Sharon (Pauline Quirke) lives in a council flat, while her sister Tracey (Linda Robson) lives in a luxurious house on a private estate. The two women lead very different lives until their husbands are sent to prison for armed robbery. Sharon moves in with Tracey to keep her company and to help pay the bills. They quickly become close friends with their neighbour Dorien (Lesley Joseph), whose chief interest in life is chasing after much younger men.
Mouthy Sharon’s living in an Edmonton tower block and is clearly down on her luck, her older sister Tracey’s still living in Chigwell with son Travis, while man-eating Dorien has repackaged herself as Foxy Cohen, author of the sex blockbuster Sixty Shades of Green.
Now that Sharon has given up work, Tracey is the only one in the house bringing in a wage, and it's not nearly enough to pay the bills, so Dorien kindly offers to dip into her savings to help out. However, when she calls the bank it emerges every penny she had has been spent on legal fees. In desperation, the sisters take their old friend to a car-boot sale and sell her beloved collection of designer clothes, right down to the shoes on her feet - which are snapped up by former TOWIE star Amy Childs.
Tracey can't ignore the fact that Garth and Marcie aren't getting any time alone - so she decides to change the bedroom arrangements to give them space and privacy. After failing to sleep in the lounge, Sharon tries to bed down in the loft, where she makes a discovery that might solve all their problems.
Tracey, Sharon and Dorien become involved with three very different men, while Travis has romantic troubles of his own. However, everyone's relationship hopes take a knock when Garth and Marcie organise a pop-up restaurant evening at the house to fund the refurbishment of their new pub.
Tracey has Botox injections and Travis gets a tattoo, but how will his mum react? Meanwhile, it looks as if Sharon might need a hearing aid.
Sharon's estranged husband Chris gets in touch asking for a divorce so he can marry his new girlfriend Angie, but Tracey has her doubts. Later, at the happy couple's engagement party, Dorien meets a handsome blind man who takes a shine to her.
Tracey, Sharon and Dorien lose their jobs and face a financial crisis, leading to a big argument in which several home truths are revealed. However, Garth and Marcie's pub has launched successfully, thanks to a mystery celebrity endorsement, which could help solve their problems.
Sharon and Tracey get a glimpse of a possible future when they see two elderly sisters in the supermarket and it worries them. Dorien's court case comes to a conclusion – but what will the verdict be?
Sharon and Tracey suspect that Dorien is fast approaching “The Big Seven 0”, and decide that, whether she likes it or not, the event calls for celebration.
Tracey’s ex-husband dies and she has to decide what kind of a send-off to give him. Sharon wants the funeral to be right for her boys, Dorien’s got the perfect outfit, and Chigwell’s criminal fraternity want to make it extra special.
Tracey’s house has been burgled during Darryl’s funeral. The family decide it’s up to them to track down their possessions and set out on a trail involving a snooker club, a pawnbroker and the infamous Theydon Boys drag club.
A surprise visitor in the form of the attractive Emma turns up at Tracey’s house. Sharon’s suspicious, Tracey is welcoming, and Dorien is shocked to the core. Travis, on the other hand, is over the moon.
Travis has serious school news that he’s scared to break to his mum. Sharon decides she’ll pass herself off as Tracey and sort out his problems, but her efforts land the family in a mess that only arch-seducer Dorien can get them out of.
Tracey’s had enough of Dorien entertaining gentlemen callers and Sharon not bringing in a living wage, and throws them both out. Holed up in Sharon’s old bedsit, the two of them take a united stand…or do they?
Auntie Vera’s got problems with her hips and her block’s defective lifts and tells Sharon and Tracey she’s moving in with them. But Tracey’s only got one room available: it’s Dorien’s… and Dorien is dismayed to be told that family comes first.
Sharon’s disapproval of Tracey dating policeman Barry and apparently overlooking Garth’s feelings for his dad lead to a major quarrel between the sisters. Is it one that Dorien, in her new role as Agony Aunt for GetA-Life Magazine, can solve?
Dorien is treating Sharon and Tracey to a Christmas trip to the Canaries, but with Tracey's fear of flying, Sharon's hopes for adventure, and Dorien's eagerness for anything in trousers, will it be plane sailing?
Sharon amazes the others when it turns out that she has a high IQ, and Dorien, under pressure to find a heroine for her next book, decides to push her towards a surprising career. Tracey however, has got her hands full with a despondent Garth, but the household joins forces to put Sharon through her paces and make sure she is the man for the job.
When Sharon and Tracey discover that Dorien has been keeping a secret for over fifty years, they decide to get involved, but Dorien is reluctant to confront her past. Meanwhile, Tracey finds motherhood is not all that it's cracked up to be.
Tracey and Sharon are both been nominated by Auntie Vera to take over her Pearly Queen title. It's war as they try to outdo each other – and Dorien has a daunting engagement herself.
Dorien's Book Group is convening to discuss Crime and Punishment – which turns out to be rather applicable to the events that unfold in Tracey's household.
Sharon has been knocking the household into shape in Tracey's absence, and meanwhile Dorien is spending money like it's going out of fashion.
Sharon makes plans to take Tracey and Dorien on a madcap 70s weekender, but there is no dressing up the news that Tracey is about to receive.
Tracey and Sharon take a trip to a Spa to cope with Tracey's shattering news and try to make plans for the future: and Dorien prepares to say a long goodbye to her daughter.