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This article is about the American TV series that aired on MBN from 1996 to 2014. For the Margovyan TV series of the same name, please see The Diner Club (History of Margovya).

The Diner Club

Created By

Rafael dela Cruz

Executive Producer

Rafael dela Cruz

Starring

Seth Green
Gwyneth Paltrow
Paul Rudd
Cameron Diaz
Michael Vartan
Drew Barrymore

Opening theme

Simple Minds - "Don't You (Forget About Me)"

Broadcast

Metropolitan Broadcasting Network

Genre

Sitcom, romantic comedy, drama

No. of Seasons

18

No. of Episodes

450 (List of episodes)

Running Time

23 minutes

Original Run

September 21, 1996 — May 3, 2014

The Diner Club is an American sitcom created by Rafael dela Cruz. It follows the story of Daniel Marks (Seth Green), Belle Lancaster (Gwyneth Paltrow), Andrew Davis (Paul Rudd), Tina Stuart (Cameron Diaz), Nick Trott (Michael Vartan) and Claire Holmes (Drew Barrymore), six young adults living in New York City in their early and mid-twenties, as they go through family and life struggles, marriage and mid-life crisis as they enter their 30's, and, for the older characters, their 40's.

The series began broadcast in the Metropolitan Broadcasting Network on September 21, 1996 and aired until May 3, 2014, spanning a total of 450 episodes over 18 seasons. The show received a generally positive feedback from media critics and personalities, and is often compared to the NBC sitcom Friends and the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother, which only aired for roughly half the original run of the show.

PremiseEdit

Daniel Marks (Seth Green) celebrates his twenty-first birthday and the first day in his last year in college by going on a road trip to Atlantic City with his roommate and best friend, third year medical student Nick Trott (Michael Vartan). However, after their car broke down, they spent thirty minutes on the road, after which they successfully hailed a cab, which was driven by Nick's high school friend, Andrew Davis (Paul Rudd), who then offered to fix their ride. He then drives them to a local diner in lower Manhattan, called Uncle Ben's, while they wait for the car to be fixed. While in the diner, they meet Andrew's social group of single people in their early twenties: middle school teacher Tina Stuart (Cameron Diaz), fashion designer Isabelle Lancaster (Gwyneth Paltrow) and college student and aspiring writer Claire Holmes (Drew Barrymore), who was revealed to be one of the girls Nick has successfully picked up from a college bar near Columbia University, slept with and never called again. Nick and Daniel never got to continue their road trip, but they did had a good time with the group that they eventually decided to join the club.

The succeeding episodes follow the story of the six people as they deal with personal and family issues, which include dating and breaking up, hooking up with strange people, getting involved in tight situations, up to marriage and having their own family, as they enter their 30s and eventually, their 40s. Some of the most significant events in the story include Daniel's parents arranging a marriage for him and their business partner's daughter, Daniel auditioning for a band and getting accepted, Belle falling for and eventually marrying the guitarist of Daniel's band, Daniel's marriage to long-time girlfriend, Nick's eventual marriage and devastating divorce, and eventually, his marriage to Tina. Frequent recurring guest stars include Daniel's parents, Uncle Ben's barista Chris, waiter Larry, Daniel's girlfriend, and eventually, wife, Andrea, and Tina's older sister Amy.

