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Raw is an Irish Dramedy focused on the young, good-looking, hard-partying staff of a hip Dublin restaurant, named 'Raw'. Uniquely (by the standards of Irish television), most of the characters are foreigners - only four of the eight main characters in series one are Irish (and two of those four are from Stroke Country and thus technically immigrants). Arguably, this is a case of Truth in Television. But by series three there are only two properly non-Irish in the lead cast.
The main character is JoJo, a 22-year-old heavy-drinking, heavy-drugging, short-tempered cook from Stroke Country who unexpectedly takes in her older brother, Shane. Shane, a solicitor, married man and heretofore success story, has gone on the run from his job and wife and is now employed as a lowly kitchen porter in 'Raw'. JoJo and Shane live with English barman Bobby, a charming chancer who is the unrequited love of JoJo's life, but has eyes only for waitress and student Rebecca. Then there is the tyrannical Australian Sous Chef Geoff, the timid Czech waiter Pavel and, above them all, dissolute Chef Mal and his ambitious English wife, Tanya.
This all changes fast in series two though.
Currently airing its fourth series.
Not to be confused with WWE Monday Night Raw
This series contains examples of:
- Actor Allusion: A Running Gag in season 1 is people mistaking Pavel for Polish when he is Czech. The character was originally written as Polish but the nationality was changed when Czech actor Krystof Hadek was cast.
- The Alcoholic: JoJo seems like she's heading in this direction in series 4.
- Ascended Extra: Maeve, JoJo and Shane's mother made a couple of appearances in the second season and becomes a full regular cast member in the third with a story arc of her own. Kate, Fiona's sister could count as well, being added to the season 3 opening credits
- Betty and Veronica:
- Rebecca is the Betty and JoJo is the Veronica to Bobby in season 1. Subverted because Bobby doesn't actually know that JoJo actually fancies him. He becomes the Veronica in season 2 while Dylan becomes the Betty with JoJo as "Archie".
- Series 3 also has Pavel as an Archie, with Geoff as the Veronica and Jack as the Betty.
- Blondes Are Evil: Rebecca, to auburn-haired JoJo. Kate as well. Though in series three Fiona went blonde too, but didn't go evil. By series 4 the haircolour=morality idea kinda goes out the window.
- Bottle Fairy: JoJo. Her first appearance on the show is being carried out of a house while sipping a glass of wine. Mostly dropped after series one when Jojo realises how important being a chef is to her. Brought back in series 4 after her relationship with Dylan hits the skids.
- Britain Is Only London: The show, though set entirely in Dublin (and thus not even in Britain), is rather strangely fixated on London. At least four main characters have lived and worked in London before coming to Ireland for a fresh start.
- It did seem very forced that the new owner in the second series was yet another London blow in. Are there no other cities in the Raw universe?
- And now Bobby who is from Hull is moving back to England. Guess which city he's moving to.
- And now Selena is confirmed to have come from London as well.
- As well as Fiona having got a job there twenty years earlier.
- Butt Monkey: Richard who is apparently competent enough to get a job in Raw but incompetent enough that he almost never gets anything right. Lampshaded in one episode.
- Casanova: Bobby. In series one his answering machine message was "Hey this is Bobby, I'm probably having sex".
- Character Development: Pavel in season 1 was shy and insecure. Now in season 3 he has become a lot more confident and is much happier.
- The Charmer: Bobby
- Citizenship Marriage: Geoff married Selena for a work visa in England. Considering the EU treaty on citizenship, it explains why he's in Ireland.
- Compressed Vice: Geoff in series three.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Geoff is a male example. Comparing his season 1 behaviour with how he is now in season 4 the difference is astonishing.
- Diabolus Ex Machina: The end of series 4. Crickey was that depressing.
- Everyone Meets Everyone / In Medias Res: A boatload of new characters suddenly arrive in the first episode of series 4. Kate and Fiona's father and sister suddenly rearrive in their lives bringing in-progress-offscreen plotlines with them. A produce-supplier turns up who coincidentally happens to have a history with Fiona. New recruit Philip has a dramatic past he's trying to escape from. And in episode two Geoff's old friend Selena arrived on his doorstep out of nowhere.
- Fake Brit: JoJo and Shane for a debatable value of 'Brit'; they are from Belfast but Charlene McKenna was born in Monaghan and Keith McErlean is really from Donegal. Both counties are in Ulster but not actually in Northern Ireland.
- Hard Gay: Geoff
- In Dublin's Fair City
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Geoff
- The Ladette: JoJo
- Love Dodecahedron: The show makes Grey's Anatomy look chaste. In the space of six episodes Jojo has lusted after Bobby, who was lusting after Rebecca, who was going out with Mark, Jojo tries to get over Bobby by getting Pavel drunk enough to bed him, but instead Pavel goes off with Geoff. While this is happening Shane has left his wife, and sort of entered a timid romance with Tanya (Mal's wife) but they opt not to pursue it, partly because his wife's come back. At one point there are two same-sex dates going on in parallel. One marraige is rekindled and then dissolves the next day. Another dissolves and is then rekindled the next day. An while all this is happening there's the comic relief of Tiny and Richard, two almost-mute hetero-life-partners. in six episodes.
- The hormones level off after series one though.
- Mistaken Nationality: Pavel is often mistaken for Polish. Truth in Television, as due to the high numbers of Polish that moved to Ireland after 2004, citizens of other Eastern European countries are often mistaken for Polish.
- Non-Indicative Name: Tiny's an increibly tall guy.
- Only a Flesh Wound: Subverted hard with Pavel in the fourth series finale. Philip's dad shoves him over, hitting his head off a table. He refuses medical attention, thinking it to be a simple bump on the head. It's only minutes later, when he's alone that he keels over, leaving the series on a Cliff Hanger.
- Put on a Bus: Mal, Tanya and Rebecca as of series 2. Richard and Tiny halfway through series 3. Ray at the end of series 3.
- Retool: Series 1 was on the youth-oriented RTE Two, after the show proved a hit it was bumped up to the family-oriented RTE One. This meant a shift from near-constant swearing to nearly no swearing whatsoever. It also meant sex scenes became much more PG, the bed-hopping was reduced dramatically, and any scenes of partying became short, tame and rare.
- She's Got Legs: Fiona. Even more impressive, seeing how, as of season 4, she's forty.
- Ship Tease: Pavel and JoJo in season 1, Shane and Tanya also.
- Series 4 has Emma clearly fancying the oblivious Philip and Philip clearly fancying the oblivious JoJo.
- Slobs Versus Snobs: JoJo (slob) versus Rebecca (snob).
- Straight Gay: Geoff
- The second series suggested he might be Bi the Way, but Geoff has now confirmed he is only into men. Though he did have a green card marriage with Selena.
- Stroke Country: JoJo and Shane come from there.
- Theme Naming: Jojo's romantic interests are named Bobby and Dylan.
- Triang Relations: Jojo, Bobby and Rebecca in series one, Jojo, Bobby and Dylan after that. A few others are teased but those are the main ones.
- The Silent Bob: Tiny
- Will They or Won't They?: Jojo and Bobby, Pavel and Geoff.