Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps. Image shows from L to R: Tim (Luke Gell), Donna (Natalie Casey), Billy (Freddie Hogan), Gaz (Will Mellor), Cassie (Georgia Henshaw). Image credit: British Broadcasting Corporation.

Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps

Sitcom following the lives and loves of a group of twenty-somethings in Runcorn, an industrial town in the North of England

Two Pints; 2 Pints Of Lager
2001 - 2011  (BBC Three / BBC Two)
80 (9 series)
Natalie Casey, Will Mellor, Sheridan Smith, Kathryn Drysdale, Ralf Little, Luke Gell, Georgia Henshaw, Freddie Hogan, Lee Oakes, Beverley Callard, Thomas Nelstrop & more
Susan Nickson, Daniel Peak, Tim Dawson, Kate Wincup, Jon Brown, Karen Laws, Robin Taylor, David Cantor
British Broadcasting Corporation

Two Pints follows the lives and loves of five friends. In Series 1, Donna and Gaz are just starting off their relationship while Janet and Jonny seem to have a solid romance. Meanwhile, the temperamental Louise is somewhat unlucky in love. The friends meet at the local pub to chat about sex, work and life.

The show follows the couples splitting up, getting back together, getting married, having babies - and even being ripped apart by death.

At the end of each series viewers are presented with a cliff-hanger that leaves it in the air as to whether the various couples will stay together.

Numerous characters made their way in and out of Runcorn over the years. Those to leave included Janet, Donna, and Jonny. Newcomers included barman Tim, his sister Cassie, and wannabe footballer Billy.

Other characters to have left include Gaz's half-brother Munch, Louise's Australian boyfriend David and Donna's incorrigible mother, Flo.

Our Review: This BBC Three sitcom is aimed directly at teenagers and young adults - as a result, much of the humour is broad, crude and sex related. Be warned, if you're not in the target audience you're likely to find this show vulgar and anything-but-funny.

However, beyond the perhaps puerile humour is a set of well-defined characters, strong writing, and scripts of a fairly consistent quality. For viewers who stick with the show there is also a great deal of emotional undertone and subtlety to the series, which, given the humour, is far from clear from a quick glance on the surface. This is a great draw for many, and goes to make the show a real "love it or hate it" affair.

But love it or loathe it, one has to admire Two Pints for taking the mainstream sitcom genre to some surprisingly interesting places over the years - notably by broadcasting a musical episode in 2003, a horror special in 2006, and starting off the 2008 series with a highly charged episode broadcast live from BBC Television Centre.

It is also worth highlighting the powerful and emotive endings which have become a staple of the final episode of each series, with stirring music mixed with clips of the respective series' up and down points. They can seem somewhat over the top to the casual observer, but as with the undercurrent of character development throughout the show's run, only serve to make the fans even more appreciative.

With only two of the original cast left, Series 9 was seen by many as 'make or break' for the sitcom. However, despite increased audience figures, new BBC Three boss Zai Bennett has decided to end the show. A final special has not been ruled out, but is relatively unlikely.