Seachange: Not Such Great Expectations

Watched Not Such Great Expectations today and its a pretty great episode –  better than Playing With Fire I’d say.

Here’s my own outlined analysis (for students and tutors), but I won’t give too much away. Watch the episode, note their techniques and, most importantly, explain their effect/purpose!

Plot Lines:

This episodes utilises multiple plot lines and parallel plots. Some questions you should think about: what is the purpose of using parallel plots? How do all the plot lines connect?

Here’s a rundown of the (MULTIPLE!) plot lines:

  • Max/Laura: Max wants to know what Laura thinks of the first line of his novel.
  • Bob/Craig: Bob wants to train Craig up to be a real estate agent just like him.
  • Laura/Rupert: Laura tries to pressure Rupert into doing better at school.
  • Laura/Miranda: Miranda gets Laura to “agree” to her becoming an archeologist in the future.
  • Theo: an old man evicted from one of Bob’s properties. We learn the mystery behind who he is and what happened to him.
  • William: a kid who stole a bike and ends up in Court in front of Laura.
  • Max/Carmen: Max and Carmen get into a poignant talk ghosts.
  • Laura/Angus: Angus criticises Laura for applying the law blindly.


  • The pressures/expectations that parents exert upon their children.
  • The need for praise and encouragement.
  • That life can change dramatically depending on the opportunities and mishaps that people encounter.

Notable Techniques

  • Parallel plots and contrast
  • Bob’s speech about the wonders of real estate – wonderful humour!
  • Bob and Craig’s bright red suits
  • The ghost character/plot device
  • Slapstick – Heather and the ice cubes (good example to show students)
  • Repetition of Max/Laura’s scene at the beach
  • The recurring tea and “first line of Max’s novel” motif


Theo: One stupid punch and my whole life disappeared.

Bob Jelly: What is the one belief that unites the whole world? Real estate.

Bob Jelly: Everybody believes in property.

Max: I’ll just stay here and work on my completely pointless novel.

Carmen: Sometimes I hate you.

Angus: What’s the point of having you here if you’re just applying the law – any fool can do that.

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