Miscatex

Rent

Series 1

Episode 1

Maria and Richard have bought a larger house than they can afford, and are starting to struggle under the weight of debt. The house is in need of maintenance work with a quote from a builders on replacing the roof, and with little potential for selling their home, they discuss a possible loan. Richard heads to the bank to enquire about a loan, but is rejected due to outstanding loans and his current mortgage situation. Meanwhile, Maria discusses things with her mother who suggests a lodger may be in order. Advertising in a local shop, Maria soon has a viewer, student Paul who agrees to take the room despite its poor condition. However, a second viewer and also a student, Ruby, arrives leaving Maria feeling sorry for her situation and agreeing to take her as a second lodger, meaning Richard has a surprise upon returning home from work.

Episode 2

Paul and Ruby have now been in the house for a few weeks, and having them around is making Richard feel old while Maria is starting to feel motherly. Renovations on the house have also began with the incoming money, with Maria, Paul and Ruby taking on the decorating themselves much to Richard's dismay. Paul admits later to Maria that he is having problems at university getting the work done, as well as having little money and now late with his rent, so Maria arranges for him to do the painting in lieu. This however causes problems with Maria and Richard facing an argument just before bed. Paul takes to asking Richard for help with an assignment which Maria suggests he will end up doing. Paul has managed to get a job in the student union bar, as well as completes the decorating of the first room though Maria warns him that he can't depend on them to always help him out of every problem.

Episode 3

Maria has a job covering a maternity leave for a local newspaper and will be writing a feminism column. Ruby is also struggling for money, while Paul suggests a car boot sale to sell some belongings including a number of Maria's stored in the attic which are taking up space. Maria also takes to working late at night, leaving Richard feeling rejected and lacking attention. Paul and Ruby find some old Dinky cars in the attic, which Maria says they can sell while writing her article, however they belong to Richard leading Maria to race to the car boot to prevent them being sold. However, it is too late and Maria resolves to keeping Richard from finding out until she can get them back. Handling the dealer that bought them, she pays a price for the cars before returning to the house to tell Richard what happened.

Episode 4

Maria and Richard's wedding anniversary is coming up, though Maria is expecting it to be predictable as usual while talking to Ruby. Ruby sets about asking Richard's friend Amy to persuade him to do something different. Richard arranges a trip for Maria, leaving Ruby and Paul at home who plan on having a party. At the restaurant, Maria and Richard wonder how the party is going and decide to drop by, where Richard finds a girl crying while stuck in his bedroom having been trapped by Paul's DJ equipment, who is upset at her boyfriend who called her boring. Richard offers advice on being more spontaneous as a way to fix her relationship. Meanwhile, Maria is enjoying herself dancing and gets invited out on a date as Richard prepares to take her back to the hotel. The following day, Ruby and Paul give their present - a lamp - to replace a lamp broken by Richard at the party.

Episode 5

Ruby is away with a friend named Daniel leading to jealousy from Paul, while Richard has taken to digging in the garden leading to him having a bad back. Richard is also happy to see Ruby getting involved with someone else rather than Paul, though he has to contend with neighbour Amy encouraging Paul to continue his pursuit of Ruby. In the late evening, Paul and his friend Pete create pavement art in time for Ruby to come home though are left disappointed when she misses the last train back for a party, and the art is destroyed by a downpour. Ruby eventually returns the following day, and Paul is pleased when he finds Daniel is leaving for America to meet up with his partner, though he pulls out of revealing his feelings. Amy is informed on the latest developments by Maria who suggests that a picture she took of the pavement art may be used to push Ruby and Paul together in the future.

Episode 6

Ruby is on a diet, while Richard is also left questioning his weight. Paul is planning on going in for a half-marathon, though finds competition from Richard who also decides to enter. Alice and Maria wager on whether Richard will make it to the finish line, as do Ruby and Paul. Richard however still remains confident and fitter than he has in years. As the end of term approaches, Richard and Maria begin to wonder what the future will be with Ruby and Paul staying at the house, though both are still keen on having them around. During the marathon, both Paul and Richard make it to where Ruby and Maria are watching. After visiting the pub, they head to the finish line where they soon find Richard crossing the line. They later find Paul who had to quit the race with an injured ankle. The four go out for an evening meal which Maria pays for with her bet winnings, however Richard ends up falling asleep before dessert.