CastEdit

Main Article: List of The Diner Club characters

  • Seth Green as Daniel Marks, a twenty-one year old fourth year Business student at Columbia University, whose parents wanted him to inherit the business, a position he never dreamed of having. He has a secret passion for music, which he developed by writing songs and performing them on the diner. He then becomes the lead vocalist of the band Hazard by season 3, where he meets his eventual girlfriend, Andrea Monty. However, after getting fired from Hazard in season six and becomes a struggling musician, he breaks up with Andrea, and went to take the position his parents were offering him. By season 7, he was an executive at his parent's company, a job that he hates, and started dating other people, none of which lasted long. He searched for and got back together with Andrea by the end of season eight, which drove him to resign from the company and continue as a struggling musician. By season nine, he was signed in to a record label as a solo artist, and on his first concert, he proposed to Andrea, and they get married by the end of season ten. However, after eight years of marriage and three children, Andrea died of cancer in the middle of season eighteen, after which Daniel slowly tries to recover from his loss.
  • Gwyneth Paltrow as Isabelle "Belle" Lancaster, a twenty-three year old junior designer in a local fashion company in Manhattan. After graduating from college, she and Tina leased an apartment above Uncle Ben's. She is fashion-savvy, and sometimes a very "classy" type of person in terms of her choice of clothes and the way she talks, but she is a nice and kind-hearted woman. In season 5, she fell in love and started dating Marty Harris, the guitarist from Hazard, from which Daniel got hired as the lead vocalist. Belle and Marty eventually got married by the end of season 8. However, when they started trying to have kids, Belle found out she was impotent. Shortly after, Marty gradually lost affection for her, until by season ten, she caught him cheating on her with one of his fans. She filed for divorce, which went through season 11. Belle then goes back to dating after that, while she keeps getting promotions at work, until she becomes an executive at the fashion design company by season thirteen. She then meets Louis Park, the senior executive to which she was directly reporting to, which they started dating, at which point Belle becomes extremely jealous and possessive, due to the fact that she got cheated on herself. He then breaks up with her by the end of season 13, saying she needed to "fix herself." Subsequently, Belle quits her job at the company, and started over as a freelance fashion designer. By season 16, she started getting big clients, especially in the film industry. By the end of season 15, she realizes that she wanted Louis back, but learns that he was engaged. She then barges on his wedding with Tina and he then backs out on his wedding, and the two get back together. Louis proposed to her by the end of season 16, but on their wedding in season 17, he dies in a car accident. However, Belle, established as being unable to have kids, becomes impregnated by the end of season 17, which was revealed to have been twins by season 18.
  • Paul Rudd as Andrew Davis, a twenty-five year old college dropout who then worked as a cab driver. He was Nick's high school best friend and, eventually, college roommate, before Daniel moved in. However, after his wealthy father died in 1991 and he got his inheritance, he dropped out of college and squandered his money, until he became poor not one year later. He stayed with Tina and Belle at some point, but only until he could afford the apartment next door to theirs. He was a cab driver until season two, when he could finally afford to finish college. He entered police academy by season five, where he met and dated Pam Curtis. He started working for the NYPD in season 6, until he was offered a promotion in season seven, but had to be transferred to the opposite coast. He declined the offer, since he wanted to stay with Pam, but later finds out that Pam was offered the same job and she took it, causing them to break up. He later did accept a promotion in season eight and met Patricia after rescuing her from a serial rapist. Things worked for them and they started dating, but towards the end of season nine, Andrew caught her cheating on him, at which point Andrew completely swore off dating. However, he met Elizabeth in a conference in Vermont a few episodes after, and they started dating in season 10. They eventually got married in season eleven and had two children. However, in season sixteen, Patricia introduces him to her six year old daughter Ashley, whom she claims is Andrew's. Upon learning that that, in fact, is true, Andrew fought for full custody of the kid, which he won.
  • Cameron Diaz as Christina "Tina" Stuart, a twenty-two year old middle school teacher. Unlike her roommate and best friend Belle, Tina is described as simplistic, though just as nice and kind-hearted. She developed a liking for Nick in the first episodes of the show, until they accidentally hooked up at the end of the first season. They remained friends nonetheless, until in season three, Nick admits his feelings for her. They dated for a short while, but break up because of Nick's fear of commitment. Tina soon gets accepted as a college professor at Columbia by season four, but gets fired by season eleven after having an affair with a student, at which point Nick just got through a divorce, after which they hook up again. They began dating again by season 12, but break up again due to Nick going back to his hedonistic behavior as part of his "post-divorce breakdown." Nonetheless, they got married by season 14 and had a daughter by season 18, which they name Andrea, after Daniel's late wife.
  • Michael Vartan as Nicolas "Nick" Trott, a twenty-six year old third year medical student at Columbia. He is a hedonistic bachelor who has a habit of sleeping with women and never calling them again. He describes himself as a "medical doctor by day, vagina operator by night." He went to high school and college with Andrew, until Andrew dropped out on their third year, after which Daniel moves in with him. He graduated from medical school at the end of season two, and began working at a local hospital in Manhattan by season 3. He had an on-and-off relationship with Tina, whom he accidentally hooked up with at the end of season 1. The two of them date briefly in season 3, but break up because of his immature behavior and fear of commitment. However, despite his hedonistic nature, he falls in love with Charlie Ross, one of his patients, by season 5. They eventually got married in season 6 and had two children, but got divorced in season 11 where, apparently, Charlie cheated on him but made it look like he was the bad guy. Nick turns to Tina, who had a roughly bad day as well, and they hooked up afterwards. Though having a meltdown in season 12 after the divorce, he started dating Tina, but broke up shortly afterwards. However, having an epiphany upon turning 40 in the season fourteen episode "The Resolution Proposal," he proposes to Tina, and they got married at the end of season 14. They had one child, Nick's third overall, which they name Andrea, after Daniel's wife, who died months before their daughter was born.
  • Drew Barrymore as Claire Holmes, a twenty year old third year Art student at NYU, who is also an aspiring writer. She was a frequenter at Uncle Ben's when she's writing novels and/or studying for exams, and later on, she was hanging out with Tina, Belle and Andrew. She started going out with her classmate Dominic, and he proposed to her upon their graduation in season 2. However, at their wedding in season 4, Dom left Claire at the altar, eventually leading her to write a novel about it. She finished the novel by season 5, and started submitting it to agents. At the end of season 6, her book got published and became a hit. During a fan signing event, she met Ryan, whom she started going out with later on. However, as she developed a fear of commitment from the event, when Ryan proposed to her in season eight, she said no. Deciding to write another novel about it, Claire realized that she wanted Ryan back, but it was too late: he was engaged to another woman. However, on his wedding day, Ryan left the girl at the altar for Claire, and they got back together by season ten.They soon get married by season twelve and had one kid.

