In the era of the "Swinging Seventies" and the "Permissive Society," two London bachelor girls, Chrissy and Jo, in need a third girl to share their apartment, find the answer asleep in their bathtub. His name is Robin Tripp and though he's not a girl exactly, he is studying to be a gourmet chef, and who can tell the difference these days anyway? Well, landlord George Roper can, for one, and he's irate. His wife Mildred can too, and she's intrigued. So the question is: will the good-cooking newcomer Robin Tripp fall on his face or feet - or wind up with egg on his face? With one man living with two women, sharing nothing more than the rent, housework and the cost of living, the fun and complications of mixed flat sharing are the source of the comedy in this hilarious, daring and groundbreaking series.
Serving as the predecessor to the wildly popular U.S. series, Three's Company, MAN ABOUT THE HOUSE was a phenomenally successful British comedy, running for six series in total, spinning off two further series and making household names of its stars Richard O'Sullivan, Paula Wilcox and Sally Thomsett.
American fans of the quintessential '70s double-entendre comedy Three's Company
might be surprised to learn it was a British import. Yes, the sexy Chrissy and the leering Mr. Roper had their beginnings on the other side of the Atlantic in Man About the House
, set in the swinging '70s of London. The laughs are broad and shameless, and as enjoyable as any silly wink-wink-nudge-nudge comedy of the era.
Chrissy (Paula Wilcox) and Jo (Sally Thomsett) need a third roommate for their London flat, and find the perfect one in a passed-out party guest, Robin (Richard O'Sullivan). But landlord Mr. Roper (Brian Murphy) isn't so sure about the setup, so the women tell him Robin's gay ("we told him you were a poof!"), though, naturally, Robin is wildly attracted to both of his roomies. Much of the comedy consists of the trio of roommates keeping up the front for the rest of their building and unexpected guests, workmen, and council authorities.
While some of the humor is dated, the snapshot of the mores of the '70s shows a culture in enormous transition, and the fact that it was able to laugh at itself was a big part of the times, on either side of the Pond. Man About the House lasted six seasons on British TV and spawned two spinoffs in England alone--and, let us not forget, launched the careers of Suzanne Somers and John Ritter in the U.S. Let the high jinks begin! --A.T. Hurley