Series 2

Episode 1

Zeppo, one of Ruby's guinea pigs is not feeling well, while Richard has been skip foraging as part of a drive to prevent unnecessary waste. Contemplating skips, Richard and Maria decide to hire one to clean out various areas of the house and garden. As Ruby and Paul get into a debate about the merits of going out together, Paul discovers that Ruby is an Arsenal fan. He does however set about proving that he is not selfish and can do things for other people. While loading items into the skip, Richard is angered to learn that his stepladder has been stolen. Maria also suggests Paul should sell his DJ equipment which is still cluttering up the hall. While Paul is cleaning the guinea pig cage, Zeppo goes missing and believes he has ended up in the skip which leaves Richard and Paul digging around the skip in the middle of the night. He eventually comes clean and discovers that Ruby took Zeppo out of the cage, and has given birth to babies.

Episode 2

Richard is not feeling well, and is being a particularly difficult patient. Paul and Ruby have taken to going out together, though Richard is wondering how long it will last. Ruby soon ends up catching the cold, which leads to jealousy from Richard when she gets Lucozade bought for her by Paul. Feeling confident that he won't catch the cold, Paul soon finds he has it. Losing his voice, he plans on cancelling a gig he had scheduled though Maria manages to talk to the now-better Richard to stand in as the record announcer. At the event, Richard's announcing gets off to a rocky start but ends up going well in the end despite him making somewhat of a prat of himself as he even gets an offer from the nightclub owner. Maria end the night by passing out from too much drink, and the following morning wakes up feeling worse for wear.

Episode 3

Maria is struggling with writers block as a deadline for her article approaches. Ruby attempts to cheer her up by inviting her out for a drink, while Amy suggests a shopping trip would resolve the issue. Paul can only come up with plagiarising someone else, while Richard decides on attempting to make her laugh. Ruby is also struggling with ideas from her dissertation, as she is unable to convince her tutor on any of her plans. Stuck watching daytime television while eating chocolate biscuits with Paul, Maria and Ruby conjure up the idea of writing about supermodels and the way they are perceived by society. Richard also tries to help out by purchasing a word processor for Maria, who finds getting to grips with it somewhat difficult. When she believes she has lost her finished article by accidentally deleting it, Maria contemplates whether it is the end of her writing career.

Episode 4

Maria's flighty friend Ellen is due to turn up to stay for a couple of days, leaving Richard less than thrilled as she also has a snobby attitude. Ellen arrives and discusses her marital problems back at home, as she reveals she is going through the menopause despite being relatively young still, though her husband wants more children. With the talk of children, Maria and Richard also consider their chances of becoming parents. Ellen questions the suitability of Paul and Ruby seeing each other under the same roof, while Richard also attempts to deal with who he believes to be Ellen's husband, though instead it is a university housing inspector coming to check up on Paul and Ruby's living situation. Ellen eventually returns home to fix her relationship problems, and is particularly pleased with Richard with his attempts to stand up for her.

Episode 5

Paul has lost his job at the University bar, and Ruby offers him money to cover the rent. Paul wonders about the future and was hoping to move in together with Ruby. Ruby however believes he is trying to move too fast, when he issues an ultimatum on working out what she wants as he plans on moving out whatever happens. While Ruby is discussing horoscopes with Richard and Maria, Paul reveals he is getting rid of his DJ equipment from the hall. Ruby discusses her problem with a friend, but doesn't get very far, so decides on seeing a fortune-teller. Heading to the fortune-teller with Ruby, Maria is told that she is pregnant and Ruby is told that the answer is within her. Back at home, Ruby sits down with Paul and says that she wants to carry on as they are as Paul comes to realise his own childishness over the situation.

Episode 6

Maria is contemplating her next steps, and wonders if she will have to ask one of Paul or Ruby to move out. The pair also have their own problem, which looks like one of them moving back into the student halls, with Paul losing out though he reveals he was previously kicked out of the halls. Maria eventually tells Richard the news, who is delighted by the news, and agrees to be the one to tell Paul and Ruby the situation. When Richard fails to tell Ruby and Paul, they begin to believe she has a terminal illness when she begins to feel slightly unwell. Ruby heads to Amy's to try to find out what is going on, though she also refuses to reveal all. Maria eventually sorts the situation by telling Ruby. Ruby in turn puts a proposition to Maria that the pair move in together, and be able to stay in the house despite it still being a little cramped.