EpisodesEdit

Main Article: List of The Diner Club episodes

Season No. of episodes Original Airdate
Season Premiere Season Finale
1 26 September 21, 1996 May 10, 1997
2 26 September 20, 1997 May 16, 1998
3 27 September 19, 1998 May 15, 1999
4 25 September 25, 1999 May 13, 2000
5 26 September 23, 2000 May 5, 2001
6 26 September 15, 2001 May 18, 2002
7 27 September 21, 2002 June 7, 2003
8 26 October 4, 2003 May 29, 2004
9 26 September 25, 2004 May 21, 2005
10 23 September 24, 2005 May 20, 2006
11 24 September 23, 2006 May 12, 2007
12 24 September 22, 2007 May 10, 2008
13 24 September 27, 2008 May 16, 2009
14 24 September 26, 2009 May 15, 2010
15 26 September 25, 2010 May 21, 2011
16 26 September 24, 2011 May 19, 2012
17 26 September 22, 2012 May 18, 2013
18 18 September 21, 2013 May 3, 2014

Season 1 (1996-1997)Edit

Main Article: The Diner Club (season 1)

Daniel Marks plans to celebrate his twenty-first birthday with Nick Trott, his roommate and best friend, by going to Atlantic City and getting wasted. However, during the road trip, their car, an authentic model manufactured by the car company that is owned and run by Daniel's parents, and known for its substandard yet ridiculously overpriced products, broke down. After spending thirty minutes on the road pondering what to do, they managed to hail a cab, which was driven by Andrew Davis, Nick's high school best friend and old college roommate. Andrew, himself a mechanic, agreed to tow the car over to his place, which is on an apartment building above a local diner in lower Manhattan called Uncle Ben's. While fixing the car, Daniel and Nick waited on the diner, where he met Andrew's friends: Claire Holmes, an Art major student at NYU and an aspiring writer; Belle Lancaster, a junior fashion designer at a local company, and Tina Stuart, a middle school teacher. Talking about their lives as single people in their 20's, they managed to have a good time at the diner, as Daniel, who has a secret passion for music, performed a song at the diner. They then started hanging out everyday at the diner.

