Life is Overrated is a Georgeland television sitcom, airing on Channel 12. The first series of the show debuted on Wednesday nights at 7pm; this timeslot is will remain for the second series. The show stars Ian Albert as Ian Gray, a clinically depressed former therapist forced to quit his job and work as a freelance writer and lecturer due to his condition.
The show's premise is seen by some as making light of depression, a very serious psychological disorder. However, the lead character's depression is never the subject of humour; it is the world around him that is the source of the comedy. The show was created by Albert and Lex Fox.
The show's first series aired on Channel 12 from August to October 2006; a second series was shown in May-June 2007. A third series is currently airing, and a fourth series has been confirmed for 2009.
Dr. Ian Gray (Albert) is a successful therapist when he is diagnosed with clinical depression. His first session with a patient does not go well, and after a disastrous second attempt, Gray is forced to leave his job. He is offered a job as a lecturer and writer at a local university, but he has no passion for his job. Ian spends his time complaining about the world, and experiencing a series of events that do not lead him to improve his perception of the world. The series deals with the everyday challenges of modern life through the eyes of one who has little passion or tolerance for anything.
- Dr. Ian Gray (Ian Albert) suffers from depression, which manifests itself as a lack of passion for anything and a callous, almost emotionless state. He is, however, capable of feeling frustration and irritation, which is triggered quite easily. Gray is a former therapist but no longer has any empathy for anybody, which has led him to become selfish and bitter. Ian is constantly battling the 'morons' he sees in everyday life, and ordinary situations, like going to buy groceries, are frought with peril.
- Maggie Gray (Jacinta Rowe) is Ian's wife, who is also a therapist. She puts up with his attitude because she knows what depression does, but often finds herself the butt of abuse and nitpicking from her husband, which leads her to find her patience and tolerance sorely tested. Maggie and Ian have a caustic relationship at times, and much of the humour of the show is based around their casual exchange of insults and witticisms.
- Joe Arthurs (Dan Powell) is a colleague of Ian's at the university. Joe is brilliant but completely self-obsessed and boorish. He is also a womaniser, leading to Ian labelling him as "Captain Underpants-less" in one episode. Joe appears only in Series 1.
- Tom Gray (Simon McNamara) is Ian's brother, who is a hypochondriac and has delusions bordering on the paranoid-conspiratorial. According to Ian, Tom was 'expelled from the funny farm for being too strange', but this may just be an insult. Tom and Ian do not get on well, but Tom seems to have forgotten this.
- Lance Brock (Peter Khan) lives in the flat next door to Ian and Maggie. He is mostly normal, and spends a lot of time listening to Ian complain. Lance matches Ian in terms of acerbic wit, and occasionally joins him in his rant against the universe.
- Jennifer Brock (Susy Kato) is Lance's wife from Series 3, Episode 4, when the couple wed. Jennifer seems almost supernaturally well-adjusted, so Ian is suspicious of her.
- Samuel Collins' (George Donnelly) is Ian's boss, Dean of the Psychology Faculty at the university. More than eighty years old, he refuses to retire. He is both senile and quite clearly insane.
List of Episodes
- Heal Thyself (first aired: 16/8/06): Ian is diagnosed with clinical depression. After he tells a patient in so many words that he 'doesn't give a shit' about the patient's problems, he is forced to undergo therapy himself, with less-than-stellar results.
- Those Incapable... (first aired: 23/8/06): Ian begins at the Psycholoy Department at the university, but his first lecture does not go well after he turns up an hour late and finds an empty theatre. Joe and Ian clash over the hiring of a young, blonde research assistant.
- Paging Doctor Freud (first aired 30/8/06): Lance, Ian and Maggie brace themselves for a visit by Ian's mother, Mary (Barbara James), who is a trial even without Ian's depression.
- A Lie In (first aired 6/9/06): Ian can't be bothered getting up, despite Maggie, Lance and Joe's best efforts, and the business of the day goes on without him ever leaving his bedroom.
- Close Encounters (first aired 13/9/06): Ian's brother Tom believes there are aliens working at the local McDonalds - but might he be right? Maggie's latest patient has been hitting on her, but Ian is more concerned with his tax invoice.
- A Weekend Away (first aired 20/9/06): Ian and Maggie try to get away for the weekend, but Joe gatecrashes their bed and breakfast, as do a band of strolling players, a very large group of children, and a pack of wolves.
- Suicide Is Painful (first aired 27/9/06): Maggie thinks Ian is trying to kill himself, when he is trying to organise a surprise birthday party. Tom has become convinced Lance is plotting to kill him.
- Watering Hole (first aired 4/10/06): When the local pub closes, Lance starts a bar in his flat, leading to confrontations with the police, the city council, the Tennants Association, led by Maggie, but not from Ian, who sets up a tent in the new establishment and hopes to come out during 'the warmer months'.
- Bleed Like Me (aired 9/5/07)
Ian is freaked out when he finds he has a student who looks and acts just like him. Maggie tries her hand at investing in the property market, with little success.
- Hughes Street Blues (aired 16/5/07)
After a long night working late, Ian is locked out of his flat when Maggie goes to visit her mother. With Lance on holiday, Ian sets up a camp on the street and quickly becomes a local attraction.
- The I. Gray Sessions (aired 23/5/07)
Against her better judgement, Maggie agrees to counsel Ian twice a week, until she discovers a terrible secret about his past and her sister. Tom and Lance form an unlikely bond when they join together to save a local wildlife sanctuary, for all the wrong reasons.
- This Big (aired 30/5/07)
Ian's mid-life crisis kicks in when he buys a boat. His attempt to take up fishing ends in disaster, shipwreck, full frontal nudity and constant attacks by Derek the Badger.