Series 3

Episode 1

Richard and Maria set about choosing a middle name for baby Emily, and Richard attempts to prevent revealing one of his own middle names when Paul asks and begins guessing. Meanwhile, Richard is on the defensive when Paul discovers his middle name begins with an L, and is also fed up of hearing Brahms' lullaby from children's toys. As the days pass and the naming ceremony draws closer, Maria sets about getting the other three to produce a shortlist of names which they can vote on using a single-transferable vote system. The vote leads to the name Ann being selected, leaving nobody happy with the choice. Richard ends up in court as a witness to a car accident, and has to give his middle name - Livingstone - as Paul watches on from the gallery. While having an appointment with a health visitor, Maria decides on changing Emily's middle name to Talulah.

Episode 2

Maria's mother is upset at her and Richard for not baptising the child, and the choice of the baby's name. Emily also doesn't take too well to being held by her grandmother leaving her put out. Ruby comes up with a plan to leave Paul in charge of the baby for the day, to prove that he is trustworthy and prevent Maria's mother from complaining. With Maria looking forward to a day off baby-duty, her mother decides to invite herself along for a day shopping, as Paul and the baby head to the park. Ruby and Richard also offer their help with reservations in their trust in Paul. In an attempt to impress, Paul also tries to do the shopping while keeping Emily occupied, which ends with him on the verge of a breakdown. Meanwhile, Maria and her mother try to reconcile some of their differences. At the hospital, Paul has to get a stuck toy removed from his head. With everyone back at home, Paul's remaining red mark on his head means he becomes the focal point of everyone's laughter.

Episode 3

With Emily's naming ceremony due, Maria is struggling to cope with her mother who is attempting to organise the food though creating a large amount of havoc at the same time, particularly around how much food will be on offer. Paul and Ruby are also under stress, with Paul concerned that Maria is going to change the content of his speech again and Ruby trying to make a centrepiece for the table though questioning her talents. Richard is also under pressure from Maria for not having the foresight to help enough. The day before the ceremony, everyone settles into a relaxed mood accepting that it will go how it goes, except Maria's mother who keeps herself busy with preparation jobs. However, despite the initial panicking, the naming ceremony however goes off without a hitch, and everyone has an enjoyable time.

Episode 4

Preparing to go back to work, Maria is excited that she is going to be an 'agony aunt' for a small newspaper; taking over for the previous columnist who is going on maternity leave. She ropes Richard, Paul and Ruby into helping sort out a backlog of letters though they struggle to get on with Emily's crying. Taking a break and talking to Amy, Maria is concerned about her ability to get her work done while looking after a child. Back home at dinner time, Paul takes to cooking, and also decides on his own change of career - to become a professional broadcaster - starting with a slot on hospital radio. Maria soon starts to have doubts about her ability to help as an agony aunt, when she begins to wonder if Amy's fifteen year-old daughter is pregnant. Paul's stint as a deejay is also an unmitigated success and his time slot is quickly expanded. Maria also admits to making up some of her agony aunt letters.

Episode 5

Richard has taken to betting via phone call into the early hours of the night, which intrigues Paul and irritates Ruby, who threatens to break up with him if he gets involved. When Paul reveals to Maria he has also been offered a job at a local radio station, he contemplates leaving his university course despite her encouragement to reconsider. While looking through the betting pages, Maria spots a horse, "Piglet's Folly", which she believes is a sign and decides on putting a bet on at the bookmakers, which subsequently goes on to lose. When Paul tries to tell Ruby about leaving his university course, he prepares a special meal, and reveals his new job to which she is delighted. He also discusses the possibility of them moving out to their own place. In one final surprise, Paul asks her to marry him to which Ruby agrees.

Episode 6

With Paul and Ruby due to move out, Maria wonders how Emily will get along without them being in the house. Richard broaches the subject of another baby, which leaves Maria feeling that he has gone mad. Paul is also worried about Ruby and her exams, leading Paul to suggest that they delay moving until after Emily's birthday. Ruby begins to believe that she has a rash coming on as well as a stomach bug, due to her stress while Paul attempts to reassure her. Emily is also starting to try to walk while Ruby and Paul are watching, though they attempt to placate Maria who is disappointed she didn't see it. While Ruby is doing her exams, Maria sets about baking a cake with little help from Amy, leading to Maria missing Emily take three steps which are seen by Richard. Ruby gets through her exams without issue, as the family celebrate Emily's birthday after which Paul and Ruby leave for their new home.

