1998, Total running time 138 Minutes (6 x 23 Minutes)
An Australian sitcom that shoots from the hip but is straight from the heart. Irreverent and frequently riotous, House Gang is about learning to live together. Trev, Belinda and Robert are three flamboyant and strong-willed young people with intellectual disabilities. In the first series, they are forced to share their rented house with a bankrupt owner Mike and his difficult daughter Chloe. What happens in Series 2? They get a life, of course. Belinda grows up to be a cafe manager and accomplished flirt, party animal Trev falls hard for Belinda's girl-pal Donna and domestic-obsessive Robert discovers a new world online.
Kissing Chaos is unleashed when party animal Trev slams the front door one night, awakening his housemates from their dreams. In the ensuing twilight, Robert and Belinda share a long kiss, while Trev convinces Mike that a love shrine is the answer to his mid-life crisis. Daylight sees the housemates at their respective shrines. Belinda praying for the strength to resist Robert; Mike praying for a leggy blonde but getting cheery new neighbour Julie instead; and Robert caressing Belinda’s bra on the washing line. Meanwhile, teen queen Chloe is having nightmares about her dad in lycra. Only House Rules can save the day.
Chaos Robert’s attempts to romance Belinda with a surprise breakfast are cruelly thwarted by Chloe on a cash-raising, cake-baking mission. Robert takes revenge by scrambling her cake recipe. Belinda breezes off to the footie with her pal Donna, spurning Robert and leaving Trev smitten with the new gal. While Chloe is out overstocking ingredients, her second job turns up – baby-sitting the infant Willow. Robert is left holding the baby. With a little help from his friends, Robert pulls off this bash at fatherhood with aplomb. He is basking in his success, when a none-too-happy Chloe finally makes it home.
Surprise While Trev and Chloe slumber, the housemates plan a joint surprise birthday party. Dreams of love turn to nightmares when Chloe and Trev wake up screaming after visions of disco Mike on rollerblades. Meanwhile, Mike counsels lovelorn Robert. Trev wakes to Donna outside his door, but her reaction is not what he’d hoped. For his birthday Trev receives a number of symbolic belts: stud, chastity, glow-in-the-dark and an invitation to become Mike’s plumber’s mate. Chloe receives the keys to Mike’s new business vehicle: a giant sink plunger on wheels. Out on the road, the birthday pair exorcise their blues. Life takes a final twist when Mike presents Chloe with rollerblades!
Moving Out Robert is fed-up. After using up all the hot water and piling the sink high with dirty plates, his housemates take off, leaving him the mess...again! While flat hunting, Robert meets the equally cleaning-obsessed, James. Meanwhile, Belinda is a little put out to discover her best friends Donna and Trev are having a secret breakfast date. Trev concludes she’s a control freak. Undaunted, he and Donna whoop it up at the beach. Robert returns home to find Chloe getting ready to move into his room. Maybe he can fill the hole in Belinda’s evening? But Robert has wised up – he has a better date on offer. Computer geek James has turned him onto the internet.
Jealousy Robert spies a strange woman leaving the house: Belinda in a scarf, tailing Trev. Catching Robert out, Chloe is herself spotted sneaking in from a night out. It seems like everyone’s got something to hide. Donna has a rendezvous with Trev, and when a jealous Belinda confronts her, she denies everything. Meanwhile, Mike, who has the flu, suspects that his daughter may have a love-life. He’s right. Chloe is on-line, having cyber sex with her boyfriend. Mike’s own love-life warms up when convalescent Julie joins him on the sofa. Robert shames Mata Hari-Belinda by inquiring after the stranger in the scarf. All is forgiven when lovebirds Donna and Trev decide to come clean. Everyone is happy except Chloe, whose own date is sabotaged by the flu and she winds up joining dad and Julie on the sofa.
Ambition Everyone, it seems, is preoccupied with love or money. Everyone except Chloe who is the last to know that her dad and Julie are on – or are they? A cagey Mike retreats to his garage, with Julie not far behind, only to fall foul of Trev’s great sense of timing. Trev needs Mike to fast-track the plumbing business, so he can get rich quick and settle down. Belinda has mother, Astra, on her mind. Astra turns up and charms the household with her fortune-telling talents. Everyone that is, except Belinda, who is put out by the lack of attention. The future gets closer as Donna and Belinda agree to manage the cafe together, and Robert and James’ get their Clean Machine business underway. Trev even pops the question to Donna. Time to celebrate?
A Film Australia National Interest Program in association with Alfred Road Films and Accessible Arts Inc for SBS Independent. Produced and developed in association with the NSW Film and Television Office; produced in association with the Australian Film Commission; the Dept of Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs and the Dept of Human Services and Health. © 2011 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.
Director: Phillip Gordon
Principal Cast: Chris Haywood, Ruth Cromer, Chris Greenwood, Jocelyn Rosen, Saxon Graham, Linda Gibson
Total Running Time: 138 Minutes
Classification: PG. Consumer Advice: Low level Coarse Language, Drug References.
Curriculum Links: Disability Studies, Cultural Studies, English, Health and Behavioural Sciences, PDHPE, Psychology, SOSE.