The season introduces the six main characters and their personalities. Daniel is shown to be a hardworking student whose effort is put in the wrong place, as his parents wanted him to inherit the car company, which he doesn't want to. On top of that, he was set up on an arranged marriage with his parents' business partner's daughter, Tamia (Reese Witherspoon. Belle is shown to be a career person, although she did got into dating twice in the season: with a businessman named Andre Carter (Matt Damon), whom she got into a fight with Tina for in the episode "Survival of the Prettiest" (01.07), and almost a year with co-worker Tim Laurie (Dylan McDermott). Andrew is a struggling cab driver who once squandered the wealth he inherited from his late father who is now working to be able to go back to college. Tina is known for her maternal instincts, despite being young, single and childless, prompting her to teach students. Claire is an aspiring writer, writing novels about everything that she has an inspiration for. Nick is shown to be a hedonistic bachelor and a constant womanizer, inventing schemes to get a woman into bed, one of his victims being Claire, a couple of days before the events of "Pilot".

However, in the middle of the season, in the two part episode "The Sound of Music" (01.13 and 01.14), Tina suddenly developed a crush on Nick right after she, Belle and Daniel saw him sound asleep on their booth at the diner after apparently drinking three bottles of beer while studying for a midterm test. After Belle and Daniel had left the diner, Tina suddenly kissed Nick while he was unconscious, surprisingly waking him up, causing her to be uncomfortable around him the following days. However, when she finally tells him how she feels ("The V-card", 01.19), he politely declines her advances, saying that he only sees her as a friend, and that he isn't looking for a serious relationship. However, at the end of the season, Nick and Tina unexpectedly hook up.

Meanwhile, on Daniel's graduation day from college in the episode "The Graduation from Hell" (01.25), his parents surprised him with the news that he and Tamia would get married within a week. Daniel then stood up to his parents, and they finally allow him to do what he wants to do with his life.

Season 2 (1997-1998)Edit

Main Article: The Diner Club (season 2)

Daniel then decides to move out of the dorm now that he has already graduated ("The Move Out", 02.02); however, realizing that he has just been deprived of any inheritance or financial support be his wealthy parents after what he did on his graduation day, he can't afford to live on his own, so he decided to live with Andrew for a while, but could barely work it out because both of them were broke. However, in the episode "Wardrobe Malfunction" (02.10), Andrew was paid $100,000 after a wealthy passenger offered him the amount if he could drive to JFK in less than 10 minutes despite heavy traffic, which he did. Andrew then decided to continue college, and eventually moved back in to the dorm room with Nick, therefore leaving Daniel alone at the apartment. After seeing Daniel do some outrageous stuff to earn money to keep living in the apartment, one of which almost got him arrested ("Mid-School Crisis", 02.12), Nick then decided to move out of the dorm and live with Daniel at the apartment across the hall to Belle and Tina.

Season 3 (1998-1999)Edit

Season 4 (1999-2000)Edit

Season 5 (2000-2001)Edit

Season 6 (2001-2002)Edit

Season 7 (2002-2003)Edit

Season 8 (2003-2004)Edit

Season 9 (2004-2005)Edit

Season 10 (2005-2006)Edit

Season 11 (2006-2007)Edit

Season 12 (2007-2008)Edit

Season 13 (2008-2009)Edit

Season 14 (2009-2010)Edit

Season 15 (2010-2011)Edit

Season 16 (2011-2012)Edit

Season 17 (2012-2013)Edit

Season 18 (2013-2014)Edit

Development and ProductionEdit

Critical receptionEdit

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