Series 4

Episode 1

Now that Paul and Ruby have moved out, Richard and Maria contemplate their future which revolves mostly around ageing, which is spurred by the arrival of new baby Toby. Maria has also received a book contract, which promises to be a big project with her continuing to work on the agony column and looking after the children. Meanwhile, Ruby finds that Paul has recorded the wrong channel and has missed her documentary required for work, leading her to accuse him of messing up subconsciously whenever she is involved. At the pub with Richard, Paul contemplates Ruby's newfound seriousness since she has begun her job while Maria and Ruby talk about their own problems. Maria also finds that her new neighbour, now that Amy has moved away, may be taking advantage of her good nature. Speaking with Maria again to finish their earlier interrupted conversation, Ruby says she has become desperate for a child, though conversations with Richard later don't tally.

Episode 2

Paul enjoys a cup of coffee with Maria who is under pressure with her advice column, while he reveals they are putting plans in place to purchase their own house. Meanwhile, Richard reveals they have hit a bonanza with a building society pay-out though the news doesn't help improve sleeping matters due to Toby's constant awakening. With the windfall money, Richard contemplates purchasing shares as a grown-up option. Maria meanwhile has to rope neighbour Gemma into breaking into the house, to retrieve her spare car keys. Paul and Ruby's house-hunt proves tiring, while the thought of doing the mountain of ironing leads Richard to hire an ironer. When Paul and Ruby turn up, Maria reveals her struggle with paying attention to the children, and thinks about hiring a nanny, as a way to avoid the crushing time pressure.

Episode 3

Having managed to move into their own house, though have to make do with a lack of furniture. Maria soon turns up at for the first chat with Ruby in some time, and discusses her struggles at home though help is on the way with a nanny, Eva, who is due to arrive. Maria however feels uncomfortable about having a new face in the house, though takes Richard's advice on how to approach the relationship. Setting about devising a job description along with Ruby, Maria finds it provides any many questions as answers. Eventually arriving, Eva proves particularly efficient and ordered which somewhat catches Maria out, while Richard keeps getting her name wrong. Paul receives a postcard from oddball cousin Dave, who is planning on making a visit which leads Ruby apprehensive as to his plans. Dave eventually turns up late at night, though immediately requires thirty pounds to pay for the taxi ride from Oxford, as well as wanting to stay with them for some time.

Episode 4

Nanny Eva is now ruling Maria and Richard's lives, which Maria takes to discussing while out with Ruby for lunch. Ruby also has her own house problems with Paul struggling to keep up with housework. Meanwhile back at home, Dave is still staying with Paul and Ruby after a fortnight, which leads Paul to tackle the issue and admit that he has had enough, though surprisingly Ruby is still fine with him staying. Dave however refuses to say why he won't go back to his own home. Paul has to escape to the pub with Richard, feeling excluded from his own home, while Richard sets about executing a plan involving Maria which may help. Richard's plan falters when Maria doesn't have the intended effect. Dave and Eva however soon hit it off, which leaves questions from Ruby about his supposed girlfriend back in Manchester, and eventually wanting him out of the house.

Episode 5

Maria and Richard try to decide on where to go on holiday while Richard makes a discovery under the couch of a variety of items hidden from Emily. Ruby meanwhile has taken to painting, while Dave's burgeoning relationship with Eva leaves Paul praying that he won't move here permanently. Eva and Dave take to talking about their situation, with Eva having a job offer from Huddersfield that she isn't keen on, though she ends up moving in with Maria and Richard. Paul gets surprising news that Dave is planning on leaving the house, as he has a band gig in Manchester. His news also surprises and upsets Eva, though Dave makes an offer for her to join him. With everyone seemingly in the process of change, Dave reveals he has a promotion offer to move into marketing which he has to give an answer on, though wonders what this means for his future.

Episode 6

With Eva now living with Maria and Richard, dinner time proves awkward as she doesn't appear able to relax. Meanwhile, Richard takes to helping put up shelves with Ruby as a way to escape the ever-present Eva. At the park, Richard and Maria take to discussing the situation with Eva and finding out what her plans are. Paul meanwhile takes to talking with Maria about his work situation and having to make the decision about his promotion as he instead contemplates going back to presenting. The talk about spurs Maria into talking with Eva, however she gets in first with news that she is leaving for Manchester to meet with Dave. Ruby soon turns up at the door crying with news that she isn't pregnant, despite believing she had all the symptoms. Eva's leaving has Maria deciding on not taking on another nanny, as Richard decides on taking part in a job share to allow him to spend more time at home.