Stressed Eric

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BBC Two (ended 2000)

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6.9
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User Rating
37 votes
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Stressed Eric

Show Summary

Eric Feeble is a middle-class divorced father of two who resides in London, England. An average man, with a less than average life, Eric is endlessly at his wits end -- stressed out with his family, coworkers, and his life in general. For starters, there's his children. His precocious daughter, Claire is allergic to everything, from peanuts to dolls and everything in between. Eric's toadish son, Brian, sticks everything into his mouth that he can get his hands on. The family's live-in au pair, Maria, is a drunken nymphomaniac with a bad habit of disappearing for days at a time. Eric's ex-wife, Liz, is a whiny psycho who's involved in every kind of "rights" act imaginable, from "animal rights" to "tree rights" to Buddhism. Just to make his oddball family dynamics look worse, the next door neighbors are the aptly named Perfects, who are wealthy and snobbish. At work, Eric has to put up with his insufferable boss, P.P., who is prone to insane fits of rage and over-use of the word "arseburger." And then there's his secretary, Alison, who does nothing more than spend her days gabbing on the phone to her friends. Others in Eric's life are his self-obsessed doctor, Doc, whom Eric often contacts for advice. And last, but not least, is Mrs. Wilson, the little old lady who's always slowly inching her way towards the mailbox with a letter, which eventually falls into the sewer. At the end of each episode, a throbbing vein in Eric's head bursts out and chokes him.... Stressed Eric premiered on BBC-2 in 1998. Touted as the UK's answer to "The Simpsons," it grabbed the attention of the USA's NBC network, who quickly bought the rights to air the show later that summer. This was the first animated series that ran on NBC primetime since 1982's short-lived "Joke Book," but it was quickly pulled from the air after 4 episodes due to lackluster ratings. An NBC affiliate in Utah even refused to air the series, because they felt it was stupid and not up to the same standards as the rest of the "Must See TV" schedule, so "Mad About You" was rerun in it's place. The NBC versions of the episodes shaved off around 4 minutes, so that they could add in their standard 8-minutes of commercial time per half hour. But the biggest problem with NBC's version was their decision to change Eric's voice. To appeal to US audiences, they foolishly felt Eric should be an American living abroad, so his voice was redubbed by Hank Azaria ("The Simpsons"). The original title sequence (and theme) were dumped and replaced with a scrapbook montage opening -- featuring photos of Eric in the US, moving to the UK, getting married and having kids. Comparably speaking, the US opening credits were dopey. The unaired episodes with Azaria's voice have never seen the light of day. A second season was made and finally aired on BBC2 in 2000. This second season boasted a new opening sequence identifying all the regular characters, accompanied by a new, jazzy arrangement of the theme tune (in contrast to the harsh electric guitar version used in season 1). The most dramatic change, however, was that the new episodes were made in 16:9 widesreen, which may make it the first major animated series to appear in this format.moreless
Alison Steadman

Alison Steadman

Voice of Mrs. Perfect

Hank Azaria

Hank Azaria

Voice of Eric Feeble (US version)

Mark Heap

Mark Heap

Voice of Eric Feeble (UK version)

Gordon Kennedy

Gordon Kennedy

Various

Doon MacKichan

Doon MacKichan

Voice of Maria Gonzalez / Alison Scabie

Morwenna Banks

Morwenna Banks

Voice of Claire Feeble / Heather Perfect

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • The UK's best adult orientated animation to date!

    8.5
    To be honest there isn't much competition in this category. The programme has a quite British feel to it, despite its production by a US animation studio. The humour is quite dark and adult, and a lot more risque than say The Simpsons and King of the Hill. It should appeal to fans of alternative comedy. It ran for just 2 seasons but left some memorable moments and storylines. Definitely worth catching on re-run or on-demand.moreless

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More Info About This Show

Categories

Animation, Comedy

Themes

Sitcoms, British TV