- Cut Off (aired 7/6/07)
Maggie's new haircut is stirring strange feelings in Ian - and Lance, and Tom, and the milkman. Meanwhile, Ian feels alienated after his work colleagues all go on a personal bonding retreat - complete with beer and billiards - without him.
- It Rubs the Lotion... (aired 14/6/07)
Maggie is worried her latest client might be a psychopath, but he just so happens to be Ian's new drinking buddy. Tom's latest delusion is that the government is spying on him - but is it really a delusion?
- The Big Dig (aired 21/6/07)
Ian strikes gold while digging in the backyard, but who has the rights to claim the money? The Gray Family Claim is staked, but friendship turns to rivalry as Lance sets up his own claim, leading to a war on the goldfield.
- Trivia Night (aired 28/6/07)
Ian, against his will, is dragged to a trivia night with Maggie, Tom and Lance. He discovers, quite to his horror, that he can win the game...but not if the Trivia Tomcats have anything to do with it!
- What Is Normal? (aired 28/2/08)
Ian's new therapist is almost as mean and insensitive as he is, leading Ian to wonder whether he's normal after all. Meantime, Maggie tries to make friends with the new neighbours, but Tom seems predestined to ruin everything.
- The Man Who Stayed For Dinner (aired 6/3/08)
Tom is forced to move in with Ian and Maggie but how long will he last, and who'll give up first? Ian toys with the idea of applying for a promotion - until he finds out what the job entails.
- Time Off (aired 13/3/08)
Ian's boss having fallen asleep for three whole days, Ian decides to take an impromptu holiday at home, until Lance drops a bombshell and Maggie drops a bigger one.
- Goin' To The Chapel (aired 20/3/08)
Lance's wedding seems doomed from the start, with the bride the only one concerned who seems to have any common sense whatsoever. Ian and Maggie begin to come to terms with the reality that a child is imminent, but Tom is convinced Maggie's pregnancy is all a hoax.
- Hello! (aired 27/3/08)
Ian and Maggie begin attending parenting classes, but Ian can't cope with the cheerful optimism of it all, while Maggie's morning sickness reveals a disgusting secret.
- Bugs (aired 3/4/08)
Plagued by insects, Ian and Maggie have their flat fumigated and are forced to co-habitate with Lance and Jennifer, until a power outage sends the building into chaos.
- The TV Junkie (aired 10/4/08)
Ian is upset that he missed his favourite TV show and insists on buying a satellite dish, but Maggie is having none of it with a baby on the way.
- Bump (aired 17/4/08)
Lance and Jennifer announce they are moving to a new house, depriving Ian of his regularly-scheduled ranting partner. Maggie freaks out when someone notices her "baby bump" for the first time.
- Medicated (aired 7/5/09)
Ian is persuaded to start taking new anti-depressants which briefly cause him to normalise before going too far the other way, with his sudden mania kicking in halfway through a colleague's funeral. Meanwhile, Lance is spending all his time and Ian and Maggie's because Jennifer is redecorating their new house.
- Super Size Me (aired 14/5/09)
Ian and Tom become addicted to a new tasty, but highly fattening, junk food, leading Maggie to take drastic steps to protect their health, and hers.
- Party Time (aired 21/5/09)
Jennifer and Lance finally hold their housewarming party, but Maggie goes into labour halfway through and Ian is nowhere to be found.
- Viva la Napoleon (aired 28/5/09)
Tom's latest delusion is that he is Napoleon, but Ian decides to have some fun and play along. Maggie and new baby Karen are each keeping the other awake.
- The Great Inventor (aired 4/6/09)
Tired of being kept awake by the baby, Ian creates a 'cone of silence' that could be marketed to new parents for millions...until Tom finds a new use for it.
- Call Me Madonna (aired 11/6/09)
Lance and Jennifer decide to adopt children, but cannot agree on which of the two they like to get. Meanwhile, Ian has a psychotic episode which leaves Tom as the only man who can help him.
- Ball and Chain (aired 18/6/09)
Ian and Lance embark upon a male-bonding road trip but are dismayed when Maggie and Jennifer follow them, Thelma and Louise style.
- Rise to Vote, Sir (aired 25/6/09)
With local council elections looming, Maggie decides to run, but Ian is torn when Lance runs as well, and for very different reasons.
- "It's all in your head." - Ian, to a patient (Ep. 1)
- Joe: "She's got an arse I'd kill for."
Ian: "I've never needed a reason before." (Ep. 2)
- Maggie: "What do you have against my mother?"
Ian: "Other than the fact that she's more screwed up than Shirley Maclaine on acid?"
Maggie: "I know you're trying to be nice..."(Ep. 3)
- Ian: "I'm going to stay here [in bed] a bit longer."
Maggie: "Any longer and you'll need a special tube to go to the toilet."
Maggie: "No, we haven't got one!" (Ep. 4)
- Maggie: "Don't you care that a patient hit on me?"
Ian: "So what? Patients used to hit on me all the time."
Maggie: No, Ian. They used to hit you all the time. (Ep. 5)
- Maggie: "There's a wolf in the shower."
Ian: "Well, it's a cheap hotel. There are bound to be some problems." (Ep. 6).
- Tom: "That Indian guy next door wants to kill me."
Ian: "I know. He told me."
Tom: "When?" Ian: "At the last meeting of the "Kill Tom" club." (Ep. 7)
- Maggie: "How long are you proposing to sleep in Lance's kitchen?"
Ian: "About six hours. Then I'll probably watch TV."
Maggie: "What TV?"
Ian: "Well, close enough. I put some eggs in his microwave and turn it on for an hour."