up for a pilot, written by Daniels and directed by Ken Kwapis and starring Allison Janney and Tony Shalhoub as the mother and father. The pilot did not go to series.
|1||6||15 October 2012|
|2||6 (+ 1 Christmas Special)||7 July 2014*|
|3||6||23 November 2015*|
|4||6||5 September 2016|
- Series 1 and 2 boxsets were also released on the same date.
- Series 1, 2 and 3 boxsets were also released on the same date.
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- "Friday Night Dinner Series 4, Episode 1 : The Two Tonys". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
- Andreeva, Nellie (6 September 2011). "Greg Daniels To Adapt British Comedy 'Friday Night Dinner' For NBC". Deadline.com. Retrieved 4 February 2012.
- Andreeva, Nellie (3 February 2012). "Ken Kwapis Set To Direct NBC Pilot 'Friday Night Dinner', Reunites With Greg Daniels". Deadline.com. Retrieved 4 February 2012.
- Andreeva, Nellie (7 February 2012). "Allison Janney & Tony Shalhoub To Star In Greg Daniels' NBC Pilot 'Friday Night Dinner'". Deadline.com. Retrieved 7 February 2012.